New Zealand head coach Gary Stead believes the upcoming series against India shortly after the ICC T20 World Cup will be mentally taxing for the Kiwi cricketers.
The Black Caps are scheduled to play the first of the three-match T20I series against India just three days after the T20 World Cup final against Australia in Dubai, a game they lost by eight wickets.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Gary Stead revealed that Test-bound Kiwi players are already in India preparing for the two-match Test series, which will mark their beginning in the second cycle of the World Test Championship.
The 49-year-old coach said:
“It’s the first time that I can remember that we’re so quickly into another series immediately at the back-end of the T20 World Cup. It’s definitely tough and challenging but it is what is in front of us.
“We’ve got nine-ten guys in India already, who are preparing for those Test matches, and hopefully we can get up and have a really great performance against India.”
New Zealand players have been in bubbles for quite some time now. As many as 10 cricketers were part of the second phase of IPL 2021, while the others were in the UAE for an extended period of time after the series against Pakistan was called off citing security reasons.
Gary Stead will also have to take a call on their captain Kane Williamson, who has been playing continuous cricket.
He has been managing an elbow injury for a couple of months and complained during the warm-up matches leading to the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
“He is pretty close” – Gary Stead on Lockie Ferguson‘s injury
The Black Caps are also still sweating over Lockie Ferguson’s fitness status. The fast bowler suffered a calf tear hours before New Zealand’s T20 World Cup 2021 opener, which ruled him out of the tournament.
Stead is hopeful that Ferguson will be available for selection at some point in the series against India.
“In terms of Lockie, I think he is pretty close. We will just make sure we get over there, travel okay and there’s no issues like seizing up on the flight or anything like that. But I’d expect that he’s going to be available for selection, which will be fantastic,” Gary Stead concluded.
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Lockie Ferguson has resumed bowling in the nets and has been training with the team physio in the UAE.