Friday, 3 April 2009

NZ vs India - 3rd Test - Wellington - Day One

Just another day in the park, huh! The body is pretty tired, even my arms started to feel lethargic this afternoon; I could really do with a couple of days with my feet up watching our boys bat. We have a pretty damn good chance of that happening too, we need one more wicket tomorrow morning and then the boots come off, recovery continues, I'll eat plenty, drink lots, wear my compression tights and stretch lots. But that doesn't happen until we get that last wicket.

Tough start today, we would have loved to have batted first on that pitch; it looks and has played like a good One Day wicket. Seeing as we need to win this Test to draw the series we had to take a chance, play the extra seamer and bowl first. It wasn't quite the start we'd hoped for though. Sehwag, again, took the attack to the new ball. He really has no regard for how openers 'should' play, it's exciting that's for sure and I can tell you I was a very happy boy when he nicked one, off me, through to Baz. It wasn't quite the length I was trying to bowl to him, it was the line though and when Dan got to the huddle to celebrate with us, and I got a big hug from him. We know how much getting Sehwag as early as possible changes the course of the first session and day.

Franky, in the next over, removed Gambhir with a cross seamer that held its line and smashed into his pads. The game just changed and as it did in the first Test, it was around a drinks break. Franky and I, at home at the Basin, put a 10 overs set together, 2 wickets and just 19 runs. Bowling in partnerships is such a huge thing in any cricket and when both guys get it right, or close to it, pressure from both ends, things often happen, the pressure has to be released somehow and it's those moments that can define a Test. It was in the last Test where the Indian batters absorbed everything we could throw at them in those pressure situations.

This first spell, though, wasn't what I was trying to do. Sure it was a good effort with Franky but my lengths weren't quite there and when I got my length right, I was too wide to be effective. When things are like this it's important not to try searching too hard for the right things, it is important to get through it for the least expense as possible and to hang tough for guy bowling from the other end.

Now, playing at the Basin Reserve, Wellington is special. A true cricket ground, one of the few left in NZ. Grassy embankments, terrace seating, a couple of grandstands, tree filled hills, a big blue and a gentle breeze and there really isn't too many more places in the world that I'd rather be. The sport mad and knowledgeable Wellington crowd filled every spot there was on the embankment making for a great atmosphere and a good fun day. Thanks Wellington for coming out to watch, it's great to have you there! You certainly got your monies worth today.

After lunch I opened up and found my lengths almost straight away. I just had to concentrate on holding my action for a little bit longer at the top of my jump. Doing this though meant my jump would be longer and I had to take my run up marker back a touch. The ball started to swing a little for me too, just a little, not much, but enough to keep it interesting.

This afternoon after we had taken the new ball I had a chance to bowl to the tail. My second over here wasn't the best I'd bowled, every. To Kahn I didn't quite get it right and I went for four, four, four, four and then a two. One ball left, I bounce him, gloved through to Baz and obviously I'm pretty happy. I knew that I needed just two wickets to reach 50 Test wickets, I couldn't do it in the second innings at Napier, and my chance was today. This was my 50th test wicket, something that I had forgotten until Guppy reminded me in the huddle, I was like “oh yeah, that's right.” I had completely forgotten. I'm really proud of reaching this little milestone. To be fair, it's 48 more than I thought I'd every get the chance to take after my first couple of Tests where I picked up just the two wickets at 98 a piece. This last year has been amazing and I have loved every minute of it (well almost, there's been some really tough times too).

Hopefully we'll pick up the last wicket tomorrow quickly and professionally and get off the park for a well earned rest.

31 comments:

a thinking man said...

You bowled your heart out and Vettori gave you (and himself) one over too many instead of rotating franklin and ryder. Also a sense of relief at six wicket down and a tired force doubled India's runs....India is off the hook and a result is getting difficult in lieu of the light and time. Do get the last wicket and dont allow them to score 50 more. They can. I know.

Achyut Telang said...

It was a really good day's cricket from the spectators point of view..It had both runs and wickets. It looks like the tail got away and made a big difference to India's total. What are your thoughts about bowling to tailenders. Do teams ever discuss something like that specially now since it happens quite regularly?

The Solitary Writer. said...

well....i shud say that it was a bad days play by the kiwi team....well imagine a team scoring 370+ at the end of day 1 play although at one point of time they wre 190/5....i'd thought that the indians would be packed up for 250 runs or so...but thanks to dhoni and bhajji's partnership that kept the score board ticking at a prominent pace......and congrats on ur 50th wicket and yes the catch that u took of dhoni was amazing....wht was ur reaction when zaheer hit 4 fours on ur come back over with a new ball and later on u got him out....well as a bowler i bet u wud have felt bad....coz initially in the t20's and the one dayers i have seen sehwag hammering ur bowling all over the ground...he does this to every one wheter it be akram,mcgrath or pollock...hez an ideal opening batsmen....wht u think abt it...wht will be ur game plan for tommorow ...coz just 1 wickets to go and its been seen that these days even tail enders can chip in well or may be ishant may end up scoring 50...wht will u do tmrw.....? good luck for the upcoming days of the test game and we hope we get to see really good game of cricket :)

Vivek said...

Hi Iain,

Congrats on the 50 wickets! You bowled brilliantly today.

Rockus said...

Congrats on the 50 wickets Iain! Lets have many many more!

vishwamitra said...

veryy well done man..u probably got india out for a pretty tidy score..
good luck for tomorrow,hope that the last pair doesn't create a hectic.

gane said...

grt day of test cricket..a packed crowd..good sun shine..sachin cover drives..bowlers laugh 9 times..capt thinks y he din't hav a 3rd man..the bakl leaves either for a boundary or for a catch..and o boy ovr fav blogger gets his 50..

kavinchat said...

Hi Iain Congrats on reaching 50 test wickets.
You are doing good but show some more aggressive intent on your face to tackle batsmen. Whether you get it right or wrong dont ever try to feel that you will not be effective. Batsmen are there to commit mistakes and dont let it go like you did for Gambir in Napier.
K . The day was good and you talked about your friends work today. You people hv done well to reduce us to six down for 200. But that was not enough as Bhajji showed his classical Bangra dance in Wellington today. Hats off to Bhajji to showing the confidence level of Indians again when it mattered most.
And at the end of the day Zak and co made the record for highest Indian score on First day of a test match. try to get that early breakthrough tomo morning so that we can see our bowlers rattling up your friends as soon as possible. I cant wait here for that last wicket to fall. Do that soon i wanna see Zak back on swing . . .

Hv a nice game tomo. . Bye

Swatpulla said...

Its khan..not kahn

piyush parihar said...

I am a big fan of yours.........
wishing a better luck.....
Er. PIYUSH PARIHAR

Joe Antony said...

Congrats Iain - the terminator :).
Sehwag was uncomfortable with the bowling change, and you capitalized. Great show. Congrats on your half century on wickets. Hope tomorrow the last pair won't give you guys too much trouble.. esp with the time, they will slog for couple of overs. Good luck.. am ready to wake up again early to watch ryder... of cource am hoping the top order of NZ to collapse once again... but getting to watch ryder is a pleasant. Gud luck mate. Keep the posts coming.

vikash said...

You guys balled really well. I would say lady luck was on India side today. So many edges flying over the slips!! Scorecard doesn't do justice to your teams effort!!

Guru The Lion said...

u bowled pretty well.. :) thanku 4 d good show bro.. :) congrtas on ur 50 and best of luck on getting d last wicket tomo.. :)

Varun said...

Congrats on the 50th wicket Iain. It feels nice reading your blogs, kinda used to it now after every day of cricket. I believe this is more than once that you have gone for several runs in an over and ended up picking up a wicket in the same over. That shows your fighting spirit. Keep that one up!! But I have to say you guys kinda let it sleep in the final session.

Salil said...

That was one action packed day of Test cricket.

Congratulations Iain - on a pretty good day on the field and more importantly, on reaching the milestone of 50 wickets. I see that you have a very impressive bowling average and strike rate. Keep it up, mate.

Good luck for the rest of the match.

Cheers,
Salil

Ankur Sharma said...

Congrates Brien!!. Keep working hard and no doubt you will see one more zero after 50.
May god bless you.

vikas said...

Hey Iain Congrats on your 50 test wickets. How do you think the wicket is going to play tomorrow? Do you think NZ can bat out India in this match? Also to correct you it's Khan and not Kahn:)

PS: Why do u have that extra i in your name?

Taranpreet said...

Hey Iain, i heard by a commentator that Iain writes his blog. Since then wanted to read, finally found it :D .

Today was the day full of ups and downs for both sides. Like i heard earlier in news, i thought the track would be more quicker.

Still a good batting track where bowlers also have good chance too unlike the last test.

Good luck for second day.

Taran,
India.

sandoz said...

Good day at office.. But I think with this pitch, 375/9 is a good position for India, though there was a chance for nz openers to bat few overs on day one!!

Arjun said...

Good bowling today,you got sehwag out early too! Correction: It's Zaheer Khan, not Kahn ( which tends to be used as a German surname, for eg. Oliver Kahn, the famous footballer who played his last pro game in Kolkata in India!!- random factoid).
Best of luck with your bowling man, I still remember the ball you bowled to Tendulkar today, an absolute ripper, he almost nicked it!
Cheers

Arjun

Arjun said...

Dude, really good bowling today, you got sehwag early!! Correction: It's Zaheer Khan, not Kahn (which is the surname of a famous German footballer Oliver Kahn who played his last game in Kolkata in India- Random Factoid!!)
I still remember the ball you bowled to tendulkar, it was an absolute ripper, the bounce was pretty good and he somehow did not nick it, wonderful ball that.
Cheers

Arjun

Jishnu Krishnan said...

Congrats for your 50 test wickets!!! You bowled very well!!!and Deserved much more....
Best wishes for the remaining of the test match...

sss said...

Hi Ian:

I have been reading you Blogs for the last few days, great fun. Keep it up!

I support the Indian team but to watch you guys (Kiwi's) play cricket in good spirit--like it was meant to be played--has been really endearing. Hopefully you guys would put on a good show in this test. Although, I wish that the Indians win this series (It's been a long time coming).

Best,
Sukhpreet

Shailesh Bokil said...

Congratulations Ian for 50th test wicket. I know this is only good moment for you on day 1. I think you write everything, but how could you forgot to mention classy innings from Sachin,Dhoni & Harbhajan. They rattled your bowling attack. No single bowler is looking to take wicket.It was indians who got out while playing strokes. In my opinion tommarow you will definetly get early wicket.As india should also would like to take advantage of morning conditions. But you must take in mind, the trum card for india is harbhajan. If he get bounce from this wicket & im sure it will, then you will have all sorts of trouble facing him on 5th day.

Iain O'Brien said...

Sorry for the Kahn, Khan mistake.

I'm using a rather small keyboard to type this matches blog as my computer is not to well at the moment, looking like it could be dead; so those mistakes could just happen.

Whoops!!

m I m said...

Congrats on your 50 wicket achievement...keep going strong...and continue blogging...

Nasir said...

Good work at bowling Iain Esp Sehwag's Wicket I thought u not to take it As I am gr8 fan of him he is different batsman...and u r a good bowler:)
Btw u guys didint bat well or indian bowling was so good???

Arjun said...

Thank you so much for replying!
Blogging on a tiny keyboard, tough luck about that!!
Khan is bowling way too many bouncers at you today, even munaf patel, "ouch" that gotta hurt, he just rapped you just below your lower back ( watching the match).
Best of luck for the rest of the match, you are batting quite well too, no rest for you today though!
Waiting for your next blog post.

Eddie H-H said...

Hey Iain I thought you batted really well today, you seem to be getting better with every innings. Just a quick question where did the nicknames Tom for Chris Martin and Dave for Jeetan Patel come from?

Ganesh PS said...

It is great to see blog from great cricketers like you..i hope some indian players also do some blogging...that wud help to know their perspective than knowing them thru reading papers...

Such blogging just goes to prove that you are a simple-ton...

Thanks
Ganesh

vjs (Vijayant) said...

Day two was an absolute ripper of a test match mate. Three sessions of classical fast and spin bowling, 12 wickets falling (11 of which were genuine, I feel for Ross... Here was the man trying to save the day for your team and he had it as nasty as they come.)

#229 vs #229... at least one of you guys got five-for and I am happy. Congratulations on your highest test score though you had to endure a lot from your pal Zak.

I said it earlier, and I say it now, the second innings of India in Napier has done a lot of damage to your team's 'positive' psyche.

Going back to the last test match - Martin Crowe was jumping hither and thither pronouncing judgments on captaincy of one and strategy of the other, but he failed to see the plight of NZ bowlers for the last three days; Probably he forgot that players do have their bad days/sessions/moments/matches, or he himself was a player not so long ago.

Daniel also tried everything in the book and out of it but nothing happened for so long, just like it didn't on the first day. Only difference was that the catches were being dropped like hot potatoes by players like Yuvi and Dravid; and batsmen were making merry without a worry in the world, not even Alan Border or Clive Lloyd could have done anything about it.

Back to present - India are effectively 1/233 and had it not been for the delivery of the series, Sehwag was looking good for a lot more today. But this is the peril of throwing your chances of a good score when you have it going your way. Luck runs out one day and it makes you look utterly stupid in the end. I hope Sehwag becomes a bit more selfish and starts scoring for himself too, as did/do a majority of classical 'greats'.

Tomorrow would be another test of character for both the teams and I'm happy I am following this match. You guys may as well lose this match (it's still some way to go though), but I congratulate you on being a party to this splendid contest.

To life!
~