Two very good innings hurt us - Watling
BJ Watling, the New Zealand wicketkeeper, felt New Zealand's inability to build pressure with the ball contributed to their dismal opening day at the Gabba, where Australia finished at 2 for 389. That Australia scored at 4.42 per over was indicative of New Zealand's lack of consistency, and it was a disappointing result for them after Tim Southee started the morning with three maidens with the swinging new ball.
"It was a tough day's cricket," Watling said. "They played extremely well. There were two very good innings that hurt us. We just didn't quite manage to control the innings like we would have liked. I thought Tim bowled some outstanding spells today. We just didn't quite back it up in good partnerships with the ball.
"We'll look to rectify that tomorrow, come back and look to take some early poles in the morning. We just missed our lengths at times. There were some good spells but we didn't quite hang in there for long enough. It was a tough day but they played well."
Australia's new opening combination of David Warner and Joe Burns were able to move to 161 before the first wicket fell, and apart from a missed run-out chance, there were no other close calls before Burns edged behind. Warner said he believed the New Zealanders had erred by bowling too short to make the best of the conditions.
"We had to try to negate the swing early on and obviously getting through that first session, which we know is always challenging at the Gabba," Warner said. "As an opening pair I think we found they were bowling a fraction too short. It didn't allow us to drive many balls early, which is nice as a batsman."
The lopsided scorecard at the end of the first day - Southee and Jimmy Neesham were the only wicket takers and Australia's first two partnerships both passed 150 - means New Zealand have plenty of work ahead of them to fight their way back into the Test. Watling said they had expected day one to be hard work in the field.
"There's a lot of cricket to be played," Watling said. "We're obviously not in the ideal situation. But Test cricket is a long game. If we hang in there for long enough, and take this game deep, we'll see where it goes. The first hour was good. We asked a lot of questions and then they got through that. Good start, but we didn't build pressure up for long enough on that wicket."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale