New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson is urging his batsmen to have self-belief in their own games for the second test against India which begins in Bangalore today.
Down 1-0 in the two-match series after being hammered by an innings and 115 runs in the first test that wrapped up on Sunday, New Zealand's batsmen need to come to the fore if they want to compete with the Indians. During the lead up to the second test, Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor suggested his batsmen's woes were more mental than technical and Hesson said they all had the game to perform at the highest level.
"I think one of the key areas we've worked on is that players trust their game. Obviously we work on enhancing it and making it technically stronger but it's very, very important once we get in the middle that people trust that technique and have no doubt about it," Hesson said.
"We lost a number of wickets to indecision in the last match and that's certainly something we'll be looking to improve in this match."
First test totals of 159 and 164 with only one half century across both digs - courtesy of Kane Williamson's second innings 52 - were simply awful from New Zealand but Hesson denied his top order had become too comfortable with their places in the national side.
"There's certainly no comfort zone here. The players very much are their harshest critics and we were very disappointed with how things went in Hyderabad and they certainly spent the last week working extremely hard on their games to make improvements. It's certainly not through a lack of effort and as I said, they're their harshest critics."
Hesson also reiterated that despite the side's poor showing in the first test, Taylor was the man to lead New Zealand as captain.
"Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we've just had one test where we have worked together and as I said I thought Ross did a very good job in the last test and we are building that relationship and it's important for Ross that he keeps performing with the bat and he's well aware of that. He's fiercely determined to do that but he can also lead without performance, through his actions and he's certainly doing that this week."
With regards to the prospect of any team changes, Hesson said they would wait until they saw how the pitch looked on the morning of the game but there has been a case to see leg-spinner Tarun Nethula selected given how successful India's tweakers were in the first test.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed career-best figures of 12-85 as he picked up six scalps in each innings, while left-arm twirler Pragyan Ojha snagged match figures of 6-92.
The test starts at 4pm today.
- APNZBy Daniel Richardson @danrichardson21 Email Daniel