'It's definitely tough and challenging' - New Zealand head coach Gary Stead ahead of India assignment

‘It’s definitely tough and challenging’ – New Zealand head coach Gary Stead ahead of India assignment

The last time India lost a series at home was way back in 2019.

Gary Stead. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

India have been one of the strongest sides of late. Despite their poor performance in the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2021, they are a force to reckon with. New Zealand are all set to tour India for a series comprising of two Tests and three T20Is.

India have been nearly unbeatable at home. It gets even more tough to beat them in the longest format of the game. Forget about losing a Test series at home, Virat Kohli’s men have just lost the two Tests at home since 2017.

Thus, the Kiwis have a tough task in hand. They will have to be better than their best if they are to beat India. Of late, New Zealand have had the better of India as they beat them in the WTC final, Test and ODI series at their home, and also defeated them in the ICC T20 WC 2021. Thus, Williamson and co. would fancy their chances of creating history in the subcontinent.

Hopefully we can get up and have a really great performance against India: Gary Stead

The Kiwi coach Gary Stead is well aware of the challenges awaiting his side. “It’s the first time that I can remember that we’re so quickly into another series immediately at the back-end of the T20 World Cup,” Stead was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. He also acknowledged the fact that the task isn’t going to be easy.

“It’s definitely tough and challenging but it is what is in front of us.” he said. The members who were not a part of New Zealand’s T20 WC squad are already in India and have started preparing for the series.

“We’ve got nine-ten guys in India already, who are preparing for those Test matches, and hopefully we can get up and have a really great performance against India.” he added.

Last but not the least, he also gave an update about Lockie Ferguson’s availability. “In terms of Lockie, I think he is pretty close,” Stead said. “We will just make sure we get over there, travel okay and there’s no issues like seizing up on the flight or anything like that. But I’d expect that he’s going to be available for selection, which will be fantastic.” said the Kiwi coach.

The series between India and New Zealand is all set to commence on November 17 with the first T20I match being played in Jaipur. After the T20I series is wrapped up, the Test series starts on November 25. Kanpur and Mumbai are the venues for the Test series.