Search

Coach Hesson heaps praise on debutants

Christchurch(Online): New Zealand’s first Test against Pakistan was more than just about the pacemen across sides that made merry on a green Christchurch surface.
It was more about two debutants that notched up performances for the hosts that ultimately proved to be match-winning. After the first day was washed out due to rain, the onus lay on the teams to make the most of the conditions and game time available in order to eke out a result.
New Zealand, however, were the more fortunate of the two sides that had their debutants keep them in front right from the onset. Led by Colin de Grandhomme, who was a self-professed batsman more than a bowler, returned 7 for 64.
He found himself a place in the side after knocks of an unbeaten 144 off 147 balls in a first-class match on November 1, after being in the purview of the selectors for years. His crucial 29 helped New Zealand take a crucial 67-run lead in the first innings.
“Colin has been a talented player for a long time, but we’ve sort of been waiting for something to click – for him to show that he’s worked out how to play at first-class level first,” Hesson said on Monday (November 21).
“In the last six months, we’ve seen some good signs of that, with bat and ball. It was just a matter of time really, whether it be short-form or long-form. He needed to work out his own game plan. People do mature at different stages. In this instance, Colin is probably slightly a late maturer, but he’s got plenty of years left in him.
“No one thought Colin was playing a couple of days out,” Hesson said. “But he was presented with a surface that suited his skill set. He’s been doing that in first-class cricket for years, on that type of wicket. We’ve got scouts and selectors all around the country who watch a lot of cricket.”
De Grandhomme, 30-year-old, put New Zealand in control after triggering a collapse of sorts in the first innings that helped New Zealand skittle Pakistan for 133, and then stay ahead in the game, which Jeet Raval, the debutant opener contributed vastly towards as well.
Raval held one end while wickets tumbled at the other end in the first innings en route a determined half-century.
Aggregating 91 in a game that saw New Zealand score 308 runs and top-scoring for his side, was validation that he belonged in the arena of Test cricket having averaged over 40 in the seven of the last eight first-class seasons.
“For Jeet to make his debut in conditions like this where he’s performed in over the last few years, was great,” Hesson said. “I thought his decision-making throughout was exceptional, especially around whether to leave or to defend. He stuck to his game plan – he’s very disciplined and knows what that is. He was challenged over, and around the wicket.
He was tested with short balls and swing. He stood up to all of them. I thought against Yasir Shah, he showed he could come down the wicket, pick off his pads, and lap. He never went outside his plan even when he was challenged, which is a great sign.”
Pakistan have never been defeated by New Zealand in a Test series since 1985, and with a 1-0 lead, this is New Zealand’s best chance to alter that in Hamilton.
“We’ve had a lot of series recently where if you do this, or if you do that, you could create something. We’ll wait and see. We’ve got to enjoy the last three days which have been an incredibly good performance. We’ll enjoy and suck that up for a little bit. When we get to Hamilton, we’ll think about Hamilton,” he added.



--!>

Two army soldiers martyred in North Waziristan

--!>