Just as it seemed that New Zealand could build over their advantage, tragedy struck for them as the duo of R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja came to party at Kanpur. The Kiwis had built a solid overnight advantage as Kane Williamson and Tom Latham had stitched a beautiful stand that had all bases covered. Knowing that the batsmen would be most vulnerable in the morning session, India began with their best weapons.
The ploy paid off as Jadeja and Ashwin were on the money. Jadeja in particular was simply brilliant as his accuracy and stump to stump bowling meant that the Kiwis could get no easy runs. His triple wicket maiden blew away the New Zealand lower order and helped India gather a significant 56 runs first innings lead. Post the day’s play, Jadeja admitted that he just stuck to the basics of line and length.
“Ashwin and I spoke of bowling at the stumps. Adjust our lines so that after the turn the ball ends up on the stumps,” Jadeja said. “We knew we’ll get maximum chances if we kept the threat of lbw or bowled alive. There wasn’t much turn from the stumps so our initial plan was to string together maiden overs. We needed to give up fewer runs and that would also create pressure on them. Finally we executed our plan.”
The all-rounder added that the training he received from his early days helped him quite a bit. “We didn’t have very well prepared grounds and pitches growing up. These are the kinds I’ve been brought up on, the kinds where there were no groundsmen and we were just practising,” Jadeja said.
“The facilities we had were of that kind, so having played on such pitches, I’ve got an idea of how to bowl, which areas to bowl on, what speed to bowl at. From my childhood to Under-17, Under-19 till now, I’ve played on turners or unprepared pitches. Having played so much on them, I’ve got an idea now,” he concluded.