Mohali: India and Australia were favourites to lift the ICC World T20. However, the manner in which New Zealand demolished the Indians in Nagpur and Australia in Dharamsala, the Kiwis have definitely upped their stakes in the tournament.
Apart from reading the pitches perfectly, a major change in their attitude, has worked wonderfully for Kane Williamson & Co.
"We picked a squad to suit all conditions. Perhaps in the past, we have tried to play the New Zealand way in the subcontinent. But in this tournament, though we have played just two games, we have adapted a lot better than perhaps we have in the past," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson told reporters on the eve of their clash against Pakistan yesterday.
For an accurate reading of the surface, Hesson doesn't just rely on the groundsman. "We were told by the groundsman in Nagpur that the pitch is hard, fast with lot of bounce, but it's important to make your own assessment. You should make your own judgment based on what you see. We look at a lot of footage and stats, and talk to a lot of people, but then ultimately you look at the surface and make your own assessment. Thankfully, we have a lot of players who have played in the IPL (Indian Premier League). So, we gather all the information we can and pick up a team that suits the conditions as well as the opposition," said Hesson.
New Zealand's form and balance is another factor that has made them the team to beat here. And coach Hesson is wary off this. "We quite like to go under the radar. It's quite a modest group… guys just about their job. We don't want to go far ahead of ourselves. We have done pretty well in two games against some good sides, but it doesn't guarantee we are going to play well next time. So, it's important we train hard today and prepare as well as we can," said Hesson.