Batting coach Craig McMillan has said that New Zealand must get accustomed to the spin-friendly conditions and adjust mentally and technically, for what is the likely winning score during the upcoming three-match T20I series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates.
The BlackCaps make a return to the International arena after 7 months and straightaway have to deal and adapt to the hot and humid conditions in the Emirates and so too, to the slow and low surfaces expected at Dubai and Abu Dhabi across the next six weeks for a full series of three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Tests.
In line with this, affirming enormity of the task at hands, McMillan ahead of the first T20I on Wednesday, October 31, said, "We're mixing it up, a lot of them have come from four-day, red-ball cricket, so getting back into white-ball and T20 especially [is hard]," and emphasized, "So throwing different scenarios at them, putting them under pressure, seeing how they react and how they find a way to win the game."
"There's different challenges for batsmen and bowlers in hot conditions," he stressed, "And that's one of the things the guys have to get right when they're on the field, in terms of fluid intake, making sure they've got those energy levels up, because it does sap it out of you when it's 35-40 C," before adding, "That's why it's important just to get out, get them sweating, get them working in the field, so that come Wednesday night, we're ready to rock and roll."
While they'll be against the no.1 ranked T20I side in the world, McMillian is banking on performers of various T20 leagues in the visitors' squad to give them a proper run for the money.
"We've had a lot of players playing in different franchise competitions around the world from the CPL to the IPL to the NatWest over in England," McMillan said. "So we've got a fair bit of experience. There's nothing better than playing in those competitions. We know Pakistan are a very strong side; No. 1 in the world at the moment," he reiterated, "Very hard to beat in home conditions. But we had a successful last tour here in 2014 and we've got a lot of the guys back from that trip and it's something we're looking forward to."
"Scores are a little bit lower over here in the conditions, which is something that we'll have to talk about as a team. In New Zealand and in some other countries, you're looking to score 170-180 but over here 150 has been a winning score, so we might have to tailor our game plan around that," he signed off.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)