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IND v NZ: Playing against a team like India is always exciting, motivating, says Ish Sodhi

Wellington, Nov 18 (IANS) New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi believes that despite the international schedule being very hectic, playing against a side like India at home is always a factor of excitement and motivation for the hosts.

Last year, New Zealand came to India for a three-match T20I series, followed by two Tests just a day after playing the T20 World Cup final in Dubai. While the gap between the final of the World Cup and series against India was just three days, both teams will be meeting in a T20I series five days after the T20 World Cup in Australia ended with them crashing out of semifinals.

“It is always going to be tough to get up within a short span because of the scheduling these days. It’s only been a week since we came from Australia, but playing against a team like India is always exciting and definitely one that motivates (the team),” said Sodhi to broadcasters.

Over the past few years, Sodhi has formed a spin partnership with left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner in T20Is. Asked about the secret behind the duo clicking in shortest format, Sodhi said, “I don’t want to say it is easy (to be a spinner in NZ), because it is a difficult place to bowl.

“Unique place to bowl with the boundaries in different venues. I think it is down to communication, good to see we have formulated a partnership. If Mitch is going for a few less runs at one end and then I can attack from my end and vice versa.”

At Wellington, Sodhi has picked 17 wickets in T20Is. He feels that varying line and length is key to success at Sky Stadium. “This is a very unique place to bowl. Not much turn, short square boundaries compared to the straighter ones. Varying the line has been an important part of our planning as a spin bowling unit on this ground.”

“Bowling the wide line when you need and try and get them to hit to the straighter boundary has been in our discussion for a long time and potentially got us a few wickets.”

Senior pacer Tim Southee feels that series against a new-look India is a chance to test themselves while bowling to youngsters and admitted that without his new-ball partner Trent Boult, it will be a little strange to play.

“Just another opportunity against a quality opposition. It’s an exciting Indian team, they have got so much talent. We have seen these guys in the IPL. Boult has been a massive part of the side for a long time. Guys just come in, and it’s an opportunity for another guy… But yeah, it’s is strange for one of our best players for a long time to not be here”

Tearaway quick Adam Milne, back in the side after battling injuries, is hopeful of having some game time against the Hardik Pandya-led side. “Feeling good (with the body). I haven’t played for a month or so now since the tri-series. Trying to keep the body going through the World Cup and bowling some overs in the nets.”

“Hopefully I get a few games here against India. All the guys are doing specific stuff to make sure their bodies stay healthy throughout the season. Sometimes the fast bowlers are doing slightly different stuff in the gym.”

–IANS

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