Sunday, 5 April 2009

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

Well, it wasn't quite a scythe that we took to the Indian batters, more a small, not so sharp, butter knife; but we hung tough and were rewarded with two wickets just after lunch and then a couple late in the day.

It was always going to be a hard day, the pitch was flat the wind was going to be tough to deal with and our bodies are sore and tired; it was going to Test cricket, plan and simple.

We obviously wanted early wickets, and they just didn't come. I started up wind, where I have made a name for myself here in Wellington. My first couple of overs were ok, but not great, I couldn't quite find my areas and I have a feeling I was trying to hard. I finished up wind and soon had a go down the breeze. Now I was really trying to hard here to bowl fast and I didn't do my job very well here. I wanted to bowl quick, hit the deck hard and then see if I could get a 'wafty' drive for a nick to pick up a wicket. I was too straight and then to wide to Gambhir and didn't really get to bowl to Dravid. I really wanted to bowl to the right hander but just couldn't manipulate the over to get Dravid on strike.

Tough first session, I got into the changing room and lied down on the floor next to my gear bag, pulled my jersey over my head and wanted to go to sleep. I was really done at this stage. Energy was gone and I just wanted lie there, not move, just go to sleep. I couldn't though, Baz wouldn't leave me alone. Sometimes you do need others to get you up, to keep you going; normally I have more than enough of that spirit, but right then I was done, and those couple of words from Baz were enough to get me up and to the lunch room for a meal. After a meal, I headed back to my seat in the changing room; the coach came over and checked how I was. I told him I was, well, tired. He went off to see our trainer and our nutritionist to see what could be done. I had a 'squeezy', basically a high sugar gel shot, and a strong cup of coffee, in a pill form. It would take a bit to kick in but I was hopeful that I could get through the next session feeling ok.

Dan started up after lunch and we had success pretty much straight away. A really clever piece of keeping from Baz brought the downfall of 'the wall.' Dravid sweep one straight into Baz's guts as he shot down the leg side to cover the shot, and it stuck. Genius! Next in was Sachin, now this guy has looked so good the whole tour. From his One Day hundred and plenty in Christchurch, his 160 at Hamilton and his runs in the first innings, he just looked like he belonged at the batting crease. Dan got him to nick a slower one to Rossco at slip and we had a double breakthrough and had seen the back of two amazing cricketers. I bowled a six over spell down wind in this second session, I just though I'd try to get through it by being as 'dry' as possible, trying to give away as few runs as possible. Two maidens in my first three overs and then I, again, got straight to Gambhir, who was still in and looking solid. Not my best spell, but not my worst and I had found a nice little rhythm with the wind at my back.

At tea it was a protein bar and a couple of waters for me, I was feeling a bit stronger now and had got past that lethargic faze that went through in the morning session. I didn't bowl too late in the session, we took the new ball and I got first crack with it into the wind.

I really wanted to do my job up into the breeze and I had a new 'rock' to get to work with. Success, I got a touch straight to Gambhir, again, but this time, the new ball with a little more pace of the deck, got past his bat and into his pad. I went up and was absolutely certain that it was out, so much so that my appeal started with my back to the Umpire in a “that's just out” appeal that McGrath used to do. I had a wicket, Gambhir, who has played so well on this tour and we had a new batter out there to come hard at.

My next over and VVS was on strike. My only plan was to stay quite full and have him drive me through the off side, well try to drive me, anyway. I hit a real good length and, somehow, got the ball to deviate back off the seam into the top of off. That's a great feeling, going through the gate, on a good deck, to a great player who is in and seeing off stump rock back, a little. After the days play was over and I had done my hot colds, showered and was sitting in the shared eating room, VVS came in and we had a quick little chat about the delivery. He was amazed at how sharply it came back into him. I've seen it on the replay a couple of times and I don't know how I got it to do what it did. I'll take it, don't worry about that, the only thing to take from it is to make sure you hit the seam with a new ball on a flat one, you just never know.

I was feeling really good now, the rhythm was great and I felt like I was bowling as fast as I had done in the match. I had some kick of the pitch and it was fizzing through. No more wickets, but I'm pretty sure I left an impression on Dhoni, well on his arm anyway.

The light called play to an end with about 35 mins left in the day. We'll start 30 mins earlier tomorrow to make up for it. I have no doubt that India will keep batting and to be perfectly honest, that probably suits up. Chasing 500 will be nigh on impossible so the more time that India take out of the game by batting means there is less time for us to bat and hold out for a draw. So bat on boys, my body hurts enough as it is, another half day in the field won't do to much more to it, and you never know, I might pick up a couple more wickets.....


K said...

Dear Iain,

Thank you so much for your insightful blog. It takes you right into the dressing room and you can almost smell the sweat...

Hard work today but maybe tomorrow will bring better tidings...

Indeed, Baz's catch was pure genius! I loved it! Was it planned at all you think?

Good luck!

poorna said...

I think u teied very hard in my opinion you r hitting the deck very hard instead why cant you give the timing for the ball to swing. ALL THE BEST FOR DAY 4

Abhishek said...

"Chasing 500 will be nigh on impossible so the more time that India take out of the game by batting means there is less time for us to bat and hold out for a draw. So bat on boys"

well Iain, u guys could survive a mere 65 overs in the first innings.there's a limit to optimism as well.....gud luck...hope this charges you up and ur team mates too...

Jithu Reddy said...

Well the 3 overs that you bowled at the start of the day, it seemed like there was a heavy wind, but when you chaged the ends, i remember you lost the control at the release of the first delivery then i though that you are going to get a wicket at that pace but it didnt happen but you got a well deserved wicket of gambhir good luck for the rest of the match.

electron_blue said...

dude..what do you mean by.??
"So bat on boys, my body hurts enough as it is, another half day in the field won't do to much more to it, and you never know??"
It seems like all the positivity is gone..u gotta believe in urself man..i loved ur spell in which u got gambhir and laxman out..would like to see more of that tomorrow...

Ram said...

Brien mate


Was watching the entire match on TV from India.

Nice Jagger, you got Laxman with and oh yeah, Dhoni must be hurting.

Excellent spell of fast medium bowling and excellent blog.

I play 3 day matches here in India for clubs and i know what you are talking about when you say the body is tired.

Good show on day 3.


a thinking man said...

I told you so! With the wind you looked dangerous and that's what Captain Vet needs to learn. With wellington weather you will still draw this but you are looking like a whole new bowler and to be fair this things happen....that's what growth is all about. Keep fighting and never give up and I still feel draw is possible as long as Ryder does not want to outplay Tendulkar in one single shot score more than Sachin's total runs, you have a chance. It's been a great summer and do not underestimate how you have grown as a cricketer.

vjs (Vijayant) said...

Well bowled Iain, you deserved those wickets and the one that kicked VVS' off stump was, well, a peach.

Indians would keep batting until they reach 600 tomorrow, which means 1 hour of play in the morning session and then you guys will have to start ploughing.

Two days on this pitch for you guys should be very difficult and interesting proposition, nevertheless, it's not an impossible task entirely (that of holding out). Your confidence about the job at hand is commendable, but I doubt everyone in your team shares it; even if they do, it'll anyway make another day/'two days' of riveting Cricket action.

I do not think the weather and light combo will let more than 4.5 full sessions of play happen in the best case, - and if the elements somehow relent - the Indians will surely put you out of your misery.

To life!

electron_blue said...

Dude..What do you mean by..??.."So bat on boys, my body hurts enough as it is, another half day in the field won't do to much more to it, and you never know"
U gotta show some positivity man..believe in yourself..I loved the spell in which u got gambhir and Laxman out...u were quick and fast..Would love to see a similar perfomance from you tomorrow...u gotta show some optimism as well..

Nazish Rahman said...

Hi Iain,

well i got up early and was watching the matches and i was very happy to see India in a commanding position as being an Indian fan. I saw your bowling in this innings and have been watching your bowling in this series and should say its impressive....mind u m not saying this because of its your blog but what i certainly feel.

Your wicket of Laxman was good (as u being too honest man...u bowled a good line n length and so u deserved that wicket...claim it lolz)but i really liked that delivery which got Gautam out as it got straight enough to get the finger raised by the umpire. U had actually made the new ball count as thats what the main role of a new ball bowler.

Have u been approached by any IPL team to play for them because if not then i think they should because here is a good bowler available!!!

India has played well in all departments n so that why its India that hope so will win the series...i think u agree with me on this!!!

take care man !!!!

Tarun said...

Yeah Kiwis could do all that they could.
Sad Tendulkar & Dravid didnt scored.
U bowled with some nip.

But I m sure u miss guys like Bond and company.

Isnt draw an impossibility?

Amy said...

I think it's probably a typo, but you guys are looking more at chasing 600...


Shivraj Rath said...

You write really good and honest. But I have something to suggest to make your post more interesting and meaningful.

Please include a scorecard for the day's play under your post. This will be helpful for your readers to link your article to the day's play. Also in a year from now the post will still seem relevant.

Manoj said...

hi, i must say NZ team is one of the most coolest and a team which plays cricket in the right spirit. These many days India has been in NZ, and not a single controversy has arosen. hats off to you guys. We would like to know about personal life as well, so please blog about ur personal life as well. i hope u read others blogs too[:D] . Best of luck for tomorrows match. I hope you get a couple of wickets to add on to your tally as the match now belongs to India. Kindly reply to the comments, am sure it must be tough to maintain a blog with your tedious schedule

Swatpulla said...

Haha...ur best blog so far ! Really enjoyed it.... I m dyin to taste some squeezy now !

Salil said...


Really appreciate the way you guys are going on with your back to the wall. And terrific delivery to get VVS out. It must indeed be satisfying to have taken the wickets of two in-form and settled batsmen.

I thought Dan missed a trick or two by not giving you a good spell in the morning down the breeze. Ravi Shastri also was mentioning it on the commentary.

I also felt you were bowling too short. I guess a lot of teams think that Indians can be bowled out by bowling short. But those days are gone. Indian batsmen have become adept at playing short-pitched stuff and have devised a few shots, like the shot above the slips, to score of them as well. So you are better off pitching it up and trying to move it both ways (not just out).

Anyway, good luck mate. I agree that India shoud follow-on; if NZ can chase 530+, they can chase 575+ too. But wish you more wickets if India do bat in the morning.


Ganesh PS said...

HI Ian...if feasible please reply to my earlier question in yesterday's blog...i had asked two questions:

1) Who is your favorite right hand and left hand batsman

2) Who is yur favorite fast bowler and spin bowler?

My Favorites: Dravid and Lara
Bowler: McGrath and Warne


Ananthu said...

nice blog sir
i'm a fan of indian cricket but very good catch indeed by McCullum today
it was certainly a hard for u today on the field
but well played
hav a nice 4th and 5th day

The Monk said...

well bowled mate...great delivery to get rid of Laxman

DejaVu said...

Hi buddy, today you are spot on this is what i can say, Laxman's wicket its seems to be a dream bowl for a pacer, i really love it that cutter bowl. Its good to see player of other team taking in good environment like you appreciate Gautam when he got out, then Laxman coming & taking its good to see. Take rest & yes.. take those protein bar & coffee pils with you ;) that might help to keep you energetic.
Take care

ROHIT said...

Hey Ian ..its great to read ur blog... I am really amazed that after a hard days work in field how u have energy to write about the days proceedings!!also that delivery to VVS was a classic display of fast bowling...!!Rock On mate!!hope to see many such posts...CHEERS!

Ram said...

Chin up, mate! I dint see the ball that got VVS but my friends told me it was a crackerjack of a ball.

And I read today that Bond is planning to make a comeback, if allowed. O Brien, Bond, Dan and Chris Martin. That really a good bowling line up.

Just Jack said...

Mate that was some hard slogging in the field yesterday but it paid off - Laxman and Gambhir's wickets belong to you. Congratulations, you are going to be a star on the county circuit!

The Black Cap bowlers must all be exhausted, but you'll be in the pavilion soon taking in some hard-earned rest. You deserve it. Wishful thinking I know, but fingers crossed we make a good show of chasing down this impossible target and that something goes batsh!t crazy like Nathan Astle did against England a few years back when he scored the fastest double century (faster than Sehwag even!)

Joe Antony said...

Laxman's wicket - Top of off stump, a great timber to listen and watch, great bowling Iain. Hope weather helps you guys to draw this one :).

Joe Antony said...

Someone talking about Bond's comeback here.. well that would be quiet interesting. That would make the NZ Seam attack arsenal powerful.