NBA playoffs: What DeMarcus Cousins expects in his postseason debut

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!OAKLAND – One of his former teams just started a coaching search. His other former team has no clarity on when it will hire a new general manager or trade its star player.DeMarcus Cousins does not need to worry about the Sacramento Kings’ dysfunction after experiencing it for 7 ½ seasons. He no longer has to play the what-if games with the New Orleans Pelicans, …last_img read more

SA firms lead BRICS carbon disclosures

first_img30 April 2013 South Africa has the highest percentage of companies that publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in the BRICS group of countries, according to a carbon ranking index released by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) on Monday. The EIO is a London-based independent research organisation that promotes ecological investment systems. South African mobile telecommunications firm Vodacom came second overall in the EIO’s rankings, while diversified industrial firm Barloworld and miner Kumba Iron Ore placed 11th and 20th respectively. The index examines the emissions and transparency of the 300 largest firms in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping. It is one of six ranking reports on emissions disclosure around the world. The Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking series is the only public database of its kind. Over half of the 45 South African companies in the BRICS 300 ranking were found to be reporting complete data, which includes direct emissions as well as emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity, investments, transportation of goods, waste and employees.‘Reliable emissions database’ “As the world shifts towards a low carbon model, it’s extremely important that we have access to a reliable, consistent and cross-comparable greenhouse gas emissions database on the world’s largest companies,” chief executive of the London-based EIO, Sam Gill, said in a statement. A key finding of the index, however, was that none of the 300 BRICS companies surveyed reported emissions across their entire value chains. These are referred to as “scope 3 emissions”, and include emissions from sources not owned or directly controlled by the firm but which it has some influence over, such as business travel, transportation and distribution. “Since the majority of total corporate emissions often come from scope 3 sources, large quantities of emissions are not being accounted for,” Gill said. “This is precisely why the carbon rankings are designed to encourage scope 3 disclosure.” The EIO will also announce the 2013 Environmental Tracking Scope 3 leaders award on Wednesday to recognise the companies leading the field in emissions disclosure. “The rankings make up the first phase of the Environmental Tracking mechanism, with phase two seeing them developed into a series of investable indexes within which companies are weighted according to their position in the public carbon ranking,” the EIO said in a report. “The EIO hopes to make its Environmental Tracking Index Series available to investors later in the year.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

How to build a green economy

first_imgSawef’s youth ambassador, Johara Naidoo, has called on government and business to plan for a new economy based on environmental preservation.(Image: Shamin Chibba) Generation Earth’s Ella Bella Constantinides says youth should put on their green glasses and look at everything with the environment in mind. (Image: Generation Earth) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ella Bella Constantinides  Founder  Generation Earth  +27 82 505 0664 RELATED ARTICLES • To SA youth: ‘make NDP yours’ • SANParks teaches conservation • Green buildings sprouting in South Africa • Green buildings now the law in SAShamin ChibbaThe environmental issues we face today are not just about the past; they are about the present and about the future, and they are a consequence of the past. “We leave the responsibility to you.” These sentiments, expressed by Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel at the Generation Earth Youth Summit on Climate Change in 2011, placed the onus directly on the youth to build a better future. They were words that resonated with Johara Naidoo.And two years later – on 30 July this year – Johara was officially inducted as the South African Water, Energy and Food Forum (Sawef) youth ambassador at its third annual gathering, held at Montecasino in Johannesburg. The forum “raises issues of national strategic significance for debate by credible individuals, each with the deep desire to find permanent and sincere solutions”, according to its website. This year, the big debate was about water management and infrastructure. Organisers said water pricing would soon be restructured to fund a R500-billion nationwide upgrade and maintenance project.With these water concerns in mind, Johara, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Parktown Girls’ High School in Johannesburg, was a fitting choice for youth ambassador, as she serves on Generation Earth’s water steering committee and is passionate about water preservation. At the forum, she spoke to government, business and environmental stakeholders about the need to plan for a new economy with a focus on conserving our environmental resources. She emphasised collaboration as the key to realising this economy. “By working together, sustainability and the shared vision of the future can take place.” Green glassesThe use of coal was outdated, she pointed out, as it was meant for the development of past generations in an old economy. “By using old technologies we are not benefitting today and we are certainly not benefitting tomorrow.”Ella Bella Constantinides, co-founder of Generation Earth, said Johara could use her ambassadorship to make youth aware of South Africa’s environmental issues. “They need to put on their green glasses and start looking at everything they can with environmental lenses.”Indeed, South Africa is already making an effort to create a green economy. At COP17, the international climate change conference held in Durban in November 2011, the government announced its Green Economy Accord, which focuses on the move to a low carbon economy and the creation of as many as 300 000 jobs by 2020. It also suggests that by 2025, carbon emissions will be reduced by 40%.The National Development Plan has also made provision for a green economy, detailing the steps the government will take to ensure a smooth transition from the old economy. It speaks of investing in South Africa’s natural resources, green product design, recycling infrastructure, skills and low carbon technology to make the transformation to a green economy by 2030. The plan states that the transition will be guided by 14 principles, including accountability, transparency, sound policy-making, and protection of ecosystems.At a local level, the city of Tshwane is driving towards a green economy that will include creating green jobs for unemployed youth, constructing infrastructure for alternative energy resources, supporting high-density living in the inner city, and developing efficient waste and water management systems. Passionate about waterJohara’s first foray into the environmental arena was joining Generation Earth in Grade 9. She soon became a part of the organisation’s water steering committee as she felt more drawn towards water issues. “Water is an energy constraint. We will not run out of coal but we will run out of fresh water,” she says, adding that solving water issues will inadvertently solve other environmental problems. “All sectors are inter-dependent and by benefitting water you actually benefit food and energy. Nature balances things out and we should keep it that way.”She intends to use her Sawef ambassadorship to help her community and her school. “My project will be part of my school so I will pass it down.” The young environmentalist will be studying chemical engineering next year and plans to look at ways of incorporating her chosen career with environmental sustainability. One way of doing this is to use chemical engineering to counteract environmental disasters such as oil spills, she explains. Youth taking responsibilityThe youth are aware of the role they play in steering the country towards an environmentally sustainable future, Johara says, and they take this responsibility seriously. They are looking at ways to reduce the divide between the “world we would like to have and the world we are living in today”.Youth see the 21st century as one in which choice is valued. “We believe this century is in our hands to choose and create. The shaping of the future as we know it depends on what we do as a collective and what decisions we make today.” Generation EarthAccording to Constantinides, Generation Earth was established as a platform for young and vibrant individual volunteers who wanted to work on environmental issues. “Young people want to be involved but no one is taking the time to develop the skills and the passion they clearly have. For me this is a platform to get young people thinking about environmental careers such as hydro-engineering and wetland rehabilitation,” she says.Constantinides, who was selected as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2012, is a United Nations Programme Youth Ambassador. Part of her job is to create awareness about environmental issues at public events. But she felt she could do more: “I had to develop young leaders who would take over from me.”This ambition led to Generation Earth, which she co-founded with her sister, Catherine Constantinides. “Environmental issues are always seen as dark and gloomy. But for us it is important to look at it as something cool, funky, and passionate.”Generation Earth is a green networking platform with the youth, for the youth, by the youth. It “strives to recognise and develop green thinkers who are tomorrow’s global leaders”, explains the website. It is “a structured action plan for schools and youth to make a difference and change the world for the betterment of the environment”.Johara says Generation Earth has found a way to make environmental awareness appealing. “It has created this idea that thinking about our environment is cool and not just for hippies.”It works with schools, setting up school councils to help students turn their schools green. They also educate their peers on climate change, environmental impacts, conservation efforts and sustainable living both locally and internationally. Generation Earth runs projects in six African countries and has 78 school councils.Parktown Girls High School has a Generation Earth School Council that runs a project called Green Fingers. It is a vegetable garden that feeds pupils at impoverished schools in Soweto. It has three programmes in the township – with Inkwenkwezi Primary School and Soweto primary and high schools. “During the holidays [Parktown Girls] teachers teach them about sustainability issues such as energy saving and recycling,” Johara explains.last_img read more

Gov. DeWine makes NW Ohio farm visit: I can’t remember a situation bad as this 🔊

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dale Minyo and Joel PenhorwoodOhio Governor Mike DeWine, alongside Director of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda, made a special trip to northwest Ohio Wednesday to see firsthand the struggles of Ohio crop and dairy farmers due to this year’s inclement weather.The Perrysburg area visit was hosted by Kris Swartz and welcomed farmers from multiple other counties to give their take on this year of hardship, whether it be in the fields or in the barns.“I wanted to come here and see this for myself,” said Gov. DeWine. “I’ve talked to a number of farmers in regard to this problem with the weather and it being too wet to put the crop in. Time is moving forward very quickly and this is probably in my lifetime, I can’t remember a situation that was bad as this.”Gov. DeWine did send a letter to Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week requesting a secretarial disaster declaration, in hopes of qualifying more Ohio farmers for federal aid.Listen to the full press briefing with DeWine and Swartz here. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“We’re calling it a disaster in slow motion. Very little planted around here and I think economically on the farm and the farm communities it’s going to be a really tough year,” said Swartz. “If we miss the rain here tonight and tomorrow, I think I still can get some beans in, maybe 7-800 acres. But if we get an inch and a half of rain tonight, I think it’s just about game over.”Hear Dale Minyo’s conversation with Kris Swartz below. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Wood County farmer Mark Drewes was on hand, highlighting the feed shortage concern dairy farmers are facing.“Those cows have to have feed. There’s no neighbors corn to buy either and this is coming off a historically bad winter where we lost all of our forages. We no longer have alfalfa – or very little alfalfa – we have very little corn, and this is the first time in my farming career I’ve felt our backs are truly against the wall,” Drewes said. “I’ve never felt this kind of stress before. Crop insurance is a big part of our risk management program on our farm, but it does not put feed in those cows’ mouths.”last_img read more

More Green From Beans – 6

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorThrow a crop-production question at Brad and Jacob Wade, and it can quickly escalate into a debate.When asked to rank the top things that determine soybean yield success, Jacob immediately countered: “Volume yield or economic yield?”“Are they the same thing?” his father, Brad, challenged. That comment lights the fuse. Suddenly, the two are bantering back and forth about every aspect of the soybean-production system and what equates to yield — and to Jacob’s point — profitability?The Wades, who farm near McLean, Illinois, nearly always come to a hearty consensus.“We do this a lot,” Brad said. “We’re always asking questions.”“We’re always looking for the next thing to push us to the next level,” Jacob added.Some would say yields come naturally in this part of the soybean belt. McLean County, Illinois (where the town of McLean is also located), led the state and nation in total production of corn (71.9 million bushels) and soybeans (21.5 mb) in 2018. In fairness, it is the largest county in the state, but yields tend to consistently rock here, too.During the last few years, the Wades have seen soybean yields grow consistently, with field averages hitting the 70-bushel-per-acre mark in 2016, 80-bushel beans in 2017 and several fields hitting 90 to 100 bpa in 2018.The father and son agree nature did a lot to push those yields higher, particularly in 2018. “Last year convinced some farmers that they could grow a lot of soybeans without really trying,” Brad said. “This 2019 season may set the record straight.”Soybean farmers are finding ways to boost revenues despite market and trade challenges. This story is the sixth and last in a six-part series, More Green From Beans. The series looked at ways soybean farmers are finding ways to answer trade challenges by boosting revenues through switching up agronomics and finding new markets.NO ONE RECIPEWhen the first soybean yield kings started adding to the soybean yield ledgers, other farmers clamored for their recipes. They still do, said Jerry Cox, Delta, Missouri, a perennial yield contest winner in soybeans and corn.“Foliar feeding, fungicide and timely insecticides are important ingredients, but it’s not as much the recipe as it is timeliness of application and reading the crop,” Cox said.His irrigated entry won the Missouri Soybean Association’s yield top honors in 2017 with 101.17 bpa using a planted population of 110,000 plants per acre. He has continued to reduce populations on high-fertility fields to promote branching, going as low as 75,000 plants per acre on his 2019 plot. However, it’s important to check germination rate on the seed planted before dropping that low, he pointed out.“My best yields seem to come in years when the plant had some sort of stress very early that it fought back from,” Cox added. “If I’ve learned anything over the past 35 years of trying to push the yield envelope, it is that the soybean has something of a mind of its own.”In other words, no matter what road map you chart with inputs and practices, weather can be an overriding factor. Plenty of sunshine before the summer solstice coupled with moderate nighttime temperatures and well-timed rains (or irrigation) tend to bring big bushels, these farmers agree.TRIAL AND SUCCESSStill, everyone knows of neighboring fields that failed to pump out the same number of pods and beans within, despite near-equal soil and weather. To that point, Wade Farms planted nearly 400 acres of replicated soybean trials this year to direct their own farm decisions and to share with local farmers through the seed sales side of their business.Beyond inputs, row widths and populations, they are testing to see if mechanical practices such as singulation and planter pressures matter to soybeans. “The tools we now have to measure and track incremental changes in the crop are going to really change soybean production in coming years,” Jacob said.How to interpret the wacky 2019 season is still a question though. The Wades planted some soybeans as early as March 27 into 33 degree Fahrenheit soil temperature and didn’t see a lot of plant growth until late May. A head-scratcher came when they found a few June-planted fields were averaging 21 to 22 nodes per plant, several more than the early-planted soybeans, which still had more pods.“We know in a typical year that early planting results in more nodes. More nodes equate to more pods and more production,” Jacob said. “I’d say we have 10% less nodes this year overall because we just didn’t get the heat units.”Listening and studying the practices of yield contest winners inspired the Wades to become serious about in-field testing for both efficacy and profitability. “We’ve learned that simply comparing one field to another doesn’t tell us much, especially when that field changes every hundred feet,” Brad said. “Without replicated trials, you can easily misinterpret that something is working or not working.”Digital health imagery helps them track changes in the field, and not everything turns out as expected, Jacob noted. Fuller maturity soybeans, 3.9 relative maturity (RM), have been abandoned on the farm, for example. “They just weren’t performing for us,” he said, explaining that their plots now run from 2.8 RM to 3.7 RM.“We now know that each soybean variety has a personality, and in a way, it needs to be planted and cared for. We tend to understand and make those adjustments in corn, but beans are making breakthroughs,” he said.SIX STEPS TO SOYBEAN SUCCESS:There’s no one way to pump up soybean yields. Brad and Jacob Wade like to look at the soybean decisions as a system. Beyond weather or environment, here are six steps they take to drive yields in central Illinois:1. Genetics: Disease and other defensive resistance needs are weighed along with overall yield potential.2. Early planting: Focus on planting in April to increase node number and number of pods.3. Seed treatment: Early planting increases the need to protect against early-season fungal infections, insects and sudden death syndrome (SDS).4. Crop safety: Preemergence herbicide programs are a must for good weed control, but they select herbicide active ingredients and additives to avoid injury that can come if early planting is followed by cold, wet weather.5. Late-season fungicide/insecticide: The top third of a plant absorbs most of the sunlight. R3 and/or R5 application of fungicide and insecticides are used to protect leaves through seed-fill.6. On-farm research: Prove concepts/products work on your own farm before switching to a new strategy. Replicate and record findings.Pamela Smith can be reached at pamela.smith@dtn.comFollow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Autodesk Smoke: Tips for Creating 3D Text in Action

first_imgYou can Zoom and Pan inside of the Curve Graph. If you hold down ALT while moving the points they will snap to the graph and move in whole numbers.Save and load a Bevel Profile by selecting the 3D Text Node, going in to Node Prefs for Action, and then Load or Save by going to the Text option. This only saves the Bevel and not the other properties.The Geometry Menu gives you access to the base material properties of the Text (Diffuse, Specular, & Ambient Colors), as well as blending modes, and transparency.You also have settings for how the Text reacts to lights within the scene. You can force to shade Both Front & Back, or just Front, or just Back.This can come in handy when you also have transparency with the Text as it can hide the back polygons. The Shine value will create Specular Highlights on the geometry as light hits it. Geometry can be set to Cast+Receives Shadows, Casts Only, Receives, Only, and No Shadow, or to just create a Shadow Only. Shadow Only mode is quite useful, as it will hide the physical geometry and just display its shadow. Use it to enhance your scene by adding shadows without having to clutter it up with seen objects as it acts as a shadow projector.The Char Axis Menu is used to animate the Text on a per character basis (you have access to the similar transform controls found in the Axis node). Although you can freely move the center axis of rotation, there are pop-up buttons for quickly setting it to various points in X & Y. These may misalign your text however if you are using upper/lowercase text, as the ascenders/descenders mess things up.The Master Character slider sets which character the animation begins on, and the cascade will offset the animation by frames. You can also set the direction of the cascade to travel in various directions left & right. Smoke makes it easy to create some quick and easy text animations.Since you can keyframe the Cascade Value and the Master Character, you can create some unique animations. You can speed up the cascade or change the point of cascade throughout the animation with the Master Character.There are several 3D Text Preset Animations that you can load to give you a good base for your text animations.Drag up a Preset Node from the Action Bin and it will display the 3D Texts Presets to load in a nice visual layout:You can apply different UV Mappings to the 3D Text. This applies to any Diffuse Map Textures appled to the 3D Text. You can choose from the standard UV wrap selections. And if needed, you can use the UV transform controls. This is not like the general Position Axis controls on the Diffuse Map, as the UV controls actually transform the UV Coordinates along the surface.The Tessellation Menu can help improve the wireframe mesh of the 3D Text by tiling geometric shapes across the surfaces.  Standard (GLU) is the simplest method but is also the least precise. It is the default setting for 3D Text, and works for most purposes. Some font styles may require you to select one of the other methods (Delaunay & Medial Axis).These both have additional settings to improve the quality of the geometry which will provide for better shading, and displacement. You can view the original wireframe as well as the modified one to see the improvements.Now that you have your 3D text extruded, beveled, and animated you can texture your text by adding a Diffuse Map and/or a Reflection Map (Note: you can add texture maps at anytime in the 3D Text creation). Mapping textures requires a separate blog post of it’s own, so look for that coming soon. However, there are a few other notable functions of 3D Text to be aware of:Your HWAA settings under CFX Setup will greatly improve the quality of your 3D Text edges. It is recommended that you always enable HWAA with at least a setting of 4x. I personally use 8x. This is hardware AA and therefore won’t impact rendering time.Under the 3D Text Menu button, you will find the the Ridged Text option. Normally when you attach a 3D Text with a 3D Path to create text on a path, the characters will bend along the path. If for some reason you don’t want the characters to separate and you want the entire word to move as one, then you can enable the Ridged Text option.You can’t kern the characters of the text easily with 3D Text. If you need to kern your text, you can click the Separate Button. This will split out your text characters into a set of Axis, Offset, and Geom. These will all be connected to several control axis. The original GEOM created will also be retained and it will become hidden. This is a nice safety in case you want to return back to the original. Now that the characters are separated you can animate the text characters at will.Click image for larger view:Note: If you plan on using the Char Axis menu for animation and text cascading, you need to do this before you use Separate. After separation the Char Axis and Cascade properties and timings will be retained, but any adjustments in this menu will no longer be tied to the separated text. If you need to make adjustments, you need to delete the separated nodes and unhide the original GEOM.One other ‘gotcha’ is that if you adjusted the Centre Axis via the pop-up buttons in the Char Axis menu, it will revert to normal positions (Bottom,Center) when you Separate. This will alter the animation slightly. You will have to reset it for each character afterwards or it would be better to set the centre via the centre axis controls.To get the most out of 3D Text, you can use fonts that aren’t letters. You can load Windings fonts or download some shape fonts, like snowflakes or ornament fonts and create some quick and easy 3D shapes inside Action for motion graphic design. In the upcoming blog post on texture maps, I’ll show you how to use some simple 3D Text Shapes in motion graphic design. I hope this post sheds some light on the functionality of 3D Text inside Autodesk Smoke.Got questions or comments? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to post below. This makes the the left side of the bevel the Front of the Text and the right side is the Back.Normally I will create a simple bevel by adding a point and adjusting the points, as shown.  However you can also create some very complex bevels for a more creative and personalized text look.center_img In this post we share the secrets of the 3D Text node inside of Smoke’s Action. Create impressive 3D text!You can easily create extruded 3D Text within Action, Autodesk Smoke’s true 3D compositing node. It’s simple enough. Double click or drag the 3D Text Node into your Action schematic or scene. The text comes in as the word “Text” on screen. Let’s take a look at the Properties Tab, which will allow you to customize this text for your needs.The Properties Tab contains 5 Sub Menus: 3D Text, Geometry, Character Axis, UV Map, and Tessellation.The 3D Text Menu is where the Text attributes are applied in Smoke. Each 3D Text Node can only create 1 line of text (although that line can be quite long). The limit is 999 characters. In the font name field you can choose the font style you would like, which takes you to the same font selection as the 2D text.Since all text is treated as vectors, this makes it easy for Smoke to extrude it into 3D. The rest of the properties are standard text features: Kerning, Size, Italic, and of course the Depth setting, which sets the depth of the extrusion in pixels.Text is extruded from the center out in both positive & negative Z space. Once the text is extruded, your attention can be turned to the Bevel Profile Graph.The Bevel Profile settings work like many of the the other Curve Graph Functions in Smoke. You can Add and Move points at will and Break Tangents to get a sharp point. When you create a curve on the graph, that is the shape that the Text will take when seen from the Side View.Click image for larger view:last_img read more

India to play against Sri Lanka today to warm up for World T20

first_imgTeam India would begin their ICC World Twenty20 2012 campaign with a warm-up match against hosts Sri Lanka on Saturday. Going into the championship with a loss against New Zealand, India have not quite built up to the big event in a desired fashion. Their bowling lacked potency in the final overs, while the batsmen too failed to chase a modest target despite several wickets in hand. However, they would look at the practice match against the hosts as an ideal opportunity to test out not just their combinations, but also the Lankan conditions. Sri Lanka on the other hand, warmed up for the tournament with a convincing nine wicket win over the West Indies, whom many have touted as one of the favourites owing to their explosive talent. But the Lankans outplayed the Windies convincingly chasing an easy target of 134 with 4 overs to spare. Sri Lanka’s batting worked like a charm in the match announcing themselves before the tournament begins.last_img read more

New Zealand get down to business: Low bounce and spin on their mind

first_imgNew Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is one batsman who has proved his mettle world over. But India will throw one of his biggest challenges so far, both as captain and as a batsman.Indian spinners and the pitches that will assist them will pose a massive threat to the Kiwis. Williamson says he understands the challenges that his team will face on this long tour but in the same breath he also claims that his boys have come well prepared.Just 24 hours after they arrived in Delhi, New Zealand had a light training session at the Ferozeshah Kotla Ground, where they will play their first and only practice game against Mumbai from September 16-18. Their training session gave a good indication of how they are preparing for the tour ahead, which officially kicks off with the first Test in Kanpur on September 22. (Kohli’s ability to dominate in all formats makes him special: Williamson)Williamson prepared himself well for the low bounce that the batsmen may face on Indian pitches. He did some knocking with the bowlers bowling under-arm and Williamson had to bent down to play those deliveries.Also, Williamson then spent good 15 minutes practising the sweep shots. He played those shots continuously and also tried reverse sweeps to prepare himself well just like former Australian opener Matthew Hayden during his team’s tour of India in 2001.”India is a tough place to play. I suppose, in more recent years the pitches have been very tricky. I guess (when) you throw in world-class spinners, the challenges are very tough but at the same time we see it as a very exciting opportunity,” Williamson said during his first interaction before the three-Test series.advertisementWilliamson said the international calendar doesn’t allow the teams too much rest so it is a little difficult to prepare for a tour months in advance.The Kiwis hope to utilise the 10 days they have before the first Test but the pitch that is on offer for the practice game against the Mumbai team wouldn’t please them too much. (New Zealand eye reverse swing to escape India’s spin trap)The surface isn’t going to suit the spinners too much and New Zealand would have certainly liked their batsmen to get valuable practice against some quality spin ahead of the first Test.”With the international schedule these days, you don’t get too many opportunities for big pre-series practice. We have just come from South Africa; we have come off the back of quite a bit of cricket. We have had a week off to freshen up and nice eight-ten days build up for our Test match. Lot of preparation will be done and adapting to conditions,” Williamson stressed.last_img read more