Mike Hesson mighty pleased with New Zealand victory

Mike Hesson mighty pleased with New Zealand victory

Mike Hesson
New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson. (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has praised his side following the ‘complete overall performance’ from the Black Caps in the first Test against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo. Playing in their first Test match in the calendar year, New Zealand thrashed a hapless Zimbabwe unit by an innings and 117 runs, making it one of their biggest Test victories overseas.

Neil Wagner was the star of the show as he claimed his career best figures of 6-41 in the first innings using a barrage of short-pitched deliveries. Hesson stated that Wagner’s amazing bowling prowess has been a work in progress for the last three to four years.

“When he came up three or four years ago he was excited and keen to make an impression. He probably didn’t stick to his gameplan for too long but he’s a lot more experienced now and he’s certainly got the confidence of the captain,” Hesson said. “He’s able to change his game, as we saw. He can swing the new ball if he’s given it. He can certainly reverse the old one and we know he can bowl bumpers. Especially on unresponsive surfaces, he’s a good bowler.”

Speaking about the performance from wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling, Hesson added that the latter was one of the few players in the side with an adaptable technique. “He is incredibly perceptive. He is one of the few players that can adapt technique mid-game,” Hesson said. “He makes subtle changes to his grip. He is a very talented and very hard-working cricketer.”

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“His keeping in very tough conditions, in the subcontinent, in England, has been exceptional for us. He often bats with the tail and he has an ability to eke out as many runs as possible. We’re not going to trade him for anyone,” Hesson said.

We talked about playing the long game. We did that. We also showed how important the new ball was. We can be a little bit impatient with the ball at times but I am clutching to find some work on. Beforehand, we said 20 wickets would be tough to take so we’re pleased that we did it.”

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“These two series are a chance for us as a group to gain some of the ground that we lost a few months ago against Australia,” Hesson said. “We had gone eight series without a loss before we faced them at home and away. Before that, we had gained a lot of ground and then we lost some.”