‘Against some teams, you perform better; India
Auckland, 7 February
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum today said he had bowlers enough at his disposal to take 20 Indian wickets after the hosts had grabbed the driving seat in the first Test here today.
McCullum’s sparkling 224 had guided New Zealand to a commanding 503 in the first innings before the hosts reduced India to 130 for four at the end of the second day’s play. But McCullum said he had never imagined that the Kiwis would reach the 500-run mark after being restricted to 30 for three in yesterday’s morning session.
“I thought we would get around 200, because when you are 30 for three, you are thinking of small targets and a competitive score. Never did I think that after finding ourselves put down to 30 for three in those conditions, we would end up getting 500 runs. For this batting line-up, I think that is a fine achievement,” he said, adding: “We have the bowlers to take 20 wickets if we give them enough runs and I think we have given them enough runs,” said McCullum. McCullum, agreeing with India opener Murali Vijay, said the new ball was creating problems for batsmen initially. “The new ball is stopping a bit when it is hard. Short catches in front of the wicket will become crucial as the game goes on. To get two wickets in the first over was outstanding – especially (Cheteshwar) Pujara’s one because he can bat for weeks. It was nice to get him pretty early. They had a nice partnership going but we still would get a hard ball tomorrow. There is a slightly earlier start and I am hoping for an overcast morning with some swing,” he said. Ishant Sharma was the pick of India’s bowlers, taking six for 134 and McCullum was full of praise for the medium-pacer. “Ishant bowled really well. He asked a lot of tough questions. His spell this morning was very long and every time we thought they would change the bowler, he kept handing in his cap and had another go at us.
It was a deserving reward for him (six wickets). I thought he bowled very well and didn’t get his reward. Ishant did a good job and kept coming at us, and he would be a tough proposition ahead in the series as well,” said the skipper.
“Against some teams, you perform better. So yes, India are a team I have done well against. Batting at number five is okay for me, with the ball not quite so new,” he said, adding: “If we win the game, I will consider it one of my better efforts."
Suspended:New Zealand cricketers Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell have been suspended by the country’s cricket board after they were found hanging out for a late-night drinking session on the eve of the opening Test match against India here. are a team I have done well against’