India have been dominant in Test Cricket. For the past half a decade, they have shown how good they are in this particular format. They have beaten majority of the Test-playing nations at their home. And when the matches are in India itself, its fair to assume that India are the favorites of everyone by a big margin. This test match was assumed to be similar to all the other test matches that overseas countries have played in India. But guess what, the kind of performance NZ put up, surely makes it in the list of one of the best displays of fighting spirit ever shown in recent years.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was all praises for his players. Of course, New Zealand didn’t go for the win but to save the match from the kind of unfavourable situations they were in was quite remarkable. Williamson lauded Kyle Jamieson and Tom Latham especially, who were on their first ever Test tours in India, still defied the odds to play exceptionally well.
Lots of Heart and efforts put in by the boys – Williamson
“There was a lot of heart and effort going into that end result. Having said that there were so many contributions throughout the game that kept us right in it for long periods, certainly after losing the toss. There was a really strong partnership, Wriddhiman Saha getting that fifty and putting them back on the front foot and allowed them to declare and try to fight for that winning result.
“For us, having that experience, going out, batsmen spending time in the middle and bowlers getting overs under their belt after a fairly disjointed preparation was really valuable. For us it is really important that we make adjustments quickly again. We go to a new venue, and it will be different.”
Williamson appreciates Seamers’ efforts but also defends his spinners
Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee were remarkably brilliant, accounting for 14 out of the 17 wickets of Indian batsmen. While NZ spinners did bowl tight and keep the pressure on, the wickets tally wasn’t quite filled. Willamson when asked about this, praised the seamers but took nothing away from his spinners.
“I mean you are always trying to adjust to conditions,” Williamson said. “The spinners that we have have been outstanding for us in a number of games and these sort of conditions. I think they will be much better for the hit out there. They have both come out of Auckland where they have been locked in their houses for a few weeks. So it has been a bit of a rush to get some overs under their belt.
“Having said that, they did make valuable contributions with the bat and the ball. The way the two seamers as well operated was simply outstanding and really gave us a fighting chance in this match.
“Tim and Kyle’s efforts kept us in the game and gave us a fighting chance to change the momentum. There was not a lot of pace to play with. Tim was able to change his angles and was certainly immaculate with his lengths and created opportunities for us, which is really special. Certainly at his best, and it was really great to see.
“Remarkable start to Test cricket for Kyle, the fastest in our country to 50 wickets by some way. It is a really special effort and to do it in a number of different conditions. Tom Latham and Will Young as well. The contributions they made with the bat. Their sort of defiant attitude to committing with their plan and sticking to it was great to see.”
Draw was the next best thing to do after win seemed far away – Williamson
With the kind of opening session NZ had on day 1, many fancied their chances of chasing down the target. They had many overs left, two set batsmen and also batters like Ross Taylor who could produce the fireworks if required. However, Kane didn’t entertain that idea when he noticed that India’s bowling was by no means getting weaker.