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‘Pay back India for their wicket ways’ Samuels out of Windies ODI squad

WELLINGTON, Dec 24, (Agencies): New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson has called on the country’s curators to serve up green pitches when India tour for their two-Test series in February. New Zealand were belted 2-0 on India’s dry wickets last year and Hesson said it was only fair to prepare bouncy tracks for the Auckland and Wellington Tests which might trouble the visitors’ batsmen and blunt their spinners.
“I think everyone is aware of the type of surfaces we like,” Hesson said in comments published by New Zealand media on Tuesday. “We’ve been in India before and they’ve changed the pitch the day before a game because it wasn’t as dry as they’d like. We certainly don’t get any favours when we travel overseas, so I’d be disappointed if we provide any at home.”

New Zealand have not beaten India in a Test series since their 2-0 win in 2002-03, when the visitors’ star-studded batting lineup, which included Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, crumbled on two fast, green pitches presented at Wellington’s Basin Reserve and Seddon Park in Hamilton. In the next home series in 2008-09, New Zealand’s curators were slammed for preparing more docile pitches as the hosts lost 1-0. New Zealand thrashed West Indies 2-0 in their recent three-Test series, with their seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee taking most of the wickets, and Hesson backed the pair to prosper against India on Eden Park’s drop-in wicket and at the pace-friendly Basin Reserve.

Meanwhile, an injured wrist has ruled batsman Marlon Samuels out of the West Indies one-day squad to face New Zealand, with Chadwick Walton called in as cover, team officials said Tuesday. West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson said Samuels would return home to see if surgery was required on his right wrist, in a major blow for the tourists as they look to bounce back from a 2-0 Test series defeat. “Marlon’s injury is unfortunate at such a tough time for the team, but it gives another player the opportunity to make a name for themselves in this series,” he said. Gibson said Walton, 28, who has played just two one-day internationals back in 2009, had been travelling with the team and would relish any chance he was offered.

“He has been working hard and growing as a player, and I feel confident that when his opportunity comes he will make the most of it,” the coach said. The first of five ODIs between New Zealand and the West Indies will take place at Auckland’s Eden Park on Dec 26. West Indies squad: Dwayne Bravo (capt), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Chadwick Walton.

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