Cricket: Sodhi gets backing from coach

By David Leggat

Debutant leg spinner Ish Sodhi got a solid endorsement from his coach Mike Hesson after his first test effort against Bangadesh in Chittagong.

The 20-year-old took three wickets on a dead strip which made life tough for bowlers and runscoring at a decent clip challenging for the batsmen.

His combined figures of 39.1-4-169-3 mightn't look flash but he produced some fine deliveries. Hesson put bouts of inaccuracy at least partly down to nerves.

"I thought he got better and better as the test went on,'' he said.

"He was nervous, but learnt a lot, and created a number of opportunities and on a surface that didn't have a lot of bounce he still hit the gloves a couple of times.''

Hesson said Sodhi had plenty of development to do `but we know he's worth investing in the future''.

The coach steered away from talk of the possible makeup for the second test, starting in Dhaka on Monday. The squad have a three-day break for two major religious festivals and have yet to see the pitch for the series decider. The break will be spent in the gym, sightseeing and scouting their opponents, Hesson said.

Hesson likes that New Zealand have options, in seam bowling and spin, where the more experienced Bruce Martin might battle to hold his spot after an ordinary outing in Chittagong.

His first two tests produced nine wickets; his last three just three.

The most successful spinner in the test, by a distance, was man of the match Sohag Gazi, who followed his maiden test century, batting at No 8, with six for 77, including a hat-trick.

"He bowled a lot of overs and for him to still be creating opportunities on day five shows he can sustain pressure,'' Hesson said.

- NZ Herald

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