Wellington: Despite being thrashed in the first Test against Australia after batting first on a green wicket, New Zealand want an even greener surface for the second Test.
New Zealand asked for a green top in Wellington, lost the toss and paid the ultimate price as the Australian bowlers exploited the seaming conditions.
It only took 48 overs to end New Zealand’s first innings, but as the pitch baked under the hot sun and flattened out, Australia batted for nearly six sessions to set up victory by an innings and 52 runs.
With the second Test starting in Christchurch on Saturday, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson would like a wicket so green it holds its seaming ability for at least two days.
It would mean that even if New Zealand lose the toss again there would still be benefits for pace spearheads Trent Boult and Tim Southee bowling second.
In the first Test in Wellington, “it only seamed for two hours and that meant both sides weren’t exposed in those conditions. That makes the toss more important,” Hesson said Tuesday. (McCullum Blames Poor Batting For Defeat)
“We were behind from the start and struggled to get back in. We were outplayed throughout.”
Hesson said the Josh Hazlewood-led Australian attack exposed New Zealand batting shortcomings against seaming good-length deliveries which the Australian top order did not have to face.
“You have to accept they put the ball in good areas and the ball seamed, so you’re going to nick it,” he said.
“That’s something we’d like to think if we were in a similar situation we’d be able to do something similar.
“Ideally you’d like both sides to have a bit of a crack at it when it does seam.”
New Zealand will continue to be without experienced batsman Ross Taylor and first-choice spinner Mitchell Santner who remain sidelined by injury and will miss the second Test.
Australia, meanwhile, are sweating on the fitness of Peter Siddle who took three for 37 in New Zealand’s first innings but only bowled eight overs in the second before suffering a back strain.
Captain Steve Smith said Siddle would be monitored over coming days to see if he will be fit enough to play on Saturday but James Pattinson, who missed the first Test was “tracking pretty well to be fit for the next Test match.”