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