Going into the fifth day of the first test at Kanpur, it can be said with a high probability that the chances of New Zealand saving the game are pretty low indeed. The Kiwis were given 4 sessions to survive and their top order was never up to the task as R. Ashwin simply blew away the visitors. The likes of Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, and Kane Williamson were all undone by Ashwin’s magic.
The pair of Mitchell Santner and Luke Ronchi did well in the last few overs as they played the day out and survived against the deadly Indian spinners. New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen in the post-day press conference admitted that the Kiwis would give their absolute best in saving the match and wouldn’t go down without a fight.
“I think like that last partnership towards the end today; we’ve just got to keep fighting,” said Jurgensen. “And that’s the way we play cricket. We have to fight to the end. There is still six wickets to go and if you get a good partnership going, and we saw that today when India batted, if you get a good partnership you can score at a decent rate, and more importantly you can bat for time. That’s our goal, to fight for as long as we can, have a good start in the morning and really try and fight as far as we can. From my experiences in this game, tomorrow is a new day. We’ll see what happens then.”
He advised his batsmen to not feel the pressure of playing on a tricky surface. “Some turn, some don’t and some jump,” Jurgensen said. “It’s just a matter of not feeling the pressure and starting to accept the challenge and play with a smile on your face. What a great opportunity it is tomorrow to come out on the fifth day. If we attack it like that, it’s our best opportunity to get through.”