Pay back India for their wicket ways, says NZ coach

Reuters| Updated: Dec 24, 2013, 09:51 AM IST

Wellington: New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has called on the country`s curators to serve up green pitches when India tour for their two-test series in February.

New Zealand were belted 2-0 on India`s dry wickets last year and Hesson said it was only fair to prepare bouncy tracks for the Auckland and Wellington tests which might trouble the visitors` batsmen and blunt their spinners.

"I think everyone is aware of the type of surfaces we like," Hesson said in comments published by New Zealand media on Tuesday.

"We`ve been in India before and they`ve changed the pitch the day before a game because it wasn`t as dry as they`d like. We certainly don`t get any favours when we travel overseas, so I`d be disappointed if we provide any at home."

New Zealand have not beaten India in a test series since their 2-0 win in 2002-03, when the visitors` star-studded batting lineup, which included Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, crumbled on two fast, green pitches presented at Wellington`s Basin Reserve and Seddon Park in Hamilton.

In the next home series in 2008-09, New Zealand`s curators were slammed for preparing more docile pitches as the hosts lost 1-0.

New Zealand thrashed West Indies 2-0 in their recent three-test series, with their seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee taking most of the wickets, and Hesson backed the pair to prosper against India on Eden Park`s drop-in wicket and at the pace-friendly Basin Reserve.

"We`ll back our seamers over anyone`s at the moment, to be fair," he said. "We know they`ve got good seamers who will challenge us, but we back our seamers to put any order under pressure."

The first test begins on February 6 at Eden Park, with the second starting in Wellington on February 14.