New Zealand are prepared to face a barrage of spin when they begin their first Test series in Bangladesh in five years next week, hoping their strength in seam bowling will see them through.
“We are expecting nothing less than a tough contest,” Black Caps coach Mike Hesson told reporters late on Thursday after the tourists arrived for the two-Test series.
The last time New Zealand played Tests in Bangladesh in 2008, they won 1-0 following a three-wicket victory in Chittagong, which is also the venue of the first match starting on Wednesday.
“It was a hard-fought Test where we had to chase over 300 in the last innings, which was a tough ask,” Hesson said. “We know Bangladesh are a tough side and we are not underestimating them.”
The tourists are without injured veteran Daniel Vettori, who scored a match-winning 76 in that game, but Hesson hopes other players will make up for the absence of the inspirational all-rounder.
“We will certainly miss Daniel, but it’s up to other players to step up on this tour and fill his void,” the coach said, adding the Brendon McCullum-led side was ready for battle.
“The key to success will be our ability to strike with the new ball, the ability of our spinners to control the Bangladeshi batsman, and obviously our ability to play spin,” he said.
“Every time New Zealand teams tour the sub-continent, we face a lot of spin. Spinners are going to take a lot of wickets because they bowl 90 percent of the overs, but we are certainly improving against spin,” Hesson said. “We spent nine days in Sri Lanka before we came here and we faced a lot of spin over there. We know what we’re going to expect, nothing is going to surprise us.”
Hesson said he hoped the tourists will deliver through their seam bowlers, who were fast learning the art of reverse-swing that could play a huge role on the slow, abrasive pitches in Bangladesh.
“We’ve got some very talented young bowlers who are going to challenge the Bangladesh batsmen,” he said. “They’ve got the ability to swing the ball and reverse-swing the ball. They will certainly create some challenges.”
“We have a young side, but there is still enough experience in the group to learn from and there will certainly be a lot of sharing of ideas over the coming weeks,” Hesson said.
The second Test will be played in Dhaka from Oct. 21, followed by three one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game.