India in New Zealand 2013-14 February 1, 2014

Short-ball test will continue - Hesson


New Zealand coach Mike Hesson warned that his side will not hesitate to use the short ball against the India batsmen in the Tests. The tactic worked effectively in the 4-0 series win in the ODIs, where many of India's batsmen repeatedly fell trying to hit bouncers.

"Yeah, [if] conditions allow, absolutely," Hesson said. "It is the ability to push guys back and then bowl their natural length [to set the batsman up], the ability to do that and obviously presenting the seam so that we can find the outside edge. That is the sort of formula that we have had for a while. I think we showed that at the Basin Reserve the last time we played, and the way we forced West Indies back and took them out, that is something we will look to continue."

Before the tour began, Hesson had said he would like to see green, seaming pitches being prepared. But as the Tests draw closer, he tempered his demand, saying the strategy could be double-edged.

"I don't think Eden Park ever looks green to be fair," Hesson said after the New Zealand Test squad was announced last week. "The drop-ins don't look green, sometimes they do more than I think. I talk with New Zealand Cricket. I don't ring groundsmen and give orders. That is not the way we operate. NZC are very clear about the type of surface we would like but with that comes risk as well as we know how good the Indian seamers are."

New Zealand's middle-order was prolific in the one-dayers and their Test line-up will also feature many of the same players. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, who put on three century partnerships in five matches, along with Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson will look to draw on the knowledge gained over the past fortnight going into the first Test on February 6.

"We had a good look at the Indian seam attack. Clearly the conditions will be a little different, especially in the first innings of the game," Hesson said. "The Indian seamers are good bowlers, especially if there is a little bit in the wicket. We have got to prepare accordingly, obviously quick change in format so we need to make that shift. Our openers are coming in off some form domestically, so hopefully they can set the tone for us."

Hesson said that even though the formats were different, New Zealand would approach the Tests with belief on the back of what they had just achieved in the ODIs. "There will definitely be some confidence within the group that we can compete with these guys and they are a good side. But we know it is a different format. A few new faces but we will certainly take some confidence into the series."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alex on February 3, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    NZs bowlers are about to radically change in the tests but for much better ones. Enter Trent Boult. His combo with Tim Southee in tests was deadly in the West Indies series. Neil Wager isn't too bad either. Plus Watling is a much better batsman than Ronchi.

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    We can only hope India does well . Still a lot will depend on Pujara and Kohli when it comes to batting . India will have a lot of questions to answer before they go into 1st Test .Can Vijay and Rahane continue the good work they did in SA? Have Dhawan and Rohit learnt anything from SA to peform better in NZ?

    Dhoni again will not try anything new but just hope things fall into place like he does in ODIs although such approach will not work in tests which require captain to be proactive and be innovative in terms of field placing . He will go in with Ishant rather than trying Umesh who seems shunned by him and will look to play Ashwin before Jadeja . He will go for a new combination only when he loses in 1st Test . Ideally he should drop Rohit and play rahane at 5 and himself at 6 with Ashwin and Jadeja to follow .Rohit as it does not look like scoring .Besides it does not weaken batting and gives him an extra bowler and give breather to quicks . He needs to try something new.

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    Would like o go with this line up.... Dhawan,murli,pujara,kohli,rahane,rohit,dhoni,jadeja,zaheer,umesh,shami... hope they fire... ALL the best India

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    I hope we do better in tests, but will have to show better discipline. Our tests batting can handle short ball better. I do not think we are still much better with short stuff, but as we saw in SA, moving out of the line of short ball or ducking, they did it in aplomb. They will score slowly, but then bowlers start tiring if you do not allow wickets and we have seen how Pujaras & Kohlis change gears. In ODI's with 2 bouncer rules, it would always take out 70-80 balls of equation that would leave us with 230-240 balls to chase 300 which our shabby bowling will always concede. Tests are different ball game. NZ bowlers as a bunch are wonderful unit, but if we could do it against SA, why not against NZ.

  • raj on February 2, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    I think India's batting is moving in the right direction by attacking the short ball - However, they need better execution. In previous tours, India chose to avoid the short ball, giving license to the opposition to pepper them at will!! The hook and pull will reduce the number of short balls they receive and also ensure that progress is not stifled in the face of short-pitched bowling. I would also like to see India playing with 3 pace bowlers and both Jadeja and Ashwin playing at the expense of Rohit. Rohit, like Ishant, shows bits of manic but he is too inconsistent, over all. India needs a team of consistent performers - not the types who are brilliant in one match and ordinary in the next 5 matches!!

  • Ashok on February 2, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    @Live N Let Live: My XI selection will at least be more logical than Dhoni's! It does not take an Einstien to select a balanced XI. But when personal favourites are above the team, the XI selection is biased. Dhoni has been guilty of it. Secondly, This is a young & inexperienced Indian team. Aaron is faster than any NZ seamer but lacks experience. At wellington he was sending them down between 145 to 150 KPH consistently! It is the duty of the Captain to guide him to be on course, rather than ignore him. That is the difference between a Captain & a good Skipper. As for taking wkts. the new bowlers ZAK & Yadev will add to the experience. In addition Pujara & Vijay will provide the stability. This is a much better side than the ODI side & proved their worth in SA Test series. Only Dhoni's poor captaincy (Playing 5 day test with 4 bowlers!) deprived India of winning the test series.As for short pitch bowling Steyn, Morkel & Philander failed in the Test series. Why will NZ succeed?

  • aniket on February 2, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    @novice rizbi... We Will see who's pulling who's pant down. FYI almost same ashes winning squad of australia was thrashed by same indian test team 4-0. Nd by thrashing i don't mean the thrashing as u pakistani say by merely winning 2-1. I mean the thrashing they are giving now to england. When we mentally borke their team. Haha u say about england pulling our pants down then surely u haven't watch champions trophy final. Where their batsman barring morgan nd bopara were proving the term ''spin chickens'' correct. As they were clueless against our spinners. Nd finally after winning odi series so easinly SA shud have thrashed us in test matches than why this indian test team gave them the toughest fight in last five years in their own country. In contrast pakistan team got all-out on 50 runs. Too bad had pakistan been playing at home they would have no. 1 in all format ryt?? Bt unfortunately they can't bt indian team is in top 2 in every format for almost 2 years now .

  • Akash on February 2, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    I fear that we can watch india winning in Jai Ho only....

  • Android on February 2, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    india should learn from Pakistan .. not played even a single match at home still ruled 2013.. most runs in Calender year Misbah .. defeated Lanka & even South Africa,India at their home...

  • Chris on February 2, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    Once again we see India unable to perform at any decent level away from home. This must frustrate their fans no end to have a team that are world beaters at home, but the laughing stock of world cricket away from home. Sure they make plenty in the IPL but their fans deserve better, if any Indian player truly wishes to be considered a talent by any fan outside India they need to show some heart, backbone for their country. They have the skill, no doubt but lack the ticker IMO. Harden up boys yours fans deserve better than to be represented by a bunch of highly paid flat track bullies.

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