After being rattled by Indian off-spinner R Ashwin in the opening Test, New Zealand’s cricketers today sweated it out at the nets for two hours to prepare for the second and final Test in Bangalore starting August 31.
The visiting team trained even as the hosts remained confined to the hotel. Both the teams will leave for the second and final Test in Bangalore tomorrow afternoon. ”(Ravichandran) Ashwin was a big factor. We have some planning in place and we hope to get them right before the Bangalore Test,” a New Zealand Cricket official told PTI today.
With no warm-up scheduled for the visitors, New Zealand were dismissed twice for 159 and 164 inside four days. The New Zealanders could not show any application on the turning track to be bowled out twice in reply to India’s 438 in the first innings.
Of the 20 wickets, Ashwin took a career-best haul of 12/85, surpassing a 47-year-old record by S Venkataraghavan (12/152) of being the best bowler against the Black Caps in a Test match. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha had a match haul of 6/92 as the New Zealanders simply surrendered against the Indian slow bowlers.
The wicket of Ross Taylor in the second innings, when the skipper grossly misjudged an Ashwin off-break to leave but only to get bowled in the end, summed up the plight of the visiting team.
“Obviously spin is an area we need to work on and come back harder and stronger for Bangalore,” a disappointed Taylor said after their huge defeat. We are not big players of using our feet, so we need to create lengths in different ways. In the next game, I am sure we will say that,” he added, as the New Zealanders were seeing working on their foot-work.
The absence of the Decision Review System also hurt New Zealand’s cause to an extent especially the dismissal of Brendon McCullum in the second innings when Aussie umpire Steve Davis overlooked a bat-and-pad edge and ruled the Kiwi out LBW.
It was a crucial break in the context of the match as the dismissal broke the overnight second wicket partnership between McCullum and Kane Williamson.
As it turned out, the spin-wary New Zealanders lost nine wickets in 66 runs to be skittled out for 164 in the second innings and lost the match with one full day to go. A visiting radio journalist pointed out the Kiwi skipper that seven dismissals could have gone the other way if the referral system was put in place.
But the Black Claps did not complain. ”7-0 sounds like a hockey score! Obviously different parts of the world have different rules in different sports. It’s part and parcel coming to this part of the world,” Taylor replied when asked about BCCI’s strong stance against DRS.
The second and final Test will be held from August 31-September 4.