Grant Elliott of New Zealand © Getty Images
Grant Elliott of New Zealand © Getty Images

Mumbai, Mar 8 (PTI) New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott today said that hosts India are clear favourites going into the ICC World T20 but that will also put enormous pressure on the ‘Men In Blue’. “India obviously go in as tournament favourites, which I guess, puts a lot of pressure on them. Having home support has its advantages, but there are negative points also. Especially in India I guess the expectations are high,” Elliott said during team’s ‘Open Media Session’. Elliott, who will be playing in his first World T20 event, said his stint in the inaugural Pakistan Super League, held in the UAE, for Quetta Gladiators was beneficial.

“Pakistan Super League was great. It was a very good experience and my first experience with franchise cricket. Nathan McCullum came over a little bit later, but we reached the finals. It was a very good tournament and some really high quality players played in it.”

Talking about the upcoming World T20 opener against India at Nagpur, Elliott said while the home team had world class players, his team, too, had men to play well in these conditions. “India are obviously a world class team with guys (spin bowlers) like (Ravindra) Jadeja, (Ravichandran) Ashwin, and back-up bowlers like (Suresh) Raina and Yuvraj (Singh). We will wait and see how the conditions are like. We have got batsman suited to these conditions.”

Meanwhile, 24-year-old slow left arm orthodox bowler Mitchell Santner said he is keenly looking forward to the game against India. “Definitely excited to play a team like India at (their) home. It is going to be a tough challenge. We have been preparing well as a team and we have plans, we are going to come out fresh and going to execute our plan,” he said.

Asked about any specific adjustments he will doing for wickets in the sub-continent, especially in India, Santner said wickets (in India) are being more spinner-friendly rather than New Zealand’s flat (pitches). (I will) Try and spin the ball more, perhaps you get more assistance here…”

“Our first game is against India and there are world class players (of) off-spin, its quite tough there, we are going to stick to the game plan,” he added.