India need to be watchful against Kane Williamson in the Test series, he can challenge them: Irfan Pathan

India need to be watchful against Kane Williamson in the Test series, he can challenge them: Irfan Pathan

Williamson, who opted out of the T20I series that New Zealand lost 3-0, will return to lead the side in the Tests.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels India need to be watchful against New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson come the two-match Test series, which gets underway in Kanpur from November 25.

Williamson, who opted out of the T20I series that New Zealand lost 3-0, will return to lead the side in the Tests, as New Zealand begin their title defence of the World Test Championship. Notably, New Zealand defeated India in the inaugural edition’s final earlier this year in the United Kingdom.

“If we talk about the two-Test series, if there is anyone who can challenge Team India then it is Kane Williamson, the man himself, because he’s a fantastic cricketer. Especially when it comes to Test cricket.” Pathan said on Star Sports show Follow the Blues.

“But, the second biggest challenge for the Indian team will be playing at Wankhede, in Mumbai because that pitch will be very much suited to New Zealand cricketers as well because it has bounce. Unless, we get a rank turner if the pitch is really good and bouncy the way it is generally, then New Zealand can pose a huge threat,” he added.

There will be great understanding in Kohli-Dravid partnership: Irfan Pathan

Pathan also opened up the beginning of Kohli-Dravid era, as this will be the first assignment for India in the longest format under the new head coach Rahul Dravid, who has replaced Ravi Shastri. Meanwhile, Kohli, who has been rested for the Kanpur Test, with Ajinkya Rahane leading the side, will return for the second and final Test in Mumbai from December 3.

“This will be a new partnership between Rahul Dravid as well as Virat Kohli, the captain. Especially in the longer format, I don’t see any problem because Rahul Dravid is a kind of guy who likes to come into the system, he doesn’t change the system much. He’s a very technical – tactical guy but he will not disrupt, he never used to disrupt even when he was captain, he always used to help boost the confidence of the player.

“One thing is for sure, there will be a great understanding and communication in this partnership, along with this youth players will be given as much importance as a senior player gets in the team. I’m not saying that this did not happen before but I have played under Rahul Dravid and this was very noticeable, if there was any young player in the team it was not hard to help them get into the team and it was solely due to Rahul Dravid’s mentality.”