Mumbai - New
Zealand's batsmen know they will have to subdue India's spinners if
they are to have any chance of winning their three-match One Day
International series starting on Sunday.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and right-arm leg break
Yuzvendra Chahal have established themselves as India's latest attacking
combination, keeping veterans Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja
out of the team.
Kiwi batsman Tom Latham said the visitors were leaving no stone
unturned in seeking a way to counter the Indian pair, who come into the
series in the best form of their careers.
"Our focus is big on spin here. We are focusing on facing more spin
than seam here and finding ways to score, to hit gaps and find
boundaries," Latham told reporters in Mumbai.
The left-handed Latham said the Kane Williamson-led New Zealanders had taken note of Kuldeep and Chahal's recent performances.
Kuldeep, 22, has quickly emerged as one of the world's best slow
bowlers since taking four wickets in his Test debut against Australia in
Dharamsala in March.
He also played a big role in India's recent 4-1 ODI series victory
over Australia, taking a hat-trick in the second match at Eden Gardens
He has been well supported by the 27-year-old Chahal, who tormented
the Australians with his deceptive leg spinners to bag six wickets in
"We obviously know that they (Kuldeep and Chahal) are quality bowlers
and they have done really well in the previous series," Latham was
quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.
Latham has been in good form himself, compiling a quickfire 108 in
New Zealand's 33-run win over an Indian Board President's XI in the
visitors' second and final warm-up match in Mumbai.
New Zealand, ranked fifth in the world, have drafted in leg-spinner
Ish Sodhi as a replacement for Todd Astle, who has been ruled out of
Sunday's match at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium after picking up a groin
injury in the warm-up game.
The hosts, second in the ODI rankings, are expected to complement the
two spinners with fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Virat Kohli's India, which swept the three-match Test series against
the Black Caps last year, can regain the top ODI spot from South Africa
if they win the series 3-0.
The second ODI takes place in Pune on Wednesday, with the third in
Kanpur on October 29. The two sides will then play three T20 matches.
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan,
Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra
Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav,
Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur
Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor,
Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, George Worker,
Glenn Phillips, Matt Henry, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim
Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult