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'Tackling variable bounce the key for Kiwi batters'

Source: PTI
November 28, 2021 19:18 IST
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'We've to stay positive and take a leaf out of the Indian batters and the way they played and applied themselves.'

India's players celebrate after Ravichandran Ashwin dismisses New Zealand opener William Young in the second innings on Day 4 of the first Test, at Green Park in Kanpur, on Sunday.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after Ravichandran Ashwin wins a leg before wicket appeal against New Zealand opener William Young in the second innings on Day 4 of the first Test, at Green Park in Kanpur, on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

New Zealand fielding coach Luke Ronchi says the record target set by India to win the first Test in Kanpur can be chased down, and exhorted his players to take a leaf out of the home side's batting approach.

After being reduced to 51 for 5, the lower order batters bailed India out in difficult conditions to take them to 234 for 7 declared, setting New Zealand a 284-run target on the final day.

 

"If we bat with some good intent there and sort of make the most of opportunities to score them, then we certainly believe we can chase it down," Ronchi, also New Zealand’s wicketkeeping coach, said at the press conference after the fourth day's play.

At close on Day 4, New Zealand were 4 for 1. They need 280 runs on Monday, the last day of the Test, with nine second innings wickets in hand.

No touring team has chased more than 276 runs in the fourth innings in Tests in India and the World Test champions have their task cut out.

"We've to stay positive and take a leaf out of the Indian batters and the way they played and applied themselves," said the former Kiwi wicketkeeper-batter.

"There was positivity in their footwork and scoring options. That's what we need to do as well and bring that momentum in our favour and then hopefully through the game the more you do it, the low the total becomes."

Shreyas Iyer became the first Indian batter in Test history to score a century and a fifty on debut when he again top-scored with a 65 in the second innings.

Braving a stiff neck, wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha struck a stunning 61 not out, while there were significant contributions from Ravichandran Ashwin (32) and Axar Patel (28 not out) which put India in the driver's seat.

"Obviously, it was quite difficult for us to take wickets and put a bit of pressure on their batters but then, leading into tomorrow, I think all three results are possible," Ronchi said.

"From the Indian point of view, they'll be full of confidence that they can stop us from doing that. So, I think it's going to be a really exciting final day Test," added the 40-year-old.

Regarding the Green Park pitch, Ronchi said tackling the variable bounce will be the key for his batters.

"There's not a whole lot of turn on the surface and I think many people expected the surface to play. There is a little bit of variable bounce. So that's going to be the main thing."

Senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got the crucial breakthrough in the final minutes of Day 4 as he dismissed Will Young on 1 after the batter failed to review in time.

The ball seemed to be missing the leg stump but Young and his opening partner Tom Latham took a long time to review the umpire's decision. They reviewed only after the DRS 10-second timer was over and it was denied.

"I haven't spoken to Young about the situation obviously. From our point of view, we were a bit disappointed," Ronchi said.

"But also when we look up on the big screen with the time, that it was after the time had run out.

"Obviously, it came at a time we don't want to be losing wickets and it's quite tense. But It's a disappointment in order to understand that he did actually tell it up after the timer had finished."

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