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Hesson calls for Indian pitch protection

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/10/2016

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is reminding umpires to protect the Indore pitch after India's Ravindra Jadeja was sanctioned for causing damage to it on the second day of the third Test.

Jadeja was penalised half of his match feesby the ICC for "causing avoidable damage" while batting late in India's first innings of 557-5 declared.

New Zealand were also awarded five penalty runs, which formed part of their 28-0 in response when openers Martin Guptill (17 not out) and Tom Latham (6 not out) resume on Monday.

Jadeja was warned repeatedly by umpire Bruce Oxenford for running down the middle of the Holkar Stadium pitch during a 27-ball innings in which he scored an unbeaten 17.

The Indian spinner was also warned twice for cutting across the pitch when appealing for a wicket during their second-Test win in Kolkata.

Hesson says it is crucial match officials ensure the pitch's integrity is maintained.

"In countries where the wickets deteriorate like this, the umpires have to be very decisive around how they look after the middle of the wicket. There are rules in place and the need to stick to those," he said.

"Footmarks are building, as they tend to do, but the body of the surface is still very good. I'm sure the umpires will maintain that."

Meanwhile, Hesson had nothing but praise for the batting of Indian captain Virat Kohli (211) and Ajinkya Rahane, who combined for an imposing fourth-wicket partnership of 365.

He said Kohli "killed us softly" with a patient knock and kept the tourists toiling in the field in unresponsive conditions.

"We have a very good blueprint of how to bat of that surface. Our challenge is to try and replicate something similar," he said.

"At no stage did we roll over and give soft runs. I thought it was a high-quality day's Test cricket. We contributed to that with our bowling."

Offspinner Jeetan Patel (2-120) trapped Kohli lbw while seamer Trent Boult (2-113) had Rahane caught behind to finish with the best New Zealand figures.

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