New Zealand’s batting will be Hesson’s priority for the future
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has announced that his team should be proud of the way they played against a strong Test side like India, despite losing to them 2-0 in the series.
After being hammered in the first Test at Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs, New Zealand produced a better showing in the second Test at Bangalore, losing to the Indians by five wickets.
“I think we have made huge progress in this Test. The score we operated with in the first innings (365) was more than competitive, to get a first-innings lead against a quality Indian side showed that we’d made some improvements there. In the second innings the conditions were a bit tougher, we made a couple of errors at crucial times, we also could have fallen over but we didn’t. We took on some players with fearful records. In the end, we set them a challenging a total that gave our bowlers a real chance. Sure we would have wanted more (runs). We still have to keep that positive mindset,” Hesson said.
New Zealand currently sit in eighth place on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings since they have been beaten time and time again.
However, Hesson also noted that many of the players were extremely disappointed that they did not manage to win the game.
“We are ranked where we are for a reason, but I thought there were good signs in all areas of the game in Bangalore, no one likes to lose and the dressing room was quite gutted because we put a top side under pressure, which many sides haven’t been able to do in India in a long time. To put ourselves into that position and not get over the line was frustrating. The players are extremely hard on themselves, individually and collectively. Some talk about the inadequacies in other players to try and help them. We’ve got a good leadership group that’s learning to lead. We’re trying to get the guys to evolve so they can challenge each other and start to ask tough questions,” Hesson added.
During the second Test, New Zealand left out veteran pace bowler Chris Martin and brought in Tim Southee, who recorded bowling figures of seven wickets for 64 runs in one innings, which is the best for any New Zealand bowler against India.
Talking about Martin, Hesson stated that it had been extremely tough to leave out one of his most experienced bowlers, but also noted that he would be in the team for future series.
“We thought Chris bowled well in Hyderabad but we thought Tim was ready to go. He had been bowling beautifully and someone had to miss out. Chris has a lot of experience and helps pull the whole bowling group together,” Hesson said.
But, Hesson also mentioned that New Zealand still had a long way to go, as far as batting was concerned after they were bowled out twice for under 200 in the first Test at Hyderabad.
“We lost a number of wickets in the first Test because we were indecisive, whether it be to play, or leave, to push for a single or to attack. If you make the wrong decision and commit to it sometimes you can get out of trouble. We tried to ensure we didn’t make those mistakes from Hyderabad in this Test,” Hesson said.
Furthermore, Hesson also noted that New Zealand had been trying their best to simulate the match conditions in the nets.
“We have competitive nets. We create an environment in our net situation where the guys are under pressure. Very difficult of course to replicate 40,000 screaming Indians,” Hesson added.