Mumbai (AFP) - Tim Southee warned Thursday that the New Zealand bowlers will have to adapt quickly to Mumbai’s pitch after two days of rain hampered preparations for the second Test against India.
The Black Caps, led by Kane Williamson, come into the second clash of the two-match series starting Friday after a hard-fought draw in Kanpur.
But the tourists were forced to call off their training for the second day running while India did some indoor practice after Mumbai’s unseasonal rains.
“It’s a different lead-in to what we are all expecting,” the 32-year-old quick Southee said.
“I don’t think we were expecting too much rain in the lead-in, but it’s just something that we will have to adapt to.”
Southee took a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the Kanpur Test and ended with eight scalps in a match dominated by the Indian spinners.
He said it was too soon to say what conditions Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium would throw up.
“We won’t know if it’s going to swing until we are out there, so it’s something that we will have to adapt to as bowlers here,” said Southee.
“The wicket’s been under covers and may offer a little bit more, but who knows?”
Southee believes the lack of training might be a blessing in disguise for the bowlers, who will return fresh for the final match.
“We are fortunate to have the last week, even the guys that weren’t playing were able to train throughout the Test match,” he said.
“So for us bowlers it’s nice to give the body a bit of a rest and freshen up ahead of another Test match… Yes, you haven’t had the ideal preparation, but there is no excuse.”
Top-ranked New Zealand, who beat India to win the inaugural World Test Championship in June, have never won a Test series in India.
They last won a five-day game in India in 1988, also in Mumbai.
“Always nice to hear of the history of the game and New Zealand doing well here,” said Southee.
“It’s a long time ago, a lot’s changed in that time, but our focus is on us going out there and giving our best over the next five days.”