India vs New Zealand: ‘Can’t take anything for granted’ - Former Kiwi coach makes prediction for India-New Zealand Test series
Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson believes that the Indian team under Virat Kohli have the perfect bowling attack to be successful in Test cricket, even away from home. As per Hesson, the Indian batting has also improved when facing the pacers in foreign conditions. “India are far better side now at present and they are improving all the time. Their bowling attack now suits all conditions around the world because their bowlers, pacers and spinners, are so good. That’s something they haven’t always had,” Hesson told PTI in an interview. “And their batsmen’s ability to play pace bowling has also got better the more they have toured. So this group of players is an exceptionally talented group. This series’ win will help them (for the World Cup in Australia later this year).”
While Hesson believes India will be the favourites in the ODI series, New Zealand will offer a sterner test in the 2-match Test series which will round off the tour.
“India will have an expectation of winning this Test series. But New Zealand is a very tough place to come and win Test matches. You cannot take anything for granted and I am sure India won’t,” said Hesson.
“New Zealand know these conditions well. From a Test bowling point of view, if there is something in the surface, likes of Tim Southee will exploit it and Trent Boult should be back as well. Neil Wagner asks different questions too, so I am really looking forward to it,” he further added.
India created history as they blanked New Zealand 5-0 in the just-concluded series and for captain Virat Kohli, the biggest takeaway was the attitude of the players.
“All of us are really proud of the way we’ve played this series. I think the conversation we had was to always look to find ways to win. When it comes out, it feels nice. You don’t want to see what happened to Rohit, but there were all these young guys playing well and handling the pressure. That gives me a lot of pleasure watching from the outside and they will take this momentum going forward for many years. Basically it is all about laying the vision in front of the boys, the way you think, prepare. The guys are taking notice of it and they realize that the team needs 120% from them every time. Because only then you will find ways to win. That has been a massive change for us in the last two-three years,” Kohli said at the end of the match.