Australia-New Zealand series

'We got that wrong': NZ coach admits first Test mistakes

Online Desk

Online Desk
Publish Date: 12:24 Monday, March 4, 2024

|| CF DESK ||

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said Monday he had misjudged the first Test wicket and regretted leaving out spinner Mitchell Santner after his side's heavy defeat to Australia.

New Zealand were thumped by 172 runs at Basin Reserve in Wellington after winning the toss and asking Australia to bat on a green wicket that produced bounce and spin.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took 10 wickets in the match while New Zealand had to rely on part-time slow bowlers Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips, who took six between them.

"If we knew it was going to bounce, then Santner would have played, so yeah we got that wrong," Stead told reporters in Wellington.

"It was a tricky wicket. It spun and bounced a lot more than what we were expecting," he said of New Zealand's decision to go in with four seamers.

"I put our hand up to that. It's not what we have seen from the Basin Reserve in the past either. That played into Nathan Lyon's hands."

Stead said Santner could be recalled for the second and final Test depending on the wicket in Christchurch.

"He's the guy we have trust in. He is certainly an option," Stead added.

Uncapped pace bowler Ben Sears has been called up to replace Will O'Rourke, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

New Zealand are chasing a first Test win over Australia since 2011.

"That is what we are here for. There is still a lot of belief in the team," Stead said.

"I thought the way we competed in the second innings was strong, we put Australia under pressure at different times.

"We will go to Christchurch believing we can win."