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When one looks back at the first test between India and New Zealand at Kanpur, it can be perceived as a similar old story. The hosts batting first and gaining a slender, but significant first innings lead, and then batting well in the second innings to comprehensively win on a crumbling pitch on the fifth day. This was typically the trend against South Africa in India’s previous test series at home.
Nevertheless, contradictory to views, New Zealand had their moments in this game. By the end of the second day, they were well in the driver’s seat, with Kane Williamson and Tom Latham coming together for a formidable stand. From the third day onwards, though, the Kiwis were completely out of the game as the hosts roared back ferociously. Skipper Kane Williamson, feels that the visitors should have capitalised on moments like these to have an impact.
“On the scorecard, it looks like a biggish defeat, but there were a couple of moments that I would reflect on as where the game turned slightly more in their favour,” Williamson said. “The back end of our first innings with the bat and certainly when we bowled in the second innings there was probably a three-hour period where we didn’t bowl very well and they got away from us. It’s a combination of us not quite being at our best at certain times, and they played very well.”
“Obviously, whenever you lose it’s disappointing but credit certainly has to go to India. They’re a good side, particularly in their home conditions and they showed that again,” Williamson added. “In saying that, there are certainly positives for us to take from this Test into the next one. The way Mitch Santner played, and Luke Ronchi, coming back into the side were a couple of highlights. As a unit we want to be able to apply that pressure for longer, which isn’t always easy in this part of the world against a side like India. But it’s certainly a challenge for us moving forward.”
The Kiwi skipper was fully in awe of the Indian spin duo and praised them. Ashwin and Jadeja are both very good bowlers but there were a lot of positives for us,” Williamson said. “Guys who hadn’t played here before spent some valuable time in the middle and made some valuable contributions. Mitch Santner for one and Luke Ronchi another who certainly showed they had the skill-sets to perform well in these conditions. I do think it’s applying ourselves for longer,” he said.