Pakistan in New Zealand 2009-10 November 24, 2009

Good end after the worst start

I woke up this morning, pulled the curtains open, and knew straight away that we would be batting
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Captains meeting done and dusted, massage finished, food done, blog and sleep to go before we head into the first Test of the summer against Pakistan, here in Dunedin.

This is a home series for Pakistan; Dunedin is about as far away from home they could find themselves climatically. I can’t believe I’ve just used the word ‘climatically’. It was very cold when we got here on Saturday, it has warmed up a bit, but when the wind comes in the temperature certainly drops a lot!

We’ve trained the last two days and trained well. It’s a good feeling when you look around the nets and field seeing the boys all going well; hitting the planned areas in the nets, taking our catches (slippers and outfielders) and showing the intensity that we’ll need to bring on game day tomorrow.

In our captains meeting our guest that handed out our Test Caps was Richard (Dick) Taylor, 1974 Commonwealth Games gold medalist in the 10,000 meters. This was a very special one for us. A Kiwi legend that put so much into one event, against a great field, and came up trumps! It was an honour to have him in our presence and have him present our caps.

We’re looking to bat first if blue is the major colour in the sky. The pitch looks like it will be pretty good first up to bat on; although that goes against a lot of first-class matches that are played down here. They quite often are over in less than three days. The last two Tests down here, the Bangers and the Windies, have been flat and pretty slow wickets. We’re expecting much of the same this time too.

Our bowling attack is probably one of the oldest put out on a park. We’ve been called ‘wizened’ and ‘geriatric’ by an ex-player in the media. It’s fair to say that between us (Martin, Bond, Tuffy and I) we’ve had a good laugh at it. We all feel great, sure it doesn’t get any easier, but in terms of fitness, energies, love of the game and desire, we’re as young as anyone would want to be!

Day one

I woke up this morning, pulled the curtains open and knew straight away that we would be batting. I was almost certain that if Pakistan won the toss they would bowl and, as it was a very blue sky, I knew we’d be batting. Dan lost the toss and we’re batting.

As always I was keen for a bowl but also, as always, it’s nice to have the feet up to watch the boys bat. I had a really good warm up, my bowling feels great at the moment (I know I maybe shouldn’t say that as it could very quickly bite me in the arse, but I feel great so I’m in a good place). The body is feeling fresh and full of energy.

Boots off, ankle brace off, trainers on and coffee in hand; time to settle in for the first session. There is always the little bit of nerves when you want to bat first and get to. Is that track going to do, or not do, what we think it will? Are they going to use the new ball as good as they’d hope to? Is it going to swing, seam, bounce or all of them?

We got off to the worst start possible, Tim McIntosh out first ball. Flynn was then out in the sixth over and we were 27-2. It is tough trying to stay positive in the viewing room when things don’t quite go to play; it goes pretty quiet for quite a while. The laughter and banter dries up for a bit and much as we try to stay positive there is always that little bit of you that says “please don’t let me have my pads on before tea! Please don’t make me bowl today!” Guptill and Taylor got the banter and laughter going back in our shed. They played brilliantly and got us right back on track.

Dan and Baz finished the day for us on a high, getting through six down sets us up for tomorrow nicely. This Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), which is on its official debut, had a good day out for us today. Baz was given out, second to last ball of the day, LBW. He challenged the decision and with the aid of technology he was given not out. Please note I’m not saying the original decision on Baz was a bad one either; in real time it looked pretty good! The way the system is now set up, in regards to how it was used during the West Indies series last summer, is a whole lot better. I’m still not saying I’m in complete favour of it, but I guess if there are less bad decisions made, the more true the battle will become.

Fast bowler Iain O'Brien played 22 Tests for New Zealand in the second half of the 2000s

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rashid shah mashwani on December 3, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    You are a good bowler. you always confuse the pakistani batsman.

  • CP on November 25, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    IO, cant wait to see you steam in tomorrow second session and produce some seamy extracts from that Dunners deck. Your raw bestial action is somewhat reminiscent of a praying mantis using a calculator. Arohanui

  • paul on November 25, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    I've loved every ball that I've heard or viewed(tv) of this game Iain. This series looks like one the kiwis are right up for & although none of our batters went all the way, it's been an impressive start to a home series. Keep going boys!!!

  • D Joshi on November 25, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    Good luck for the batting and bowling tomorrow mate. Hope we can get Pakistan out for around 250.

  • TAHA on November 25, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    HI IAN gud to see u again here in ur blogs no doubt it was a gud day for black caps but i must say pakistan used their old ball quite effectively and after watching 2nd day of the test match i will say if u guyz bowl well on 3rd day wen pakistan come out to bat u will be in driving seat hopefully bond will destroy pakistani top order lot depends on you with the old ball my friend...move on black caps...

  • Muhammad on November 25, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    I am very unsure that what will be the reaction of cricket players and fans all over the world over the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) but as a Pakistani fan sitting in USA, I felt inexpressibly shattered when McCullum's decision was canceled on the second last ball of the day. I do not understand what is the benefit of having umpires on the ground now?They are useless dummies now. Lets keep the umpire or let the umpires go fishing.Decide to pick one.

  • PARAM on November 25, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    You guys should have all out within 175 had Pakistan held onto their catches. PZ

  • Fayt on November 25, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    I love the way you provide the nifty details that encircle the New Zealand camp. It's almost like being able to meet my idols in reality. Keep up the great work and may the best team win!

  • NG on November 25, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    good to have you back in the team! followed the NZ-Pak match too while watching the Ind-SL one. do well :)

  • Blake on November 25, 2009, 3:10 GMT

    Nice blog as always. I'm glad you're playing ahead of Tuffey - who although has good stats vs Pak, you have been a performing Black Cap for the past 18 months so he will have to wait his turn not jump ahead of the pecking order. Good luck Iain.

  • rashid shah mashwani on December 3, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    You are a good bowler. you always confuse the pakistani batsman.

  • CP on November 25, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    IO, cant wait to see you steam in tomorrow second session and produce some seamy extracts from that Dunners deck. Your raw bestial action is somewhat reminiscent of a praying mantis using a calculator. Arohanui

  • paul on November 25, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    I've loved every ball that I've heard or viewed(tv) of this game Iain. This series looks like one the kiwis are right up for & although none of our batters went all the way, it's been an impressive start to a home series. Keep going boys!!!

  • D Joshi on November 25, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    Good luck for the batting and bowling tomorrow mate. Hope we can get Pakistan out for around 250.

  • TAHA on November 25, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    HI IAN gud to see u again here in ur blogs no doubt it was a gud day for black caps but i must say pakistan used their old ball quite effectively and after watching 2nd day of the test match i will say if u guyz bowl well on 3rd day wen pakistan come out to bat u will be in driving seat hopefully bond will destroy pakistani top order lot depends on you with the old ball my friend...move on black caps...

  • Muhammad on November 25, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    I am very unsure that what will be the reaction of cricket players and fans all over the world over the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) but as a Pakistani fan sitting in USA, I felt inexpressibly shattered when McCullum's decision was canceled on the second last ball of the day. I do not understand what is the benefit of having umpires on the ground now?They are useless dummies now. Lets keep the umpire or let the umpires go fishing.Decide to pick one.

  • PARAM on November 25, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    You guys should have all out within 175 had Pakistan held onto their catches. PZ

  • Fayt on November 25, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    I love the way you provide the nifty details that encircle the New Zealand camp. It's almost like being able to meet my idols in reality. Keep up the great work and may the best team win!

  • NG on November 25, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    good to have you back in the team! followed the NZ-Pak match too while watching the Ind-SL one. do well :)

  • Blake on November 25, 2009, 3:10 GMT

    Nice blog as always. I'm glad you're playing ahead of Tuffey - who although has good stats vs Pak, you have been a performing Black Cap for the past 18 months so he will have to wait his turn not jump ahead of the pecking order. Good luck Iain.

  • AbuShariz on November 25, 2009, 2:56 GMT

    Hi. You look confident but I tell you something Pakistan is famous to be SELF-DESTRUCTIVE. They lost simple catches yesterday, hence, U R in favourable position today. Reason for PAK bein lower down the ranking - is this spilling out cathes. Shame! shame! Advice to NZL - good line and length, attacking field, positive cricket and pls hold on to your catches. Advice to PAK - just bat positively and safely. Dont dig yr own grave by showing yr flashiness. Slow and steady may win the race. It wont be surprise the PAK team continue being under pressure due to their politics and be all-out under 350 also because of weather and Bond's bowling. Yusouf may get 50 maybe Malik, Fawad and Akmal also get 50. Openers should be out CHEAPly.

    All in all, I still wish PAK to win this if drawing is not the best option in hand for these sorry kids. Younis & Afridi (opener), I miss you 2 on the field.

  • Jodi on November 24, 2009, 20:52 GMT

    Looking forward to the start of play on day 2. Hopefully the rain stays away. Good luck!

  • Dave on November 24, 2009, 19:56 GMT

    Hey Iain,

    Intriging first day. Glad yre feeling solid in the middle, was listening to Radio Sport. The commentators are still chuffed with your 75 ball innings in Sri Lanka.

    Have a chat to Dan, tell him you are batting at 9.

    ;-)

  • Suman on November 24, 2009, 18:20 GMT

    Thanks Ian. I always enjoy your blogs. It is nice to see Bond back and that should release some pressure on the bowlers. I wish you all the best hope you come up with a 5 for.

  • Andy on November 24, 2009, 15:35 GMT

    Great blog! Good to get an insiders view of a days play.

  • Navaid on November 24, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    I like to remind Pakistani selector and especialy former selector Amir Sohail (who is a strong advocate of Imran Farhat's inclusion).You all seem to have very very short memory or at least you think we have....... Imran Farhat has a very very slippery pair of hands.....As in Pakistan's infamous tour of England (2006)he dropped or if you want to call it spilled (either way the same result)at least 10 if not more catches fielding at point or in the slips.........He is a compulsive spiller (Andrew Strass & Cook made Pakistan bleed because of those drop catches),And yet here we are again in the same scenerio with him dropping 2 more catches........How many more catches does he has to drop before these Pakistani Selectors realize that in order to be a good Cricketer you 1st have to be a good if not excellent FIELDER....PERIOD

  • Hibs on November 24, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    I feel sorry for the Pakistani bowlers who bowled their hearts out today, if only the fielders had taken all the catches on offer, the whole of New Zealand team would have been back in the Pavilion.

  • Dinu@belarus on November 24, 2009, 13:47 GMT

    Its good to see u Iain gaining your confidence ,hope You will keep up to our expectations.,give a gud start with Shane tomorrow and the match is Yours...Good Luck mate...

  • Ali Wazir AMSTERDAM on November 24, 2009, 13:42 GMT

    Nice article Iain. Always nice to read how things go on in the dressing room.

    Looking forward to the following days of the match!!! =D

  • Zain Khan on November 24, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    I am really surprised to see the Team selection for first Test, it looks even after the departure of Younis Khan that definitely there are groups in the team. If Yousef does not stand against those groups, there are no chances of Pakistan winning the series. How can a Captain prefer Fawad Alam on Faisal Iqbal, definetly its not his decision. I really feel sorry that the selection of the Team is based on personal liking and disliking of the players. A group clearly taking revenge from Javaid Miandad for their personal reasons by victimizing the talented Test player like Faisal Iqbal. Same goes with Omar Gul who is out of form and being preferred on other talented fast bowlders. Yousef open your eyes, this time, they will not remove you from captaincy but from the team forever. This grouping in the Team letting Pakistani supporters down who always pray for their team and hope they would win despite all this grouping.

  • Hashim Malik on November 24, 2009, 12:45 GMT

    just review Ian.

    What do you think would be a competitive fourth innings target up here?

  • Abdullah Chatha on November 24, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Today was day 1 and i think New Zealand have the advantage. Right now they are 276 for 6. If they can get to 350 then Pakistan will really have to work hard. I hope you bowl well. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sehrawat on November 24, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    Nice to read from u lain,it would be interesting to know why u guys wantd to bat when there is more blue sky...?gud luck matey for the rest of the match...I have a feeling u will have a 5 for in either innings of match here...Cheers

  • rakesh on November 24, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    Hi, i follow ur blog regular enough to notice tat it is at its best only when u tour india. y's tat?

  • Aamir Akhund on November 24, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    hey Ian. Let me greet u to the start of this series by a simple warning. This is Pakistan and not the baby blues. Be prepared

  • balu on November 24, 2009, 11:38 GMT

    Hai I am waiting for your coloumn from the moment the match stumps on day one. But you have not mentioned the fantastic innings by Ross Taylor.

    Keep it up and best of luck tomorrow.

  • Anonymous on November 24, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    'more true the battle will become' -Well said Iain

  • smruti on November 24, 2009, 11:14 GMT

    good job at the end!!! i alwayz like guptill... Finally credit for the day goes to guptill,taylor and vetori..Btw India has demolished Srilankan attack on the day one in a flat track (it seems)..

  • Rehan Haider on November 24, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Interesting views. its always good to know how the players actually think and what they get up to. Good luck to the kiwis but i'm a pakistani supporter and i think the dropped catches have already cost us nearly 100 runs already! We need to get supper Dan and Baz out quickly in the morning. I'm not to confident about our batting though. We will struggle to get past 300 in this series!

  • CricFan on November 24, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Iain,Good Blog. ALL THE BEST.

  • Aditya on November 24, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Ian ,you are in next whats your plan? Please surpass your previous highest.PLZ!! PLZ

  • Fahim on November 24, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    Good Day today.....i hope Baz & Danny Boy will continue well tomorrow morning....and post a BIG score!

  • Kamran on November 24, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    Ian, which pakistani batsman do you think will be the biggest threat for you guys tomorrow?

  • Scott on November 24, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    Nice write up Iain, hope you do well when you get your chance to bowl. Wouldn't mind seeing a few runs either haha. Better bowl well though, I'm sure your've noticed heard that Timmy Southee picked up 8/27 of 25 overs today for Northern Districts, he'll be pushing for a spot. Anyhow good luck and I hope you do well.

  • Blair on November 24, 2009, 10:06 GMT

    So nice to see some test cricket again. 20/20 is OK too but there is nothing like the real thing and it has finished quite even after the first day.

  • param on November 24, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    brilliant blog Ian, keep them coming. The match is pretty even on day 1, having said that , if Pakistan had held onto their catch of Guptill, your team could have been in a spot of bother, with Pakistan having the upper hand by end of day 1. Right now, its back to square 1 for both teams

  • Anuj on November 24, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Hi Ian,

    It is always great to read your posts. I hope that you bowl well against Pak and get 5 in both innings. between how is jesse progressing with his injury? i hope he gets well soon and gets back in the team. Love to see him bat. He adds a spark along with Taylor in the NZ team. Get well soon for JR. and good luck with the match.

  • mo banaris on November 24, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    question for Ian - how well did ou think the opening parnership of asif and aamir bowled?

  • Mannu on November 24, 2009, 9:45 GMT

    Hi Iain its so cool to get a blog from a Cricketer actually playing in a test match i love reading all Your blogs its so unique as it gives Us mere mortals an insight into the rigours and toughness of test cricket all the best for the series i've seen You improve immensely as a true test class bowler thankyou again for the blog.

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  • Mannu on November 24, 2009, 9:45 GMT

    Hi Iain its so cool to get a blog from a Cricketer actually playing in a test match i love reading all Your blogs its so unique as it gives Us mere mortals an insight into the rigours and toughness of test cricket all the best for the series i've seen You improve immensely as a true test class bowler thankyou again for the blog.

  • mo banaris on November 24, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    question for Ian - how well did ou think the opening parnership of asif and aamir bowled?

  • Anuj on November 24, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Hi Ian,

    It is always great to read your posts. I hope that you bowl well against Pak and get 5 in both innings. between how is jesse progressing with his injury? i hope he gets well soon and gets back in the team. Love to see him bat. He adds a spark along with Taylor in the NZ team. Get well soon for JR. and good luck with the match.

  • param on November 24, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    brilliant blog Ian, keep them coming. The match is pretty even on day 1, having said that , if Pakistan had held onto their catch of Guptill, your team could have been in a spot of bother, with Pakistan having the upper hand by end of day 1. Right now, its back to square 1 for both teams

  • Blair on November 24, 2009, 10:06 GMT

    So nice to see some test cricket again. 20/20 is OK too but there is nothing like the real thing and it has finished quite even after the first day.

  • Scott on November 24, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    Nice write up Iain, hope you do well when you get your chance to bowl. Wouldn't mind seeing a few runs either haha. Better bowl well though, I'm sure your've noticed heard that Timmy Southee picked up 8/27 of 25 overs today for Northern Districts, he'll be pushing for a spot. Anyhow good luck and I hope you do well.

  • Kamran on November 24, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    Ian, which pakistani batsman do you think will be the biggest threat for you guys tomorrow?

  • Fahim on November 24, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    Good Day today.....i hope Baz & Danny Boy will continue well tomorrow morning....and post a BIG score!

  • Aditya on November 24, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Ian ,you are in next whats your plan? Please surpass your previous highest.PLZ!! PLZ

  • CricFan on November 24, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Iain,Good Blog. ALL THE BEST.