New Zealand in Bangladesh 2013-14 October 14, 2013

Ish Sodhi a 'good prospect' - Hesson


Twenty-year-old legspinner Ish Sodhi's progress has impressed New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, and he has earmarked the bowler as one for the future. However, the team was still missing the services of Daniel Vettori, who has not played Test cricket for over a year due to an Achilles tendon injury, Hesson admitted.

Sodhi and left-arm spinner Bruce Martin combined to take only five wickets in the first Test against Bangladesh, in Chittagong, while part-timer offspinner Kane Williamson picked up one wicket. Williamson was introduced before the two specialist spinners in the second innings, but that was mostly down to having the left-handed Tamim Iqbal at the crease. Sodhi later picked up the wicket of Marshall Ayub to a delivery which he tried to play from deep inside the crease but missed it to be adjudged leg-before.

He had conceded 112 runs at 3.88 per over in the first innings, where he looked innocuous at times. In the second innings he was more attacking, and gave away 57 runs at 5.51 per over. Hesson believed there is something about Sodhi that is exciting. "I thought he got better as the Test went on," Hesson said. "Ish is 20, a young man. He was nervous. He learned a lot. He created a number of opportunities.

"On a surface that didn't have a lot of bounce, he hit the gloves a couple of times. He is a good prospect for us. He is not a finished product yet, but he is worth investing in for the future."

Sodhi was also highly recommended by Vettori himself ahead of the Bangladesh series. It was Vettori who invited Sodhi to bowl at a trial in Auckland, after which they became team-mates.

Vettori is in another class, though, Hesson said. "He is a fine performer. Any side that New Zealand puts out without Dan Vettori is a weaker side. That's just the fact."

Vettori's record against Bangladesh provides several reasons to miss him. He has taken 51 wickets in nine Tests against them, 34 of which have come in four Tests in Bangladesh. His batting average is 40.62 against them, with three fifties. "Any side would miss Dan Vettori, and we have been without Dan for a little while now," Hesson said.

Hesson was pleased with his side's batting effort in both innings. New Zealand posted a competitive 469 in the first innings, with Williamson showing his ability to dictate against spin in the subcontinent. He made 114 and 74, top scores in both innings. Wicketkeeper BJ Watling too scored a century, the second of his Test career.

"I am really pleased with Kane Williamson. He got a great hundred in P Sara last year. He plays spin well," Hesson said. "He timed the ball nicely on a wicket where scoring three an over was tough. He looked at ease.

"After a bit of fortune early on, BJ [Watling] also played very well. He trained a lot in the winter. We are all delighted for him. He showed his skills in these conditions."

Both teams will now go into a three-day break as there are two major religious festivals on in Bangladesh: the Durga Puja will be ending this week, with Eid-ul-Adha starting on October 16. New Zealand will not be training for three days, until Friday.

"We have plenty of things planned for the next few days," Hesson said. "We have a chance to freshen up, get some physical work done in the gym.

"We will also do a bit of scouting. Our guys enjoy the travelling side of international cricket. We want to get to know different cultures as much as we can. I think we won't be spending three days in the hotel."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • paul on October 16, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    @Peter Jones....until NZC get some credibility back in the front office (which means big changes ) then the likes of the highly sort after John Wright, wouldn't go anywhere near the place...Look at the guys they got rid of to put Hesson and co in charge. . And what have they achieved?.. ranking in decline! Hope the board acts and acts quickly, before those fans left decide to walk as well.

  • Dummy4 on October 16, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    Dan Vettori playing club cricket in Hamilton this week, he's a long way off being back in the Black Caps.

  • Adam on October 15, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    look, i want kiwis to do well and i know they have the talent to succeed. in recents years they have done well against teams. but folks like sodhi is not the answer in the long term. he did nothing special during his first class games and you can clearly see, he will end like failing just like past good prospects hira and patel. these guys don't have what it takes do make it in the big league. kiwis need to invest in their domestic league and make sure, they keep investing in the right talent. not just look for shortcuts. personally i don't like hesson and if i were a kiwi, i would get john wright as the coach.

  • Android on October 15, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    hey you guyz giving the boy too many sticks! give him time, I will be honest on that pitch even razzak n shakib looked pretty ordinary. we will see what he's got in Dhaka where the pitch will turn.

  • Jordan on October 15, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Idk if people realize that stats don't have any reflexion on a players future potential or even current ability for that matter.

    Sodhi can bowl almost every legspin ball in the game and just by watching him you can tell he has talent. Someone mentioned Sodhi not flighting the ball, but anyone which has watched Sodhi ball in under19 or even to an extent first class cricket would know Sodhi can flight the ball better than anyone else in New Zealand.

    Legspinners in general tend to concede a lot of runs unless they get everything perfect, and granted Sodhi has been struggling to take wickets. But it takes just one look at Shane Warne to know how a little difference can mean the difference between being destroyed and being world class.

    Shane Warne bowled just as bad in his first few matches, but Australia stuck with him knowing he could be an amazing talent and what seemed to be overnight, he became world class.

    Giving Sodhi this game time is crucial to him becoming that class player

  • Shane on October 15, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    @Peter_Jones2012 - I can't agree with you, even while acknowledging I'm a bit one-eyed when it comes to our team. You're right that the talent pool is small, which means we sometimes have to throw players in when they maybe aren't quite ready, but that can't be avoided. If you look through the NZ team, you see very promising signs. Probably the best fast bowling unit I've seen us have in my years of watching; Williamson starting to deliver big scores, and delivering in trying circumstances - though I'm sure he would agree that he needs to be more consistent, he is taking steps in that direction. Taylor is the best we have had in years; McCullum is McCullum, capable of match changing knocks, and Fulton and Rutherford have thrashed out a pretty successful formula so far. Plenty of reasons for the fans to be pretty happy, not to mention some memorable test wins in the last few years despite been given very limited matches.

  • jared on October 15, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    I remeber daniel vettori getting spanked very early on in his career by the south africans, made him look like the boy he was in a mans game but in time that boy matured and then he became the bully, same thing will happen with sohdi, he has alot of talent but he also has alot to learn, he just needs time playing the big boys. For as long as vettori is out due to injury, they should persevere with sohdi, martin looks toothless, astle is possibly the slowest bowler in nz, nethula i thought was a good prospect, he was all over amla in the odi stuff then apparently got the yips and was never seen again, sohdi seems to be the future so give him the time he needs to develop, nz first class scene wont help him much so keep him in the test side, alot of our best players were picked young, vettori, cairns, williamson, crowe, fleming, they didn't all start well they just needed time.

  • Dummy4 on October 15, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    Ish Sodhi impressed? As a cricketer here in New Zealand I found him completely unimpressive. He bowls too quickly and too flat and gives the ball very little flight. I've never held Hesson in any regard, and Sodhi's selection proves it. A guy who averages 50 at first class level obviously has a long way to go before he is ready for test cricket.

  • Beau on October 15, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    Sodhi does indeed look a good prospect. He clearly out-bowled Martin in this Test, and being only 20(!), has plenty of time to learn the game. Anderson, too, looked pretty good, bowling his miserly, Oram-ish stump-to-stump line.

    Four seamers and Wiliamson should be the standard attack unless the pitch requires two spinners. In that case, play Sodhi. Martin deserved his chance, but hasn't grabbed it. Harsh, perhaps, but that's Test cricket.

  • john on October 14, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Hesson must stop looking backwards, how many years really has vettori got in test cricket??a nz great, but this is why nz has a spinner many years depending on one for sodhi , weldone, great to see a legspinner in nz cricket..but unfortunately for new zealand to get the best out of sodhi the team will need to get good totals for him to bowl at..good start though.

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