Experienced New Zealand batter Ross Taylor says playing India on its home soil is one of the toughest challenges and his team will be the ‘underdogs’ in the upcoming two-Test series, starting in Kanpur on November 25.

Returning to action

Taylor, who has been out of action after New Zealand’s World Test Championship victory in June, looks forward to playing international cricket again in the upcoming series.

“Definitely, it’s going to be a challenge. I think there is no harder assignment than playing India at home or Australia away. They are probably the two toughest challenges in Test cricket at the moment,” said Taylor at a virtual press conference on Sunday.

“We will be looking forward to putting up a good performance.”

Asked about his plan for ace Indian spinner R. Ashwin, Taylor said, “I don’t want to give my secrets away just here. I don’t know what line-up India decides to go with. Axar Patel played a big role against England.

“Now (whether) they are going to play three spinners or two spinners, obviously Ashwin will be one of them. They are very good bowlers, especially in these conditions, and how we play them will play a big part in how the series is going to go.”

Taylor said he might employ his slog-sweep to put some pressure back on the Indian spinners.

Need to adapt

According to Taylor, it would not be prudent to focus only on the home spinners. “Fast bowling still remains a main element with the new ball and reverse swing. But spin more often plays a big part over here. So we could be naive if we assume only spin will play a key part.”

Taylor said adapting to different playing conditions in Kanpur and Mumbai would be a key factor for the Kiwis.

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