New Zealand vs Australia 2016: Kiwi coach calls for a greener top in second test
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is hoping the Hagley Oval pitch for the second test against Australia will pose a challenge for the batsmen from both sides after the green Basin Reserve wicket eased out by the end of the first day of the opening test.
Australia captain Steve Smith had little hesitation in putting New Zealand in to bat after winning the toss in the first test that started last Friday in Wellington.
The hosts essentially lost the match in the first hour as Australia exploited the seamer-friendly conditions and crashed to 51 for five inside 12 overs. They were eventually skittled out for 183.
The pitch, however, browned off quickly and while Australia went through some tough periods, the ball did little off the wicket from the second day as they built up a massive 562 with Adam Voges scoring a double century.
Australia won the match by an innings and 52 runs on Monday.
Australian batsmen were not tested by New Zealand’s attack
"I would have liked this to have been much greener than it was. It only seamed for two hours and that meant that both sides weren't able to be exposed in those conditions," Hesson told reporters in Wellington on Tuesday.
"It's a bit different when it seams for two hours, it makes the toss a little bit more important.
"I think if you're good enough to make the most of it you can be exposed. Ideally you'd like both sides to have a bit of a crack at it when it does seam."
New Zealand's top seven batsmen in the first innings at the Basin Reserve fell to catches behind the wicket, indicating how disciplined the Australians were with their lines and their ability to get the ball to do just enough off the surface.
In New Zealand's second innings, they were able to get the older ball to reverse swing.
Australia's batsmen had issues with the moving ball against England last year, but they were not tested to the same extent by New Zealand's pace attack, who were also tight but did not get the same assistance from the pitch or through the air.
"We haven't been able to expose them on those surfaces because we haven't moved the ball," Hesson said.
"Even this test match we weren't able to move the ball off the straight whether that be in the air or off the wicket and that's something we're going to have to work on in the coming days."
The second test starts on February 20 in Christchurch.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)