AGENCIES
Auckland, 7 February
At a loss to explain India’s poor batting in the first Test against New Zealand, opener Murali Vijay today said more than the pitch, it was the new ball which was hurting the willow-wielders on both sides.
New Zealand piled on 503 runs in the first innings before reducing India to 130 for four at the end of the second day today. Vijay felt the new ball was affecting the batsmen in both teams equally.
“The new ball did the trick for the bowlers in both teams. More than the pitch or conditions, it is the new ball. Initially, it tends to swing a bit more and once it gets older, it becomes much easier to bat. That is what is happening in the middle. Hopefully, Rohit (Sharma) and Ajinkya (Rahane) can build a big partnership,” said Vijay.
The opener scored 26 runs, stemming the collapse after Shikhar Dhawan (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and Virat Kohli (4) had been sent back with only 10 runs on the board.
India need to make another 304 runs to avoid the follow-on.