Did not think Indian wickets would turn so much: New Zealand’s Sodhi

Kolkata, March 25 (IANS) New Zealand leg-spinner Inderbir Singh Sodhi on Friday said the Indian pitches have turned more than what he had expected.

The right-arm tweaker has picked up five wickets from his three World Twenty20 outings which includes a 3/18 against India in Nagpur.

“To be completely honest, I did not think it would turn as much as it did. But it has. Most of the tournaments I have watched here have had decent batting surfaces. But for them to turn this much was unexpected. We have had to adapt and we have done that very well so far,” Sodhi said ahead of their last group match against Bangladesh.

Sodhi has struck up a partnership with left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. The latter was also instrumental in India’s downfall in the tournament opener where the hosts lost by 47 runs.

“We have played some domestic cricket together for a lot of districts but to do it here was very pleasing. He is a good friend and a great partner at the other end, I try and support him from my side,” Sodhi said.

Santner’s action and style have been compared to that of former New Zealand all rounder Daniel Vettori. Speaking about it, Sodhi said, “Santner is a fantastic bowler in his own right. A lot of them are comparing Santner to Vettori but I think they are very different bowlers. Santner is being himself as much as he can and working really hard. I hope he will continue for a long time. Having him by our side is a great support.”

Asked why Santner was reaping rich rewards here, the 23-year-old said, “Santner is a finger spinner but he puts a lot of rips on the ball just like a leg spinner. But he grew up doing that in conditions not suited to such bowling, and over here now with his rips he is proving to be a lot more effective.”

Sodhi also heaped praise on New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and how he has led the side in these conditions.

“I think Kane is a really good captain when you need to come and adapt to different conditions and his batting skills are a plus as well. And I want him to continue this way, in coming years he will be great for New Zealand cricket,” he said.

Bangladesh have already crashed out of the tournament, but Sodhi said the Kiwis are not going to take them lightly.

“Most of the times we have played them (Bangladesh) in these conditions they have been good. Last game was the highlight of how strong they can be in these conditions. They took it close against a team like India and I don’t think any team will dare to take them lightly. Tomorrow there are different conditions and we would treat them with respect because they are great players,” the 23-year-old said.

The leg-spinner added his team will stick to the same brand of cricket they have played throughout the tournament.

“I think we are going to stick to what we have done. Adapt to the conditions, adapt to the players we are playing against,” he added.

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