After another positive day for the hosts New Zealand in the Wellington Test, the Kiwi pacer Tim Southee talked about the turning point of the day two.
The visitors India started the day two of this Wellington Test with an overnight score of 122/5. Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant, the unbeaten batsmen of the opening day, started the second day’s play. After adding ten runs on day two, Rahane-Pant had a big mix-up and Pant (19) sacrificed his wicket.
Rahane (46) scored the most runs for India while Mohammed Shami (21) added some crucial runs in the end and India were bundled out for just 165 runs.
When Southee was asked whether they had any special plan to stop the Indian Test vice-captain Rahane, the Kiwi pacer claimed that Pant’s run-out was the big moment for them on that morning.
Southee claimed, “No, the run-out of Pant was a big this morning. With him (Pant) being such a dangerous player and leading into that second new-ball, he could have scored quickly along with Jinks (Rahane’s nickname).
“We knew though if we could open one end up with the bowlers, then Jinks was looking to play a little bit more aggressively, which brings us into play a little more. The way we bowled this morning was pretty good. To come off and finish the Indian batting line-up like that with two dangerous players in this morning.”
Tim Southee claims four wickets:
The Test debutant Kyle Jamieson shined on the first day, and he managed to take four wickets (4/39) in first innings.
Meanwhile, Southee also bagged four wickets (4/49) in the same innings, including three on the second day. While the second day had lesser assistance from the wind to swing the ball, the Kiwi pacers were successful in utilising it well.
Southee said, “Well, I probably gave up worrying about speed a while ago, so I guess you’ve got to rely on other skills, and I guess swing, there was a little bit of swing there today.
“Not been as windy as it was yesterday, so us as a bowling unit, we try to expose that swing when we get it, and there was a little bit there today.”
In reply, the hosts ended the day on 216/5 with the lead of 51 runs. Captain Kane Williamson played the knock of 89 runs while Ross Taylor scoring 44 runs. While Southee would be happier with one lesser wicket in their innings, he is still hopeful for the strong lead.
Southee claimed, “You always want to be one wicket less than what you are. But saying that, if we can carry on tomorrow morning, get a couple of partnerships together and try and build that lead, then going into the second innings it will be nice.”
I’m not sure how the wicket’s going to play over the next few days: Tim Southee
While the Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got some spin on the second day, Southee has felt surprised with this.
The Kiwi pacer added, “There is a little bit of spin. You don’t usually see that on Day 2 at the Basin. That’s why the first innings becomes important. If we can build those partnerships and eke out as big a lead as we possibly can then I guess that makes that second innings a little bit easier. I’m not sure how the wicket’s going to play over the next few days.”