Bangalore, Aug 30: Another trial by spin awaits New Zealand batsmen from Friday. The second Test between India and the Black Caps will get under way here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium with the hosts holding all aces and are set to make a clean sweep of the series 2-0.
Also read: India not overconfident: Dhoni; New Zealand to attack Indian spinners
R Ashwin was the wrecker-in-chief in the first Test in Hyderabad as New Zealand batsmen were exposed against the turning ball. Ashwin took a career best 12/85 to pilot India to an innings and 115 runs.
Ashwin's spin partner Pragyan Ojha had six in the match as Indian slower bowlers accounted for 18 of the 20 wickets in the Test. Paceman Umesh Yadav had the other two scalps.
Though the 22-yard strip in Bangalore might have a tinge of grass as mentioned by curator Narayan Raju, Kiwis feel it will be shaved off and will be dry.
"There looks to be a little grass, but they'll definitely shave it off and keep it as dry as they can," said New Zealand medium-pace bowler Doug Bracewell on Wednesday.
"Obviously, we don't face as much spin back home as when we come to the subcontinent. There's a lack of spinners, there's not a lot of spinners back home. There are a few young guys coming through, so that's good," Bracewell added.
The Hyderabad Test was over in less than four days despite interruptions due to rain. New Zealand, in both innings, failed to touch the 200-run mark. After being shot out for 159 and following on, they collapsed again, this time for 164.
If they have to put up a fight here, captain Ross Taylor will be the key. He needs to lead from the front. Also, their most experienced batsman, Brendon McCullum has to spend more time at the wicket.
For India, it was refreshing to see the arrival of Cheteshwar Pujara with a big hundred. Filling the big boots of Rahul Dravid at number three, the youngster showed his class with a fine knock of 159.
There were half centuries from Virat Kohli and captain MS Dhoni too in India's total of 438 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. However, Suresh Raina, after returning to the Test side, disappointed with just three runs.
Despite Raina's failure, India are likely to keep their winning combination intact.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag will be hoping to make a big contribution after missing out with low scores.
Like in Hyderabad, Bangalore too has seen rain in the last few days and there is a threat to the match.
After two whitewashes in England and Australia, India will hope to find themselves on the other side of the verdict this time.
With spin as their main weapon, India are ready to destroy the opposition.
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Subramaniam Badrinath, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma, Suresh Raina.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee, Kruger van Wyk, Neil Wagner, Bradley-John Watling, Kane Williamson.
Umpires: Ian Gould (England) and Steve Davis (Australia)
Third Umpire: Sudhir Asnani (India)
Match Referee: Chris Broad (England)
Match starts at 9.30 am (IST)
Catch live ball by ball commentary, updates, session by session reports, on www.thatscricket.com