London: New Zealand coach Shane Jurgensen said Rishabh Pant’s match-turning ability is rare and said they are wary of the wicketkeeper-batsman’s impact in the middle-order.
Pant’s ability to score quickly in Test cricket boosts India’s chances in the World Test Championship final vs New Zealand, starting June 18 in Southampton.
“Well, Pant is an extremely dangerous player who can change the game on its head. We saw how well he did it against Australia and England. He’s extremely positive-minded, but with that comes potentially the opportunity to take his wicket,” Jurgensen told The Telegraph.
“Our bowlers need to execute well, stay calm and make it as difficult as possible for Pant to score runs. He’s certainly a free-flowing batsman and a tough one to stop, which we should keep in mind,” he added.
New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult, who will open bowling against India in World Test Championship (WTC) final next month, ended his managed isolation in New Zealand after returning from Indian Premier League (IPL) and will bowl for a week in Mount Maunganui before departing for England to join teammates. New Zealand play two Tests against England followed by WTC final in a space of three weeks.
Boult, who opted to go to New Zealand from India and not travel to Maldives like Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson did, will miss the first Test against England on June 2 but will play the second Test beginning June 10. His absence will provide an opportunity to left-armer Neil Wagner to play alongside Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson.
“One of the things that I’ve been doing since we’ve been restricted to our rooms for these first few days is planning out each bowler’s preparation,” Jurgensen told reporters.
“With Trent, he’s been bowling away in isolation, albeit in his hotel room – I’ve received the odd Snapchat of him bowling, so he has been – then he’s going to go to Bay Oval (Mount Maunganui) under the marquee there and have a few overs specifically in terms of preparing for Test cricket, and then he’ll be over here,” Jurgensen added.
Boult is one of two left-arm pacers in New Zealand squad with Wagner being the other.
Doug Bracewell and Matt Henry are other two specialist pace bowling options with New Zealand.