Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson says that provided Trent Boult gets fit in time, his battle with India’s Rohit Sharma will make for a fascinating spectacle during the upcoming series between the two teams.

India have reached New Zealand for a full tour comprising five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests starting January 24.

However, Boult isn’t part of T20I squad as he’s yet to recover from a finger injury.

“Trent Boult versus Rohit Sharma in ODIs will be a fascinating match up with a little bit of swing on offer,” Hesson told The Times of India. “The New Zealand middle-order against the wrist spinners Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Yuzvendra) Chahal will be the key middle-over match-ups. Hopefully, Trent will be back for ODI series as he is a key player for NZ in taking new ball wickets.”

Rohit has enjoyed success after being promoted as opener in Test cricket. The New Zealand tour will be the first time he’ll open in red-ball cricket outside India.

Hesson says that provided Rohit is able to handle the swing-friendly conditions in the first session of play, runs will follow. “Rohit just has to play close to the body in the first session and not go hard at the ball. If he does that, he will enjoy the batting conditions in New Zealand,” he said.

The last time India played a Test series in New Zealand was back in 2014 when the hosts won 1-0 courtesy their 40-run win in Auckland. However, Hesson feels that the current India touring party boasts of a ‘suitable seam bowling attack’ for the conditions they will encounter in the country meaning the contest will be even and competitive.

“New Zealand are very hard to beat at home as you can see by their recent record. I however see India having a far more suitable seam bowling attack than they had back in 2014 which means this will be a very even and competitive series,” he said.

This is the year of T20 World Cup and Indian preparations have gotten underway with a 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka earlier this month. Hesson, who will be serving as Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Director of Cricket Operations, reckons India don’t have any areas of concern

“No areas of concern, just the time-frame they place on finalising the balance of T20 World Cup squad. Without Hardik Pandya on this tour, it provides an excellent opportunity to assess the capabilities of Shivam Dubey in conditions similar to those in Australia (host of T20 World Cup),” Hesson said.