New Zealand opener Peter Fulton is prepared to face a testing examination of his batting ability - if that will be of benefit to his bowling team-mates.
After the Black Caps' bowling attack twice tore through the West Indies to win the second test in Wellington, Fulton would be happy for them to again get some favourable conditions in Hamilton in the third test starting on Thursday.
While a flat batting wicket would suit the hosts as they seek to seal a three-test series win, Fulton expects the Seddon Park wicket to offer assistance to the quicks in the initial stages.
That means, should New Zealand again have to bat first as they did in Dunedin and Hamilton, that Fulton and his opening partner Hamish Rutherford will have to negate the favourable bowling conditions.
"That's all part of it being an opener," Fulton said.
"Last summer against England the wickets were pretty batter-friendly.
"You can't have it your own way - it's just part of being an opening batter. You prepare for it being a little helpful for the bowlers early on and it's part of your job to try and get through that as best you can."
Fulton said he expected the Seddon Park deck to be similar to the University Oval and Basin Reserve.
"I'd expect there's going to be a bit of grass on it - there normally is.
"But there has been with the previous two but they haven't done as much as we thought. From our point of view we'd like more of the same, with a little bit of movement there for the seamers.
"If you can get through that, as we've seen in Dunedin and Wellington, we've been able to get through that first three or four hours and then cash in later on."
Fulton made 61 in the first innings in Dunedin as he and Rutherford put on 95 for the first wicket, but missed out in the second innings and again in his only opportunity at the Basin Reserve.
"I'm feeling pretty positive mindset-wise," Fulton said of his form.
"You want to be scoring as many runs as you can but I think things are ticking along reasonably well for myself. Hopefully I can get a big score in this test match that'll help the team towards a win - at the end of the day, that's what it's all about."
Fulton and Kane Williamson spent time in the indoor nets at Seddon Park yesterday after the side had "an unexpected bonus" of a free weekend after the second test was won in three days.
He expects his team-mates to be fully prepared come Thursday to try and maintain the upper hand and score a series victory.
"We'd come so close over the last five months to a few test wins and so there's no danger of us being complacent or being happy with just getting that one win," Fulton said.
"We know how hard it was to earn that test win and the feeling among the team is that we want to go on and finish the job off in Hamilton."
So have the hosts got the psychological wood on the Windies?
"From the point of view of our bowlers after what happened down in Wellington, there'll be a little bit of that.
"It may be a bit of a cliche, but it is a different game once it gets under way in Hamilton and everyone starts again from scratch - there's a lot of hard work still to be done."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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