Free Press Journal

We won’t sledge against Australia: NZ coach Hesson


Auckland: New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson insisted his side is not going to sledge to unsettle Australia in their Pool A World Cup encounter here Saturday.

The high-voltage clash is expected to be full of words and engaging contests. But Hesson said they will be focussing only on their job to win at the Eden Park and not concentrate on hurling verbal abuses at their opponents.

“We deal with plenty of sides that provide that (on-field sledging) and we just tend to go about our work. We don’t get too caught up in that sort of stuff,” Hesson was quoted as saying by the Cricket Australia website.

“We’re pretty respectful of our opposition and we’re competitive, but we pretty much focus on our own job. We don’t have a rule (against sledging). But as I said we’re just respectful of our opposition. We basically focus on what we’re trying to do rather than anything else.”

Asked about facing the Australian quicks Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc on a lively Eden Park wicket Hesson added, “They bowl 150 (kph), there’s plenty of guys that bowl 150. We face (NZ pacer) Adam Milne every day – he bowls 150 and we cope with that OK.”

“Every side we play has got some different challenges and Australia have obviously got some guys that bowl some good gas, as do we. So it should be a good challenge.”

He, however, remain tight-lipped when questioned who would be going into the match as favourites.

“Our guys can read and they read the paper sometimes – some of them more than others – but we’re a pretty grounded group,” Hesson flat-batted.