India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 4th day September 4, 2012

Disappointing to lose, but plenty of positives - Hesson

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has said his side should be proud of the fact that they managed to put pressure on India, despite losing an evenly matched Bangalore Test by five wickets. After losing the first Test in Hyderabad by an innings, they fancied their chances of squaring the series in Bangalore by setting a target of 261. India stuttered, but got over the line on the fourth day after being reduced to 166 for 5.

"I think we have made huge progress in this Test. The score we operated with in the first innings (365) was more than competitive," Hesson said. "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."

The defeat was New Zealand's fourth in as many Tests since the tour of the West Indies in July-August. New Zealand are at No.8 in the ICC Test rankings, above Bangladesh. Hesson admitted, thoughk that the players were disappointed they couldn't close out 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," Hesson said. "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."

New Zealand left out their most experienced seamer, Chris Martin, for Tim Southee, whose 7 for 64 were the best figures for a New Zealand bowler in India. Southee's efforts helped New Zealand gain a slender first-innings lead of 12. Hesson said leaving out Martin was a "tough call" but insisted that he was definitely in the mix for future selection.

"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 the side had a lot to learn in terms of decision making out in the middle, especially in Hyderabad, where New Zealand failed to pass 200 in both innings.

"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 the players had done their best to simulate match conditions at 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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sombrehombre on September 7, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    NZ have been trundling along in the wilderness for a good five years or so now, with little sign of improvement. Pretty much since the untimely and ludicrous demise of Astle and Fleming, coupled with the injury ravaged end of Cairns not to mention the injuries and subsequent exile of Bond. NZ just cannot afford to lose it rare top stars and that is exactly what happened leaving a young under strength side brutally exposed to the harsh world of test cricket. Particularly disappointing when you see so many of the rival contemporaries of that generation playing well into their late 30s - McGrath, Hayden, Ponting from Aus.. Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxmen from India… Unfortunate but maybe enough time has gone by to heal over those scars and enough young talent coming through to build a new legacy.

  • dummy4fb on September 6, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    new zealand needs more quality batsman,,batting is their weakest point for ages...

  • 6foot6 on September 6, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    I reckon we should be giving the Black Caps some credit. RyderI agree would be an asset in our current batting line up. I see NZ batsman in the 2nd test were given out LBW 8 times (20 wickets- 40% of total dismissals). Indian batsman were given out LBW 2 times (15 wickets- 13% of total dismissals). In NZ's 1st innings Bracewell was run out which was quite unlucky. Williamson's LBW dismissal was fairly dubious and McCullum can count himself unlucky too I reckon. In the Indian 1st and 2nd innings the umpire's didn't make any questionable decisions regarding wicket taking deliveries. In NZ's 2nd innings Patel was given out when the ball clearly didn't hit his bat. Under DRS the Black Cap's would've surely fared much better so I wouldn't write them off just yet. Do some analysis!!! I'm not saying we would've necessarily won under DRS but it might've come down to the wire.

  • cricketcritic on September 6, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Sad, sad, sad. Did the coach really say that? All due respect to India, they're hard to beat at home, but are they really a top side? I'm not so sure. NZ played better but India won by FIVE wickets in a canter in the end. NZ had the best of the conditions and threw wickets away at crucial times. They are miles away

  • mikriket on September 6, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    Hesson, get real. The Indian tour , so far, is a catastrofy and apart from some promise showed by the fast bowles there is nothing positive. The batting is hopelessly sub-standard.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 5, 2012, 22:27 GMT

    Not completely agreeing with Hesson here BUT the Kiwis did put India under a lot of pressure in the second test at Bangalore. Not to mention, some of the ways our batsmen found ways to get themselves out too; especially Sir Suresh Raina. Having said that, NZ have MILES to go before they are really a competitive test side. However, they have a good set of fast bowlers in Southee, Boult, Martin and Bracewell. In helpful conditions, these guys can put mightier teams than India under a lot of pressure. But it's their insipid batting that worries a lot of their supporters and rightly so. Brendon McCullum is UNFIT to play for NZ and needs to be dropped. Ross Taylor has legit weaknesses against spin bowling, Daniel Flynn looks average and Kane Williamson is promising a lot but letting down. So the batting is their main issue. Unless a team can consistently post 350-400 in test cricket, they can't win many games no matter how good their bowling attack is.

  • thenoostar on September 5, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    @Jaggadaaku i think Wrights success was due to staying out of the way and letting Ganguly run the show. Alright when you have the Indian team, not so great when you have the New Zealand Team.

    @2nd_slip Nice stir! The same could have been said about the Indian team in Australia and England.

    There were positives out of the Tests! Patel turning the ball, Guptill attacking instead of blocking, Southee starting to come good. Franklin looking really good as test batsman. He just needs a few more games but didnt look troubled on turning tracks until he got himself out. Van Wyk looked good when he attacked with the bat and must now keep his place ahead of BJ. Boult could have picked up a couple more wickets with some luck and bowled quite briskly.

  • Bruisers on September 5, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    So much negativity in their minds. Pleased with this performance? Are you a team like Scotland or Bangladesh to be talking like this??

  • shortsillypoint on September 5, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Agree with KiwiJake - out of the NZ winter(when it was India's turn to tour) with no warm up games on a dusty turner after losing the toss and no one is surprised at the result. Better conditions in the 2nd test, winning the toss and a better result - all predictable. For those complaining about the also ran NZ team - think on 4 m pop and then the competition from other sports. Ask yourself how did India go at the Olympics - NZ out-performed all nations per capita besides Bolt's country! NZ even beats India in hockey these days. NZ is an huge out performer in world sports - cricket is just another game! So pack away your hubris.

  • serious-am-i on September 5, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    @icfa: There are lots of differences between SL and NZ. NZ is not a cricket crazy nation like SL is. For Kiwis its Rugby, that's their craze at where as for SL their craze is at the sport of cricket. So, I guess it would be better if you choose wiser terms when comparing again.

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