Sunday, 29 March 2009

NZ vs India - Napier - 2nd Test - Day Four

To call that a tough day at the office is an understatement.  We battled, we toiled, we slogged, and we did everything we could to take from dislodge the Indian batters; alas there was only three on view today. 


Up around 8am this morning to post my Day 3 blog and catch up with a couple of emails, off to breakfast at 8.30 and then to the ground at 9.30.  We’re on the park for arm ups at 10am and I get through my stretches, throwing, fielding and warm up deliveries and am off the park about 25 minutes before start time.  In this time it’s usually a couple of waters, a sit down, get into my whites and then out for a few more warm up balls about 7 or 8 minutes before the start. 


I wasn’t feeling to bad after all of yesterday in the field, sure I wasn’t as fresh as I’d have loved to be, but not too bad considering.  I was to start up this morning, but as I bowled the last over from the Beach end Dan had to bowl one to change me around.  The plan was to continue with what we did yesterday, hang tough on our lengths and make life as hard as possible to both score and be out there.  My rhythm had come back to me last night and I was warm ups had gone well so I hit this spell with a good feeling.  I started well, hit my areas and had that ‘snap’ in delivery.  The pitch really wasn’t helping us to much so it was going to be a case of us doing different things to create results.  I use the crease a lot when pitches get flat or when there’s a lot of movement, for different reasons.  Pitches like this I use the width of the crease to create different angles, going wide, maybe in the middle and then back to close to the stumps, in varying patterns.  By doing this I can ‘explore’ different parts of the pitch to find out if there is anything there variable and also by changing the angles it means my stock ball is different, but still the same, it just starts from somewhere else. 


I hadn’t used my slower ball much so far but set a field for it and gave it a run.  First one Gambhir stroked through the off side for four, the second one, next ball we went up big for an LBW shout.  I thought it was pretty good, the ump didn’t.  The plan worked, just couldn’t get the umpire to agree! 


Gambhir batted well today, took his time with everything and has scored a very good, be it slower than he normally would, hundred.  He batted all day, something I’d love to do..... one day!  Maybe this was the pitch I could have done it on.


I haven’t seen the replays, but from reading a couple of articles on the net it seems like Dravid was unlucky to be given.  We had toiled hard for a breakthrough and finally Dan got one that looked like it got some bat onto pad and off to Howza at short leg.  Dravid had been extremely patient, 62 off 220 balls, that kind of patience is what he’s built a career on.  Great to watch from the best seat in the house, but we don’t mind if his next stay is a little shorter!


We toiled all day for that one wicket.  Just 205 runs were scored in the 90 overs.  We pushed hard and they absorbed what we offered.  We beat the bat, we got a few nicks that didn’t carry, a couple of inside edges that passed not too far from the stumps, it just wasn’t to be as good a day as we had yesterday with the ball.


We now head into day 5, 62 runs in front needing eight wickets as quick as possible.  It’ll just take one break through, early, to maybe swing the game.  One may bring two which then opens up the tail and from there, maybe, a great Test match win. 


We’ll be pushing hard again, don’t worry about that.  Who knows, maybe something special tomorrow?


~TaRuNa~ said...

i can say only one thing that miracles happens in test match and may be India could pull off a special victory; you know with yuvraj singh.

Dan really took a bad decision by batting India again as you bowlers are really tired.He is spinny but you are a fasty.

I can't see you winning tomorrow, you have the best chance today but you gave it away.

But you have a good action and a good in-swinging cherry; i can say that.

Are you in IPL.

Akshaya said...

First of all, congrats on reaching 200+ followers. Atleast you can have something to feel good about the day!
Though you are not getting the big wickets, you surely are bowling great. Keep it going man you have a great future. I could not watch the whole day's play but read somewhere that you got sachin's ribs again! Would love to see some of your comments on it and the feeling of bowling to sachin in general.

Californian desi said...

Hard luck... It's a bloody flat pitch and I'd love to see you guys chase something arnd 150 in the last session ... that'll make this game even more interesting.

1 advice - regarding bowling a slower ball, talk to the Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad if u can. He has really helped Zaheer, Ishant, Sreesanth n RP Singh develop excellent slow deliveries in the last year or so. It's proved to be a lethal weapon for us esp. in the ODIs and T20s. If India escape with a draw, he might pass on a tip or 2 to u.

Good luck man. As I've said previously, get Sachin's wicket only after he has scored a century :)

Sabrina said...

This is the first comment

Shyam Prasad said...

Pal, It is not going to be a cakewalk for you guys. Indians are playing really well to save this match.

vjs (Vijayant) said...

Highlight of the day was when Patel appealed for a dead-ball run out. That for me sums up the state of mind NZ was in for the whole day.

The way Sehwag has batted in both the innings, I doubt he'll be instructing the men down there at the pitch tomorrow to hold back now that he has a sniff at your total.

That's what the Indians should do now... wipe out the remaining 62 quickly without losing any wicket, and then just start doing what they know best, and what became their Achilles' heel in the first innings - dominate the NZ bowlers in such a way - so that the next test pitch is again a dilemma for the hosts, and the hosts go into the third match as the ones on the back-foot.

Say if they lose a wicket in the morning, then I could see they're not going to give you another till tea. They're the ones who are trying to save it and you have to manufacture some opportunities; though certainly not the one Jeetan Patel tried to. What a shame!

To life!

Divay said...

what is the 'span in' delivery?

Achyut Telang said...

It is really good to read your posts everyday after the match to know it from your perspective. I want to ask you one question- Whom do you consider the best batsman in the Indian team..not the toughest one to bowl to because the answer might most probably Sehwag..but overall from what you have seen and experienced of the batsmen through out the series?

Tarun said...

Good going Iain ...

U generatyed some pace ... but the pitch is damn docile.
Game is headed for a draw ...

Kiwis are damn good fielding side.

Salil said...

Thank you again Iain for your persective on the game.

It made some great test match viewing yesterday with both teams showing excellent intensity levels. Test cricket rocks!!

I don't think Indians are safe yet, and it will take another one and a half sessions of careful batting from India to be safe.

Good luck to you guys.


Shyam Prasad said...

How can you miss a "lolly-Pop" catch for Gambir today?

Swatpulla said...

Wid all due respect to ur catching skills............................U dropped a sitter..... U dropped a !! That was too easy..... That was too easy... !! nana...nanana.....nana ! Hahahahahaha......

Swatpulla said...

U know iain...there is an old saying dat CATCHES WIN MATCHES ! Heard about dat....? ?...... It might not look like dis, but i really felt for u there ! Poor o'brien......oh dear ! Really could have been the match for u guys ! I wont blame u if u hold urhighness responsible for killing kiwi chances..... All i can say is thanks mate.

sherry reddy said...

Right now its 7 17 am India time and it has been 4 hours since the day 5's game started, India hardly made any runs and I have no complains about it. Im in great love with the Indian Defence academy led by Dravid and Gambhir now continued by Laxman. It was sad to see Dravid walking towards the pavilion for no good reason and it was such a great pleasure to see them knock all the kiwi bowlers efforts down. Ive always been a loyal lover of pace and spin bowling but after this match my mind is going crazy about the kind of defensive batting performance by Indian batsmen...

Iain, Im happy to see the way Indian team is defending to save the match but at the same time Im extremely disappointed to see no Kiwi bowler is able to pick up a wicket....Now we are 4 overs away from taking a new ball and I wish you take a few wickets before you run out of time.

Shravan Reddy !

vjs (Vijayant) said...

Test cap # 229! What the hell was Daniel Vettori thinking when you guys took the second new ball on fifth day? Franklin of all people getting the new ball was utterly atrocious.

And why were you standing aloof at drinks interval between lunch and tea? Am I reading too much from that point or is it true that you guys have kind of disintegrated.

I hope Daniel is not thinking of finding a scapegoat from amongst the NZ medium pacers.

All in all, this has been a very good batting practice to the struggling Yuvraj Singh and in-form veterans and I reckon Daniel has played right into the hands of Mark Richardson and Martin Crowe by paying heed to their clarion calls and mindless gibberish.

And now I see that Mr. Crowe has dubbed Sehwag as the worst captain ever! Well, he's reading a lot in just two test matches Sehwag has lead his side, and if this is one of his tricks of mental disintegration then he has failed miserably... Sehwag was still playing to a plan and Gambhir showed in the end who was supposed to do what to save/win this test match.

NZ played well and capitalized on the chances over the period of two days, third day was more of an Indian harakiri than an NZ brilliance; fourth and fifth days were coloured totally Indian and that pretty much sums up a well fought out draw. Poetic justice, people?

To life!

Thangavel said...

great going o'brien. i like ur posts

Itz really a bad decision to give follow on to india..

They have good batting line up....
so if u score some runs and giving the chase of more than 500. with shewag and GG really try to attack NZ . so u got a chance of geting the wickets.

And after all two days ur bowlers got tired. itz really help them to fresh and recover when they bowl on the 4th inng

അനിയന്‍കുട്ടി | aniyankutti said...

Hi Iian,

First time in ur blog.
Hard luck for u guys in this test. It was a sloppy batting that did Indians in the first innnings, but they came back really well. Just see the determination and patience of GG, who normally is an aggressive player.

But I should say that you guys are such a damn good fielding side. Even being such a big frame on the screen, the sharpness of Jessey in the field is to be appreciated :)

Iain, you bowled very well in one of your first spells today, especially keeping the short fields on Laxman's legside, but unluckily it didnt work.

Anyways, good luck for the next game. As a true Indian cricket fan, I expect both the teams to show their best in the next game. :)

Rajeevan said...

Hmmm... I'm writing this after the match is drawn, so I can Comment on anything safely now. My big question is why didn't Vettori bring in a part-timer to bowl who Indians didn't face in whole Day 4just to make the Indians expect the unexpected. I know the pitch didn't offer anything, but at least a different bowler other than the regular bowlers just for a try?

gane said...

you were looked lik just a change bowler by vettori..y so..

Joe Antony said...

That was a great match to watch Iain, expect the disappointment that we couldnt see you with the new ball, out of 5 new bals you could have been given one. Sad, to see you dropping GG (happy he and india continued though). NZ was always on top of India and indians were thriving hard to bail out with their batting skills and they achieved it. But, what a great bowling, hours after hours, sessions after session, india trying to touch only 2 runs per over, that was quality bowling and quality batting ... a great test match though it was a draw. Good luck mate, for the series decider, hope Dan considers you with the new ball.

a thinking man said...

Hi today's match inspired this drawing. I am not laughing at but laughing with Black Caps.

Srihari said...

Hi Iain,

First time in your Blog!!

To begin with, I must admit that i Envy you guys a lot as you get to bowl to some of the Greats like Sachin, Rahul, Very very Special (VVS) Laxman, Yuvi etc...

A terrific test match where Cricket was the winner. It was good to see that the Invincible Indian Batting line-up was tested. If Indian batting is being spoken of every where, then the same holds good for the Kiwi Fielding. They were exceptional.

For some reason I felt the Indians missed MS. Sehwag(Viru) was good but not as good as MS.

Daniel could have tried out different options to bowl some of his par timers. Gambhir, Rahul and Laxman never looked like getting out to the front line bowlers.

Hope the Third test will also turn out to be a well fought one!!!


sandoz said...

Blame it on the pitch.. Of course there was one team which could probably have won the match after forcing a follow on.. Indian batsman kept vigil and inched towards a stalemate.. As a fielding side for three days this match should eventually be forgotten though Jesse's and Gambhir's innings will remain in memories..

Anonymous said...

Great game of cricket Ian. You guys played fantastically and should be very pleased considering the amount of fielding involved!
Don't worry about the dropped catch, these things happen and in my opinion would not have changed the outcome.
Good luck this coming Thursday!
Loving watching the cricket from a Kiwi living in London

Jishnu Krishnan said...

Match ended in a draw, but don't feel low. You bowlers did very well.... only that the pitch didnt assist u a bit. Also the fact that the indian batsmen were much cautious in approach than in first innings