On having to face India and Pakistan in his team’s next two series, Hesson said: “It sounds quite daunting, doesn’t it?”
The coach believes the experience gained in South Africa will be invaluable, adding: “Every country is challenged to try and win away from home but a big part (of getting better) is getting experiences into players,
“For the guys that will be a big part of our future, the experiences will be invaluable. We can’t replicate that at home.”
Facing Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada on a wicket that assisted the seamers will be something of a new experience for many of the Black Caps squad and Hesson hopes they take a lot away from the experience and grow as Test players.
Hesson added: “In first-class cricket, they don’t come across on a wicket like that and they don’t face bowlers like that. That’s important for us.”
The coach reserved praise for Henry Nicholls, who has endured a mediocre start to his Test career but top scored in the second innings with a fighting 76:”Henry is a man of very good character. Starting his Test career against Australia was a tough challenge and he is still learning his trade,
“The experience he got here, against this quality of opposition, shows he has got a nice future for us.”
The Black Caps coach also lauded the impact of skipper, Kane Williamson: “Kane has done an excellent job. He involves a lot of senior players. It’s a very inclusive style of leadership and it’s one that will help the group grow,
“I am looking forward to seeing how he grows.”
Another big plus for management has been the performance of transplanted South African, Neil Wagner.
Hesson added: “In the last six months since the Test against Australia at the Hagley Oval, he has gone from strength to strength and has established himself as the third seamer,
“He keeps running in and picks up top-order wickets – it’s critical for us,
“He is a combative character. That’s a big part of who he is but he plays the game in good spirits. No quarter given and no quarter asked for.”