Hamilton: New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has called on the country’s curators to serve up green pitches when India tour for their two-Test series in February.
New Zealand were belted 2-0 on India’s dry wickets last year and Hesson said it was only fair to prepare bouncy tracks for the Auckland and Wellington Tests which might trouble the visitors’ batsmen and blunt their spinners.
“I think everyone is aware of the type of surfaces we like,” Hesson said in comments published by New Zealand media on Tuesday.
“We’ve been in India before and they’ve changed the pitch the day before a game, because it wasn’t as dry as they’d like. We certainly don’t get any favours when we travel overseas, so I’d be disappointed if we provide any at home.”
While Hesson believes that fast pitches may unsettle the Indian batsmen, it is interesting to note that the Virat Kohlis and the Cheteshwar Pujaras performed outstandingly on a bouncy track at the Wanderers against the South African side, with a top-class pace attack comprising of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.
New Zealand have not beaten India in a Test series since their 2-0 win in 2002-03, when the visitors’ star-studded batting line-up, which included Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, crumbled on two fast, green pitches presented at Wellington.
In the next home series in 2008-09, New Zealand’s curators were slammed for preparing more docile pitches as the hosts lost 0-1.
New Zealand thrashed West Indies 2-0 in their recent three-Test series, with their seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee taking most of the wickets, and Hesson backed the pair to prosper against India on Eden Park’s drop-in wicket and at the pace-friendly Basin Reserve.