Tuesday, 31 March 2009

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

It's blog time...

I know this is a day late, for that you must forgive me, or not.

Yesterday, when I would normally wrap up Day 5 and the test match in this blog, was not a day for me to be doing to much; except that I was flat out trying to sort out recovery from the Test, travel plans, visa applications, get a hair cut, attending and speak at the Wellington Cricket Age Grade Prize Giving and then eating, which I had almost neglected all day. Not the day that I needed after three days (273 overs) in the field. The day I would have prescribed, in a perfect world, would have been a sleep in till 9 or 10, up for some breakfast, off to the pool for a swim and a spa and then the rest of the day doing nothing but eating and drinking water. That didn't happen, I was busy all day!

So, Day 5. We needed early wickets, two wickets, as I said, would hopefully open up the tail. We had to get two early to have a chance of getting the next couple with a harder newer ball and then the tail to come. Tommy opened up and he had Sachin caught by Baz at a time that kept us in the game. We then went as hard as we could, doing everything we could think of to dislodge VVS and Gambhir. I took over from Jeets and hit the crease hard, got through my first two overs with out really troubling either of these two. So the plan had to change. Dan and I decided I would just go as hard as possible at them, bounce them, bowl full, slower balls, just go through every variation looking for either something out of the deck or a mistake from the batters. Round and over the wicket to both, a lot of bouncers with a field set for hook shots and fended shots. I came as hard as I could for as long as I could, three times I asked Dan for “one more over” and he gave it to me, and then called me off after and eight over spell. It was good honest competition on a track that offered no variable bounce and very little spin doing everything we could to force a mistake.

I didn't feel to bad out in the park. My body was tired, sure, but I was still feeling energetic, still feeling like I could be the one to make a difference, the one to take a three wicket spell and change the game. I didn't take a three wicket spell, let alone take a wicket in the second innings, but i gave it everything until the bails were lifted mid way trough the last session of the match. I was happy with what I gave to the day. I kept my pace up right through the innings and even bowled my quickest ball of the match in my last spell. I did though miss a catch off Dan's bowling. I was at mid on to Gambhir and Dan got him to hit one, pretty comfortably, to me about waist height just to my right. I saw it early, felt like I moved well to get in a good position, but I grassed it. I can't tell you why, it hit my left thumb, which was strange, never really went it and bumped out. I almost picked it up as it bounced out, but it was just out of my reach. This is about the worst feeling there is, dropping a catch of the skippers bowling! I spoke to Baz about it later and got his thoughts on what happened from his view. He watched it all the way to me and said that it actually 'swung' on the way to me really late. This would make sense as to why it hit my thumb as opposed to the middle of my hands. It's not an excuse, just something I have to watch for harder. More work I have to do to be better. I really wanted the ground to open, swallow me up and transport me to a different place. I even gave the earth a chance to by scratching a long line in the grass so that there was already an opening it could open up and take me away.

So the day finished, both teams shaking hands and we're a pretty tired, but happy team. That is a massive turn around from the Hamilton Test and had it been a boxing match, we would have won on points. It's not though, and the result is a draw, we trail the series 1-0 and are looking forward to playing back at the Basin; my favourite ground in NZ to bowl and play on. It's normally windy here and this is something I've learnt to do pretty well, bowl into the wind. It's a tough job and someone has to do it. I learnt early on, while playing for Wellington, that if I was to make it for Wellington I had to pick a tough job and do it well. Often there isn't a tougher job than bowling into the wind, so I picked that one as the one I would take on. If you find a job that no one else wants to do, learn to do it well, it's yours for as long as you can do it for, and that's been my secret on me making and staying in the Wellington team, and how I got my chance to play for the Black Caps.

This morning has been a little stressful, I've been trying to get a Visa application sent away so that I can get over to the UK and play for Leicestershire CCC. It's been a tough process and time is really against me. I have tried to call in as many favours as I can to get it worked through quickly, but as the application has to travel to Canberra, Aust. to get completed, the travel time is probably what's going to kill me. Fingers crossed that the good people at the UK High Commission like cricket and push it through ASAP... please! Courier Post NZ and Pace Couriers NZ have been very helpful in getting it away as quick as possible, thanks heaps Jimmy and the others involved there! Fingers crossed there, hopefully it gets back to me before I intend to fly out on the 9th.

A light couple of trainings this week for me and the other bowlers before we start on Friday in the last and most important Test match of the year. Of course they are all important, and in fact every Test match is the most important one of the year, but the next one is always the big one, and this one is huge.


Acaddick said...

I think you need to give more credit to the opposition - sure you blog a lot about what you do and how much effort you put in and how great you are - but it really just sounds selfish.

Sure you probably bowl ok - but you are hardly what one call great. Start to be great by appreciating others.

Allan Donald was one of the greatest fast bowlers but he was always quick to acknowledge great batting by the opposition be it Lara, Tendulkar, Atherton or Waugh.

As have been others.

Learn something more than just cricket!

Swatpulla said...

Ya...i could see the effort you were putting in. Pitch wasnt too good to bowl on... Best of luck for visa thing.

Swatpulla said...

Best of luck for visa.. Nd keep bowling...

Iain O'Brien said...


I think I do that by saying we were trying everything we could and couldn't get a wicket... is that not obvious and more than enough praise for the batters!!??

Abhi said...

Hi Ian,
I saw each and every ball of the Indian innings. I thought you bowled pretty well but a touch shorter. Well, this is not my opinion, had heard the commentators say so. Had you been a little bit fuller making the batsman drive you would have reaped a few rewards. Again this was as informed by Doull & co. What do you have to say on this? And did Dan say anything after you dropped that catch?

Achyut Telang said...

So after 3 days in the field, the legs must feel pretty heavy. How do players cope up with it and recover? And what is the secret behind you having a watch on your wrist while playing a match?

gane said...

ya that's true..i read obrein's blog only because he writes from his point of view..i don't think i will sit and appreciate others if i was a bowler..
will u be playing on fri..southee has been called in rite..

Ben Carswell said...

Congrats mate on good bowling & don't worry about the dropped catch - it wouldn't have mattered in the long run - that wicket wouldn't have given much no matter how long you'd played on it.

As a Pom based over here in Welly, hope we allow you into the UK, even if it's Leicestershire & not Yorkshire that you'll be playing for.

All the best for the Basin - looking forward to being there for some of it.

vjs (Vijayant) said...

The test has ended and both the teams head into the third with their share of introspection and moments of glory.

India would be happy that the 1-0 lead is intact despite their sinful batting display of the first innings, NZ would be happier that they at least told the Indians to shut-up and take notice of the talent they have and stop behaving like cricketing superpower (sans the monetary aspect) - which they certainly aren't yet.

The Wellington face-off is being dubbed everywhere as the 'toughest' test for team India, and I see no reason why the Indians can't make it even tougher for the NZ players. I hope NZ becomes slightly overconfident and lose track, that'll be enough to open up the test match.

All the best to you as well Iain.

India, being in a unique position of holding a lead going into the last match of the tour, hopefully would bloom at the Basin and take another step towards greatness.

To life!

Bala said...

Not sure if you read my previous comment after end of Day 1 of second test. I mentioned put 600+ in 2days and you have 20 wickets to take in 3 days. Well you guys did put 600+ but did not take the 20 wickets.

India has a strong team and are not very easy to beat. Everyone is in good form but for the third I think you have the edge. Its on your favorite ground and thats a big plus.

People who play cricket would not say what the first poster said here. Dont take it personally. Do your thing on the field and write your thing on the blog.

Good luck for the third test. Self belief is important. Tell Dan to flight the bowl once in a while.. too flat in tests wont help that much.

Jupiter said...

I really enjoyed the NZ performance in this game - test match cricket at its best.

Fingers crossed that the stars align so that you can play for Leicestershire this summer. I hope that you'll continue blogging through your English season. Ever thought of writing a book?

Best of luck to you all for Friday.


Timmy said...

Hi Ian ... thought you guys played pretty well considering the condition of the pitch ... hope you have better luck in the next match and with you visa ... hope you guys make the next game just as entertaining

kavinchat said...

Beware of Zak , Brian. It's not only you who hv some kinds of how to bowl with wind , Zak is a King in doing that. He does simply by moving the ball around the deck in windy conditions and your mates will hv a tough time if they decide to chase him . . . .
For more reference on his movements checkout Zak on last England tour of ours. He was absolutely stunning . He will rock again here .

Then Sehwag has not fired yet on top. And many daily's here hv written more of his irresponsible shots in both innings. But he has the ability to hit back the comments by practicing the same shots on which he failed. If he gets going then Dan will again hv no clues on stopping him. And its not too much heat in the day and he never gets tired soon.
Me here waiting to see Viru's still on the front cover daily's reporting on 3rd morning.... Bye.

Hv a good game . . . .

Acaddick said...


You know what - I feel your team is much better on overall discipline, fielding, bowling than the Indians.

Actually thats what makes their 3rd innings batting effort and Gambhir's 100 in this test a lot more special as they were able to keep martin, vettori, you and even patel out like that for so long (losing only 4 wickets in almost half the test match). I think franklin too bowled very well though he needs to increase his pace a yard or two.

When you say this for your batters:
"Amazing that Rossco and Jesse, in their 16th and 8th Tests respectively, could carve out something so special in a situation that desperately needed a partnership, of note, to turn our day right around."

you can also say something positive about batsmen who made you bowl for 2.1 days of a 5 day test - as opposed to just making an indirect insinuation that you could not "dislogde" them or the umpire did not give them out which makes it sound like they were very lucky to bat for 2 days.

If someone thinks that its just a bowler's mentality to say indirectly about opposition batsmen - then they need to just look at remarks of great bowlers around the world.

Alan Donald was the best fast bowler (really fast!). Here are remarks from Alan on Atherton's rear guard innings -
''It was the best innings I saw from a batsman batting under immense pressure. It was brave, resilient, he got hit everywhere, and he just stuck it out. He was a tough competitor who put a very high price on his wicket.''

And he dint just say POSITIVE things about an English batsmen - Here is what he had to say about Tendulkar in a match india LOST to south africa in cape town -

``It's not often a fast bowler with his tail up can detach himself from all the emotion of bowling in a Test match, to appreciate an opposition batsman, but you just had to, on this day in Cape Town,''

Anyway - In the end its up to you how you tone your blog.

Salil said...


Hard luck buddy. No denying that you guys did your best, but the fact is your best was not good enough.

Was also keen to know what Dan's comments were about the dropped catch. Probably something not too civilized :-)

Good luck to you and NZ in the third test. Remember, Dhoni will be back!


sidharth said...

hi iain i follw ur blog and it reminds me my days of cricket see u soon in leicester i wud come n watch u in actions cheers

sidharth said...

c u soon in leicester mate keep doing the good job

Joe Antony said...

Good post Iain. We indian fans were assuming that the indians made you guys (NZ bowlers) to toil away in futility by making you work hard for 273 overs for 3 long days, but surprisingly you are saying that you guys are happy and enthusiastic after the game... thats really great to hear. Good luck for wellington, you guys have tamed sehwag well in the series so far, he will be furiously coming at you, be watchful :)... good luck and give us a more interesting match than the Napier.

gg said...

Hey Ian, you keep surprising us
more and more with ur honesty.

Firstly great to read your blog.
Helped us rate your high as a

However, just after seeing that
posts and even managed to reply
to a ----- like him, I felt you deserve a special appreciation.

Lastly, as an hardcore indian fan
when the mantra on the lips used to be "want india to win",

you blog has changed the mantra on
indian lips to "Want india to
win , but Dont want IAN to lose".

Trust me u have a lot of indians backing you as u run up to bowl,
and want to see u happy taking
wickets, just that they dont want to see the sachins dravids go out early as we want to enjoy watching them BAT, as they will not be around in the game sooner.

LASTLY, Acaddick its unfair to call
ian selfish, when he puts lots of
efforts after a hard days work to
let you in on some happenings in the game.

All our great players dravid sachin
ganguly never ever managed to do something great like what IAN is currently doing.

Thanks ian for showing the whole cricketing world what a follower
like to read/hear

Brett Dale said...

All the best for the third test, hopefully you guys can bat first, and keep 40 years of history alive.

Manish Kumar said...

Good show mate!
Overall a very good match. Hard luck for not getting a result.

do you not think of playing in IPL?

mumbai-viking said...

Hey Iain,

Its amazing how popular your blog has become to us Indians. Its giving an insight on your cricket in general and your views in particular.

Contrary to your honest attempt to blog, our Cricket Icons (a la Sachin, Dravid et al) charge huge moolah for even a sound byte, leave aside daily newspaper columns.

Keep this up. Will follow your blog when ur in Licestershire CCC.

kavinchat said...

Hi Iain , Good evening
Your batters did really well there in Napier. But its Indians who took the scene away from Rosco and Jesse.
Again they will be high on confidence.
As you said your friends will definitely be tired up and Dan loses toss again MSD will surely opt to bat first whatever the condition may be and he will not take a chance here in trying different things. Pray GOD that he does not walk up to toss tomo morning. He is solid and never gives up. I think Jesse too hv the never to give up attitude(include bottle of beers too in that for Jesse).

Varun said...

Hi Iain, You guys were really persistent in the field. I being an Indian fan was always apprehensive you guys might end up taking a wicket or two to wrap up rest of our innings. Its just that VVS and Gautam survived the difficult time. Yuvi was definitely uncomfortable. Good luck for the next match buddy and happy blogging !!!

Rowan said...

All that curry you've eaten must had made you part indian Iain. You seem to have more indian fans than kiwi fans lol

How you like them apples?

Good luck for Wellington though, the indians will get steamrolled up there if we bowl well

nasirshaik2001 said...

Gr8 comeback Ian by ur team after loosing the first test(almost by an innings) congrats to u guys for that...:):)
I feel the current team u ppl are playing with is more unexperinced side and I am sure u will be one of the best teams goin on. Ur say on this thought plzzz???

nasirshaik2001 said...

Congrats to u guys for the comeback u've made .... :_):)

BTW dont u think u are plaiying with a more unexperinced kind of side like most of the names are unheard but I think u can make it to one of best sides in cricket plz share ur thoughts on this.

nasirshaik2001 said...

best of luck for county and for visa tooo:P