Black Caps look to keep up winning ways

New Zealand

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, has laid down a challenge to his players to keep their run of form away from home going.

Hesson wants to guide the Black Caps into Test cricket's elite, and knows the only way to do that is to consistently win on the road.

Speaking after the 2-0 series win in Zimbabwe, Hesson said: "We know we will only be judged a decent team once we start to do well away from home,

"We won in West Indies and Sri Lanka, and we are getting better. We were challenged here in Zimbabwe with both bat and ball and India are going to challenge us in a few months' time."

The coach is aware that  when on the road the conditions can often be harder to overcome than the opposition, and time has to be spent on adjusting the way you play and the balance of your team.

Skipper Kane Williamson spoke of those challenges saying: "Any time you tour away from home, the conditions are so diverse that the challenge is not just playing a different nation, it's having to make big adjustments to your game and your approach as a team,

"Those are challenges that are unique to the international game and something every side finds difficult. It's a leveler as well because everyone is most used to their home conditions. So when you go away you have to adapt as quickly as you can and it's not an easy thing."

Hesson is looking to his senior players to impart knowledge of the conditions to the younger members of the squad.

The coach continued: "We've got enough experience in the group that players can talk about it,

"When we train, we train with a purpose. We've got a group of players that share ideas and learn from each other."

Hesson was full of praise for Ross Taylor who went unbeaten throughout the series against Zimbabwe, adding: "He is in an excellent space. A very calm space and technically, he is playing nicely,

"He is training very well and is just making good decision after good decision."

The coach was thrilled with the way Neil Wagner stepped up against Zimbabwe, keeping Doug Bracewell out of the team: "Doug is competing with Neil Wagner. With Neil's ability to reverse the ball, that's a role we wanted. We thought Neil was the right one to go with and he had a very good first Test, so he got a second."

The Tests against South Africa will break new ground, being played at the tail-end of the South African winter and conditions could be different to what New Zealand had previously experienced.