Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is expecting a harder and faster pitch for India's second Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, compared to what was experienced during the series opener at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Rahane referenced India A's fixture against New Zealand A in Christchurch earlier this year – and heeded the advice of team-mate Hanumva Vihari. India and New Zealand are priced at 2.20 and 2.30, respectively, by bet365 to win the second Test.
“The India A guys played here and Vihari, who scored 51 and 100 not out in that game, was telling us that the wicket was much better. There is good pace and bounce on this wicket. We will have to see and assess the conditions very quickly on the first day of the game and play accordingly,” said Rahane.
“There was swing and seam in Wellington and I thought the Wellington wicket was a bit soft and driving on it was a bit tough. But here I think the wicket is a bit harder and offers good pace and batsmen can play the shots. You have to trust your ability no matter what happens, whether the ball swings or seams.
“You cannot keep thinking about conditions; yes, the conditions matter until a point and after that what matters is how you tackle the conditions and play accordingly.
Rahane on Ashwin
The Indians lost the first Test by 10 wickets – and might replace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for the second. Ashwin took three wickets in Wellington, but the addition of Jadeja would boost India's batting resources in Christchurch.
“See, we have not taken any such decisions. Ashwin had bowled really well in Wellington and he is a quality bowler; Jadeja is also a quality bowler. Yes, it gets a bit tough when we travel as to play who – Jadeja or Ashwin,” added Rahane.
“But I think it is a good sign for the team when we travel outside India because both are quality spinners. But the decision will depend on the condition of the wicket tomorrow and we have to see the thought process of captain and coach and what combination they have in mind for the team. But no decision on them yet.”