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Latham analyses New Zealand's misery in India

Source: PTI
December 06, 2021 16:18 IST
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New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham and Head coach Gary Stead

IMAGE: New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham and Head coach Gary Stead in discussion on Day 3 of the second Test against India, in Mumbai. Photograph: BCCI

India did to us what we have done to the other teams around the world, New Zealand stand-in skipper Tom Latham said on Monday after the humbling defeat in the second Test in Mumbai.

After their tail-enders secured a thrilling draw in the Kanpur Test, New Zealand scored just 62 and 167 runs in the last match of the series as India took less than an hour on the fourth day morning to walk away with a massive 372-run victory -- their biggest winning margin at home.

 

"It's one of those things in cricket where everything you do doesn't tend to work. It's one of those days," Latham, who led the side in the absence of an injured Kane Williamson, said at the post-match interaction.

"It happens in cricket. We have done that to teams at different times around the world. Unfortunately, it was our time and things didn't quite unfold the way we would have wanted."

Except the first innings in the Mumbai Test, New Zealand’s batters showed great character. Latham said they planned to attack the spinners, but it did not work.

"Ross (Taylor) obviously had the approach where he wanted to put the bowlers under pressure. As soon as you do that, the sub-continent teams tend to take players from under the bat pretty quickly.

"Unfortunately for Ross, it didn't quite work out for him, but I'm sure that was the plan Ross had getting into the innings," he said.

Wily off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was adjudged Player-of-the-Series, was simply unplayable. He used the new and old ball with consummate ease to rattle New Zealand’s top-order and finish with 4 for 34.

Then spin all-rounder Jayant Yadav grabbed a career-best 4 for 49 to wipe out the Kiwi middle and lower order.

The New Zealand team poses for a picture on Day 3 of the second Test against India at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai.

IMAGE: The New Zealand team poses for a picture on Day 3 of the second Test against India, at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai. Photograph: BCCI

"In these conditions, you can't just allow them (Indian spinners) to bowl. They are very good. They are very accurate, and they don't give you much to hit.

"For us, it was about trying to put a little bit more pressure on them to get a few more fielders away from the bat. Because you know they don't miss that often.

"For us, it was about guys having a certain plan and being able to stick to that. If you have a plan and you get out, that's just the game of cricket. It's up to individuals how they approach their innings."

Latham said a bit of discussion happened after they were bowled out for just 62 but that innings was an exception.

"It's something that we talked about with the character in the group and trying to have a presence and try to put in as much effort as you can. We've certainly done that over the last four days. If you take the first innings out of it, then obviously it's a little bit of a different story," he added.

New Zealand’s batters failed both against the pace and spin attack and Latham said: "I think it's a mixture of everything.

"Over here (in India), you're going to be faced with the seamers with the new ball, as well as you will be challenged with the spinners with the new ball. As cricketers, you're always looking to improve and I'm sure the guys would be looking to do that when they get home at different times."

For New Zealand, Mumbai-born left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel was the only talking point. He finished with match figures of 14 for 225 for the best match haul in Test cricket for any visiting bowler in India, which included a 10-for in the first innings.

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