New Zealand coach Mike Hesson spoke about how his side will continue with testing the Indians on the backfoot in the Tests and why his team will be wary of India’s reinforcements for the Test series — Zaheer Khan and Cheteshwar Pujara. Excerpts:
On the short ball
Yeah, (if) conditions allow, absolutely (continue with the short ball tactic in Tests too). It is the ability to push guys back and then bowl their natural length, 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… the way we forced West Indies back and took them out, that is something we will look to continue.
On Zaheer & Pujara
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Zaheer and Pujara are extremely well performed players. Pujara especially, in the last couple of years when we played against him while we were in India a year, a year-and-a-half ago. He was in his infancy then. Today, he looks a high quality player and obviously his record suggests that. Zaheer obviously has been out for a while but he is quite a crafty character especially in conditions that suit him. So it will be a challenge for us.
On Indian pace attack
The Indian seamers are good bowlers, especially if there is a little bit in the wicket. We have got to prepare accordingly, and obviously it will be a change in format so we need to make that shift quickly. Our openers in the Tests are coming off some domestic form, so hopefully they can set the tone for us.
On NZ’s progress
In Bangladesh, we had a different group of players. The Sri Lanka tour afterwards was really important for us as we introduced a number of new guys there, who did well. We won our first game in a long, long time and that we did with a lot of inexperienced guys. Some of them are playing today, some aren’t. When we got our full squad back we just saw how good we can be.