Hesson: Expectations are high now

New Zealand

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson isn't sure if the rise in pressure his side faces is a good or a bad thing, as they now have to face the prospect of being more than the underdogs for the Tests against England.

The Black Caps have been ding very well in all areas over the past 18 months, with a string of undefeated Test series in 2014 and a World Cup final this year. Suddenly their fans are expecting them to win every game, a new feeling for the side.

Hesson said at Lord's ahead of their tour match against Somerset this week: "There's definitely expectation, which we probably haven't had a lot of.

"We found that out in the World Cup – if we won a game, if we didn't win it well we got criticism, whereas in the past we were just happy winning.

"There's a growing expectation that has happened over the past couple of years, we've got more following at home and an expectation that we perform over here.

"For 18 months we've played good cricket, six series in a row Test-wise … We're a developing side but we manage to play good cricket.

"The country have got behind us in all forms of cricket, we've ridden the wave really, the public support has been amazing."

Hesson was not eager to engage in verbal jousting or mind games, saying he would rather be boring and keep expectations low, even though they are hopeful of winning a first Test series in the UK since 1999.

He added: "It would be another step forward. We've won four Test matches here in our history so to win a series would be huge. We never get too far ahead of ourselves, we're pretty boring in that respect, just deal with the next day and do it as best we can. We've got a pretty well grounded group.

"It's just another stepping stone, really, for us. We've had some really good achievements away from home, winning in England… Well, let's start at Lord's, winning at Lord's is a huge thing.

"In 1999 the guys that were part of that, it was a big part of their careers. We've got a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks to prepare us for that first day."

The coach went on to say that he hadn't paid much attention to England's misfortunes in the West Indies, and isn't too bothered about the mental states. His lads will be looking to focus on their own games.

He said: "Haven't paid a heck of a lot of attention, to be fair, we've been worrying about our own backyard. We've scouted them and we've spent a bit of time studying methods and techniques but we haven't studied their psyche."

The first Test starts on 21 May at Lord's.

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