Whangarei: The Indian batting frailties against short-pitched bowling stood exposed in the ODI series and New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said the Kiwis will continue with the tactic even in the upcoming Test series starting February 6.
The Kiwi bowlers sent down some short stuff, aided by the longer square boundaries, as the Indian batsmen fell to their habit of compulsive pulling in the five-match ODI series which the hosts won 4-0. Hesson said the tactic would be re-used in the two-match Test series.
"Yes, if conditions allow, then absolutely, we will deploy it," agreed Hesson. "It is the ability to push guys back and then bowl their natural length, 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," he said.
"I think we showed that at the Basin Reserve the last time we played, and the way we forced the West Indies back and got them out, that is something that we will look to continue against India as well," he added. As India prepare to start the Test leg of their tour with a two-day tour game here, Hesson said the Black Caps certainly have a spring in their step post the ODI triumph.
"There is definitely some confidence within the group that we can compete with these guys and India are a good side. But we know it is a different format. We will have a few new faces but we will certainly take some confidence into the series after the ODI series win," said Hesson.
"Even in our wildest dreams we didn't think we would win 4-0 against such a quality side. It all went very well as planned but you need quality players to have executed those plans. Players understanding their roles and training for those roles specifically and going out under pressure and being able to execute those plans was the key to our success," he added.
India were soundly out-classed in all departments throughout the series, while tying one game in Auckland. The Men in Blue are yet to win a game on the tour. "Even after the tie, we played pretty well. You have to give credit to the way R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja played that day. But we never felt there was a shift in momentum and we always felt we were playing pretty good cricket," he explained.
"Then, we backed it up in Hamilton on a tough wicket for us against a sub-continent side and that was exceptional. Some people considered it to be a dead rubber (the last game in Wellington) but we certainly didn't. We prepared well for it and were focused today," said the happy coach after the white-wash.
Even so, India will be hoping for a chance as they have reinforcements coming in, as Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav and Wriddhiman Saha join the squad. It was a turning point for them in South Africa earlier and Hesson is wary of the threat these new players pose in the longer format.
"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," he said.