15 Mar 2016

Black Caps brace for trial by spin

4:33 pm on 15 March 2016

New Zealand are bracing for a trial by spin when they open their World Twenty20 cricket campaign against hosts India, skipper Kane Williamson admits.

The Indian team have been widely touted as favourites to win the biennial event due to playing in local conditions and having had a strong run of form in the build up to the tournament.

New Zealand, though, have defeated India in all their previous four meetings in the shortest format of the game but their progress was somewhat thwarted against England's spinners in the weekend's warm-up match which they lost.

"We certainly are expecting spin to pay a big part in this tournament," Williamson said on Monday, adding their record against India would have no bearing on the match," said Williamson.

Kane Williamson batting for New Zealand in the second Chappell-Hadlee Series match in Wellington, Saturday 6th February 2016. Copyright Photo.: Grant Down / www.photosport.nz

Kane Williamson and the Black Caps are expecting a trial by spin in their opening T20 match. Photo: Photosport

"I suppose judging by the warm-up games in Mumbai, they had a bit for the seamers and it swung a little bit.

"They were very good surfaces but from what cricket we have seen here in Nagpur, spin looks likely to play a big part."

Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin will lead India's slow bowling attack along with Ravindra Jadeja while part-timer Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina are also expected to chip in.

New Zealand arrived at the tournament after a preparatory camp in Dubai, having played a two-Test home series against Australia, during which former captain Brendon McCullum retired from international cricket.

India, who won the 50-over World Cup at home in 2011, defeated Australia and Sri Lanka in bilateral series before winning the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, a run that saw them win 10 of their past 11 T20 matches.

Indian batsman Virat Kohli

Indian batsman Virat Kohli Photo: Photosport

Virat Kohli is confident the team can handle the burden of expectations.

"At home we expect that, we're prepared for that," Kohli said.

"The skill required is how you manage yourself off the field, because on the field is probably the safest and quietest for you, especially in your home country."