Team India begin a fresh cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) with a two-Test series against New Zealand at home beginning with the first Test in Kanpur from Thursday (November 25). Kane Williamson’s NZ are the inaugural WTC champions but former Kiwi captain and all-rounder Dion Nash believes facing India at home in Tests is still the ‘premier challenge’ in international cricket.
“I believe it is one of the premier challenges to face India in Test cricket at home. There are very few places in international cricket that could be more one-sided than Indian conditions. New Zealand in early part of their season though could be very difficult as well,” Nash told Zee News English in an exclusive interview.
Over the last few seasons, Virat Kohli’s Team India have been almost unbeatable at home. Teams like Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa have all been humbled with conditions heavily in favour of the spin bowlers.
“Winning in India has become nearly impossible. There is so much cricket played around the world, one would have hoped that this aspect would have changed. But conditions have not changed a lot because they are so foreign especially for teams from western countries,” the former NZ all-rounder felt.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 23, 2021
India will miss the services of regular skipper Kohli, who had decided to take a break for the first Test following the T20 series and will only be available for the second Test in Mumbai. Kohli had also decided to give up the T20 captaincy after ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
Nash believes that Kohli giving up T20 captaincy might make him a better batter. “There is no right and wrong answer about Kohli’s decision. I believe too much is made out of captaincy. Sometimes captaincy can hold back players.
“In Virat’s case, giving up the T20 captaincy might open him up as a batter in all formats. With so much cricket being played and the COVID-19 situation with bio-bubbles becoming mandatory, it makes total sense not to captain every team. I believe it comes down to team management and team has to get used to Kohli’s new role,” the 50-year-old former Kiwi cricketer said.