Hesson calls for green pitches for India Tests
Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, has called for green pitches when India tour New Zealand in January-February 2014. Hesson said New Zealand don't get "any favours" in terms of pitches when they travel to India, and he would be "disappointed" if the curators do not dish out green seaming tracks for the two Tests in Auckland and Wellington.
"We'll back our seamers over anyone's at the moment," Hesson said, while emphasising New Zealand's pitch preferences following a Test in Hamilton against West Indies where the surface was rather dry and spin-friendly. "We know these conditions as a batting group. Our batsmen bat on conditions that nip around in first-class cricket so they're used to it and it can expose your technique if you're not.
"I think everyone's aware of the type of surface that we'd like. We've been in India before and they've changed the pitch the day before a game because it wasn't quite as dry as they would like. We certainly don't get any favours when we travel, so I'd be disappointed if we provide any at home."
India play New Zealand in two Tests at Eden Park and Basin Reserve between February 6 and 18, following a five-match ODI series in January.
On their last tour of New Zealand, in 2009, India won the three-Test series 1-0, registering victory in Hamilton with offspinner Harbhajan Singh taking a second-innings six-for. However, the previous time they visited New Zealand, in 2002, they were presented with tracks that were hardly distinguishable from the lush outfields in Wellington and Hamilton, and failed to score more than 161 in four innings.
The Eden Park track, a drop-in pitch, generally offers good carry but isn't a green seamer. Hesson said he was hopeful the ground's new curator, Blair Christiansen, could deliver such a track though. "They're a pretty skilful group up there, they know exactly what needs to be done," he said.