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Both teams evenly matched: Hesson

A coach's responsibility is to make sure that a team just focuses on the task at hand at times of controversies, says New Zealand coach Mike Hesson

Both teams evenly matched: Hesson - Cricket News
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson.
Mike, is everyone fit for selection tomorrow?
They are at this stage. I think Tim is probably unlikely, but still, we haven't ruled him out. Grant Elliot is making good progress, so he's a pretty decent chance tomorrow.
 
Mike, what have you made of the ball tampering row that's occurred with the England team, and have you observed any such behavior over the course of this tournament and beyond that?
No, not at all. Before every tour we obviously meet with the match officials and they've made it very clear that they'll inspect balls on a regular basis like they do at every international, and if they think the ball has gone out of shape or something has happened to the ball, then they'll change it. They've made that very clear, and I'm sure they'll continue to do so.
 
But it’s certainly not an issue as far as I'm concerned.
 
Have you been surprised by the way the ball has reversed in previous ODIs when you've played England?
Not really, no. We played them in New Zealand on very abrasive surfaces. The squares are pretty abrasive, so there's always going to be an element of reverse. I think most international bowlers are pretty adept at getting the ball to move off the straight and that’s a big part of their skill, and since we've been over here the grounds we've played at, since the one‑dayers started it's been pretty dry. Prior to that it wasn't, but usually once it's dry the square becomes a real option, in terms of just scuffing the ball up. It does tail, and that’s something that all bowlers have got to use.
 
Are you quite happy that England achieved reverse swing by legitimate means?
I've got no idea how they achieved reverse swing. That's not my responsibility. Obviously the umpire is there to do a job and if they think something is done out of the ordinary then they'll deal with it. But from what I understand the other day they changed the ball because it was out of shape. That's the only thing I've heard.
 
New Zealand have had the better of England recently, so do you think that New Zealand will enter the contest on a higher ground?
Oh, I think that's a pretty small sample. We've played them six times in the last three or four months and it’s 3‑all, so we've had some pretty good contests. It's been a bit of a ding‑dong sort of a scuffle with the white ball, and I think both sides will enter tomorrow with a degree of trepidation. It's a tough contest, it’s a quarter-final. It's a big game, and I think we're very evenly matched, so very much looking forward to it.
 
Mike, do you take any psychological advantage going into this having beaten them in the one‑day series?
Oh, I think you gain a lot of confidence from the fact that we've won three of the last four games over here, the completed games. We're pretty confident in the way we go about things. But in terms of confidence or in terms of having the edge over the opposition, let's wait and see.
 
Just getting back to Tim, if he doesn't play tomorrow, what are you confidence levels that he will play in the semi-finals if you make it?
Yeah, very confident. I think if we were to rest Tim tomorrow, I'd be very confident that if we were able to make it through that Tim would be able to play a full part.
 
And Bracewell or Butler would replace him; have you decided?
We haven't decided until we look at the wicket tomorrow. We'll have to look at our options then.
 
Mike, you've played here obviously, had a really tight game against Sri Lanka but you haven't looked at the wicket. What are you sort of expecting in terms of a game in terms of what you might need for this one?
There were only 60 overs bowled yesterday, so even though it'll be a used wicket it should be pretty much at its best. We've only played on used wickets so far. So cutters and cross‑seamers tend to be a reasonable option on these sort of surfaces and obviously taking pace off the ball is another, another way of creating pressure. I think it'll be a good surface.

Martin Guptill, he’s been really impressive against England recently, so I imagine you'd love to have him continue his run against them?
Yeah, we should, we sure do. Martin is in good form. He's feeling confident, striking the ball very cleanly. Let's hope he gets a start tomorrow, and if he does, we know what he's capable of.
 
Can I just ask from a team point of view, obviously England have been around some controversy during this tournament. There's the Warner episode and now there's this. Is it -- when you're a team is it easy to kind of put those kind of headlines out of your mind? Is it very easy to get your cricket head back on do you think?
Well, I think it's easy to say that players don't read the newspapers or look on the internet, but I think we know that's not true. So I think whenever things like this occur it does create a distraction. I guess you've got to focus on ‑‑ every coach's responsibility is making sure the team just focus on the task at hand, and that's certainly what we're going to look to do.
 

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