Johannesburg: New Zealand cricket team coach Mike Hesson has warned his team that they need to be at their best to compete on a flat Sharjah pitch where they meet Pakistan in the third and final Test that starts from Wednesday.
New Zealand is looking for a series-levelling win after losing the first Test in Abu Dhabi by 248 runs and drawing the second in Dubai. And Hesson has warned that a flat and grass-less Sharjah pitch would be tough.
Hesson said that in the other two pitches they could see grass but not in Sharjah, claiming that this looks a bit different. He added that Sharjah traditionally is lower and skiddier and slows up as the game goes on, so he admitted that he doesn't expect this wicket to be any different, Sport24 reported.
Of the drawn three-day game before the Test series, he said that the warm up game they had played there had lot more grass on it, adding that they have to play very well to be able to compete in these conditions.
Sharjah cricket stadium has been a happy hunting ground for Pakistan since 1980s when they dominated ODIs there. They chased down a tough 302-run target here to win a Test against Sri Lanka in January this year.
Hesson admitted winning the toss would be an advantage after team calling correctly dictated terms in the first two Tests. He said that the toss does gives great advantage, no doubt about it.
The coach said that he believes being able to bat first and third rather than second and fourth has advantages in this part of the world.
But, Hesson added that it does not mean one is out of the game, only thing is that it makes it a bit harder.