New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen hinted that skipper and prolific batsman Kane Willamson will play the third Test, which they need to win to salvage some pride.
Williamson did well in the Kanpur Test with scores of 75 and 25 but he missed the second Test in Kolkata due to illness.
“It’s looking positive. Final confirmation on that will probably be tomorrow. We trained today and he did some batting and had a decent hit and a run-around. We will have another look at him tomorrow but it looks positive,” Jurgensen said at a press conference.
Jugensen was also optimistic about Jimmy Neesham, who missed the first two Tests due to rib injury.
“His ribs have settled down nicely. He has got through quite a few overs in the last week and had an extra bowl the day after the game and another bowl today. He got through five or six overs today no problems,” he said.
Asked if they will adopt a different strategy against Indian lower order, which has fetched a lot of crucial runs for the hosts in the series, Jurgensens said they need to try out new things.
“It is certainly an area where the Indian team has been on the improve is that all those guys can bat. I’ve got to look at areas of their weaknesses. Looking at old footage from the past few years they have certainly improved. Ravindra Jadeja is a dangerous player. It is something that tactically we might make some changes around the way we approach that with field placements. It is just taking away what the opposition is comfortable in doing,” he said.
Jurgensen also said they are keeping a close watch on the strip for the match.
“We had a brief look at the pitch but it can change a lot in the next 24 hours. We’ll have another look at it tomorrow. It is something we normally we are used to seeing in India but with this rain around we’ll keep a close on [the pitch] over the next 24 hours.”
Jurgensen said he was “pleased how their bowlers have gone, particularly in the second innings.”
“I think we bowled at the times when it was the hottest and most humid, the intensity the guys brought in the second innings and to take 20 wickets and get ourselves in the game and give us an opportunity was fantastic,” he said.
The coach also noted that Indian bowlers have been improving consistently.
“One area I’ve been observing is the Indian bowlers are very accurate, they have developed a lot in that area. They put a lot of pressure on and use subtle variations. Ravindra Jadeja has improved a lot, and they know the conditions very well and they manipulate it to suit.”
“There has been a lot of positives out of the first Test and that is what we are focussing on. Teams have come here previously and it is hard work for all nations. It’s a very unique and challenging place to play and a very special place to play. We’ve got one test to go and right now that is the most important. We’ve got a lot to play for.”
The Kiwis were pleased with the warm welcome accorded to them in Indore.
“It is unbelievable. Our arrival last night the streets were lined with people. It’s very exciting to see the reception we have had and even training today they’re clapping wickets and fours and sixes. It is going to be a pretty loud test match I think so it is actually good training for us. We welcome them to come to training because I think that is going to be the next five days,” he said.