KXIP coach Hesson terms Kotla pitch ‘slow’

The Feroz Shah Kotla pitch here has been a subject of debate this IPL season and Kings XI Punjab coach Mike Hesson Friday termed it ‘consistently slow’, saying they will prepare accordingly.

In four outings, Delhi Capitals have lost three matches at Kotla, the last coming against Mumbai Indians on Thursday night. The home batsmen have found the tracks far from friendly and after one of the matches, coach Ricky Ponting called it the worst.

On the eve of their game against Delhi Capitals, KXIP coach Hesson said, “Look the surface here, although we can’t guarantee how the pitch is going to be, most of the games have been consistent in terms of how they have been on the slower side. We will prepare accordingly, obviously we haven’t watched the game the other night. We can’t guarantee if the pitch is going to be same but the characteristic is probably going to be similar,” said Hesson.

The 44-year-old said he had no issues with most of this edition’s matches finishing past midnight with teams looking to slow down the game. “I think when the game comes down to the wire… If you have really invested three and half hours, an extra 15 minutes is probably not going to make a lot of difference to your life.”

“Generally the games that go the distance are the ones that are very close at the back end. If it’s used as a tactic then it’s a different story. I think what a lot of sides do is they often go quickly in the first half, so that it gives them more time towards the end. I think there is a lot pressure, a lot on the line, and lot to think about,” Hesson said.

The mid-table visitors are plagued by injuries to their mainline spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Varun Chakravarthy, as well as Moises Henriques.

The former New Zealand coach said it will be a big loss if they are not able to play on Saturday. “Mujeeb has made good progress, he is certainly not in as much pain as he was a couple of nights ago. Moises Henriques injured himself after being named in the side couple of days ago, his injury is going to roll now for a period of time, that’s unfortunate and obviously Varun is out for a long time as well with injury. We are hoping that everybody will be able to make contributions in the rest of the IPL.”

NT Bureau