New Zealand are wary of how destructive Rishabh Pant can be and will try to make it ‘as difficult as possible’ for him to score runs during the World Test Championship final, says their bowling coach Shane Jurgensen.
"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."
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Pant already has Test centuries in England as well as Australia and his unbeaten 89 led India to a memorable series win in Brisbane earlier this year.
Jurgensen is also aware of the threat India’s well-rounded bowling attack comprising the likes of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami poses for the summit clash in Southampton next month.
"It’s a challenging bowling attack that India have. A lot of options are available for them. It’ll be a very, very stiff challenge we could face from Bumrah to Shardul (Thakur), who’s an all-rounder and has done well in Australia too. There’s Mohammed Siraj and even their spinners, who can spin it both ways. It’s a group of formidable, outstanding Test bowlers," he said.
New Zealand themselves have a highly-rated seam attack of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner, but Jurgensen is keen to see tall pacer Kyle Jamieson in action.
Jamieson made his Test debut against India in Wellington last year and took a five-for in his second match in Christchurch. He also played for Virat Kohli’s Team Bangalore in the Indian T20 League.
"Kyle has played with Virat at Bangalore and no doubt they would have exchanged some comments potentially leading into this final. So interesting times ahead. I’m sure it’s going to be great to watch Kyle. His Test career too has been outstanding so far. He has got a great opportunity to prepare really well in the lead-up to the final, beginning with the two Tests versus England."
New Zealand are scheduled to play two Tests against England at Lord’s and Edgbaston ahead of the WTC final.
Featured photo: Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP