India captain Virat Kohli’s tally of 218 runs in 11 innings in New Zealand was the lowest he had managed in a single tour despite playing all three formats (ODIs, T20Is and Tests). Despite an ordinary run of form in the Kiwi land, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has thrown his weight behind the world’s second-ranked Test batsman Kohli and said the opposition players didn’t get any time to adjust to the challenging conditions. Also Read - WTC Final | Virat Kohli's Captaincy Was Spot-On During First Session on Day 5: Nasser Hussain
Hesson also feels the top-ranked India was probably the best equipped team to have played a Test series in New Zealand in recent years even though they ended up losing 2-0. India were completely outplayed by the Kiwis, losing the first Test by 10 wickets and the second by seven. But the former Kiwi coach begs to differ and feels that the conditions were tough. Also Read - VIDEO: Rohit Sharma's Hilarious Reaction to Virat Kohli During WTC Final at Southampton is a Must Watch
“I thought India are probably be the best equipped to have travelled to New Zealand, but the conditions were challenging,” Hesson told the Mumbai Mirror. “They weren’t ridiculous in any means, and they were challenging in both games (in the two Tests which India lost).” Also Read - IND vs NZ: Kevin Pietersen Takes Dig at ICC Over Scheduling of WTC Final in Southampton, Suggests Another Venue For 'Incredibly Important Match'
India had batted first in both Tests and Hesson said that was an important factor as conditions got better as the matches wore on.
“The New Zealand conditions were challenging for everybody, especially in the first innings. Things certainly got easy later on. The first innings was challenging for anyone coming from overseas,” he said.
Hardly any Indian batsman made a mark in the series, including the likes of Kohli, Pujara and Rahane.
“When the ball seams, there is very little time to adjust. You need time to adjust your technique. He certainly was not the only one (to have struggled). Also, New Zealand’s plans for Virat were exceptional. New Zealand have had the best of attacks for a long time and they challenged the Indians,” he said.
The 45-year-old Hesson is currently holed up in an apartment in Bengaluru. He was set to coach Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League but the season is under a cloud of uncertainty due to its postponement to April 15 and the subsequent three-week lockdown imposed by the Indian government.
The whole cricket calendar has grinded to a halt as well and Hesson feels that this will affect the game financially. “No business model of a sport can survive without income coming in. It will be a huge challenge to every nation around the world on how they are going to deal with this period of uncertainty. The world is dealing with things far more important than sports at the moment. But once we get to the other side, it will be a challenge,” he said.
(With Agency Inputs)