India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 5th day November 16, 2010

New Zealand not content with draws

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Daniel Vettori said he was "happy" with the performance after his side batted through a potentially testing morning session to ensure the series remained level, but stressed that New Zealand were neither "satisfied" nor "content" with the 0-0 scoreline going into the final Test in Nagpur. Mark Greatbatch, the New Zealand coach, had said in anger in the aftermath of the Bangladesh debacle that he would settle for two draws in India but Vettori said that was never the plan.

"It was never our intention to come here and draw. If you get into that frame of mind you take a backward step straightaway," Vettori said. "So we've come here to win a Test series and at times we've put ourselves in those positions. We still want to push, try and put ourselves in winning positions because not many New Zealand teams have come over here and won. It would be such an amazing achievement for us, for this side."

New Zealand began the final day in Hyderabad 115 runs ahead and with six wickets in hand. All that stood between them and the safety of a draw was the first hour and the threat of the second new ball. Kane Williamson began aggressively, scoring three fours in the first over from Sreesanth, while Brendon McCullum continued his solidity from the fourth evening. The Indian challenge died when Zaheer Khan left the field after bowling three overs to prevent a groin injury from getting worse.

"The previous mornings, when it swung around a little bit, the new ball's been the most difficult time," Vettori said. "We wanted to get through that first hour, hour-and-a-half, and see where we were at. Brendon and Kane played so well, so positively. But the fact that India were down a bowler probably made it quite difficult for them."

MS Dhoni, the India captain, laid a lot of the blame for India's inability to force a win on the pitch and Vettori, while not as scathing, agreed it was difficult track to take 20 wickets on. "The wicket had a little bit of pace in it, I think the thing that you want is for it to deteriorate and I think it stayed relatively similar," Vettori said. "The footmarks didn't come up and that didn't allow the spinners to really get into play."

New Zealand were forced to save the game on the final day but on the third, they were well placed to limit India's lead and surge ahead with a strong second-innings performance. Their chances of taking the upper hand, however, slipped away as Harbhajan Singh swung his way to a century and added 105 with Sreesanth for the last wicket. Vettori said that that period, during which Harbhajan became the series top-run-scorer, was possibly the only disappointment for New Zealand in the Test.

"If we look back on it, that's always going to be the disappointing aspect of the Test," Vettori said. "To fight so hard before that partnership, I think we had 200 for 7 on the day and Harbhajan played so well and so aggressively and took the game to us and really put us on the back foot. If we manage to get through the Indian middle-order again, we've got to be ready for Harbhajan and go pretty hard at him because he's played so well in these two Test matches."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on November 18, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    ajay narang dan didnt do anything shameful its shame for ur bowling lineup....when the curators didnt get it correct....ur bowlers suck at their game shame INDIA

  • CandidIndian on November 18, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Well NZ played very well and they always do , i mean they are always very competitive and as a cricket fan i was stunned with their 4-0 loss to Bangladesh, anyways they came back well .Having said that not taking anything away from good performance by NZ or not supporting weak Indian attack as a Indian cricket fan, i would like to mention that both the pitches were ridiculous, i mean how can a test match wicket become better and better for batting .NZ certainly gave India a wake up call before SA series.about third test yes NZ have done very well so far but i dont see India losing this test match until they play very poor cricket which seems unlikely. @franky_anuradha-You should worry about SL following on against WI at home not India as in spite of so much hatred by elite members of Dilshan and Randiv fan club India is no 1 since one year almost and they will continue to be the same.

  • dummy4fb on November 18, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    New Zealand has done really well and they have played outstandingly. Daniel Vettori leading the way again, he is a great spin bowler and a good captian. Keep going NZ!

  • dummy4fb on November 17, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    Daniel Vettori is a player of rational outlook who wants cricket to be played above win/loss. I think this is a positive attitude, but it is backed up with weak line up of players on both the sides. In these circumstances the outcomes may not be in Vettories way. On one hand Indian batting is not consistents inspite of big names in lineage and bowlers are not upto the mark in chipping scalps at regular intervals. Surely, India needs Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and a good spinner. On the other hand, New Zealand should also come up in these aspects to put up a volatile show. If these things are not taken care of then the dream of conversions will remain the same for both the teams. Vettori cannot cater single-handedly. :)

  • dummy4fb on November 17, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    I think the Indian fans are being harsh on their cricketers here. This series does not raise questions about whether or not India are the #1 team in the world, rankings are based on winning several series's, not just this one series also India have not lost once in this series.

    Yes if they lose the next test match, I agree you can question their ranking, but they haven't lost yet.

    Even the West Indies when they were dominating world cricket played New Zealand and drew a test series 1-1 in 1987, but noone questioned their #1 status as they never actually lost a series during their reign either.

    New Zealand has been fighting tooth and nail to put on their best performances here and at their best, they are a good side. Perhaps they don't have the sting to actually seal the deal and win a test match, but you've seen they do have some quality players coming through.

    Yes they lost in bangladesh, but that was one day cricket, they were close games and bangladesh played exceptionally.

  • bc1992 on November 17, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    @Andrew Simoes, I initially had to agree with your comment that the Indian team of 2002 in NZ had dead weight, so I went back and checked who was in it. Imagine my surprise to see the names of Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman in the line ups for both tests. They are all definitely better players now than they were back then (although some may dispute that in the case of Dravid) but all had stellar records before arriving on our shores. Shane Bond didnt take too long to shred some reputations. As I said I'm no coach so you may be correct about Sreesanth and his "perfect seam release", but his stats, reputation and awful, awful waste of a run-up (even I can see that he loses a heap of momentum at the crease, and oh those no-balls!) dont give many cricket followers much hope that he will ever amount to much. And believe me, Andy McKay is plenty quick - I have the batting bruises to prove it, and fielding in the slips to him counts as one of the scariest moments of my life!

  • Rukus_NZ on November 17, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    Everyone is thinking about rankings.. Rankings mean little in Cricket, think about it. There are not even 10 countries who play test cricket at this level . So it is more like sharing ranks of the current times. And stop blaming the pitch. Vetorri had no trouble taking 5 wickets, where Mr Singhn Didi ---- His batting has improved at the sake of his bowling.. If The Indian spinners cant produce regular wickets then where do they turn too? An injurned strike bowler -- if they become woeful and are dismissed for under 400 then NZ have a chance to win.. NZ needs to become more effiecnet at finishing teams off when they are in a prime position and not become complacent

  • dummy4fb on November 17, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    @bc1992 : You do have a point, but the Indian batting line up of 2002 consisted of dead weights like Sourav Ganguly. Also , there was no opening combination and the team did not yet have much experience of winning overseas. In the last 5 years against the top teams ( excluding Bangladesh) , India have more overseas victories than defeats. They have won series on seaming pitches in NZ and Eng and now have more confidence. So overall , in seaming conditions , the NZ batting being the less technically competent ( the only technician is the young Williamson ) might struggle. Sreesanth actually has a lot of talent and good bowling technique. He has issues with his run-up on occasion in which he tends to erratically go from small steps to leaps and then he loses his balance. However, his wrist position is super , seam release perfect and delivery stride excellent. Furthermore, he is the quickest bowler on either side in this series, having an average of close to 140 kph(The rest are 130 odd)

  • dummy4fb on November 17, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    Dan, if you really mean you were not happy with the Draw, you should have ordered McCullum to fire and posted India a target of around 300 with 45 overs remaining in the day. Come on Dan, when you had the upper hand, why didn't you react? India being the Number 1 team, would have gone for the win to salvage some pride. Captains like you who have such defensive tactics are a curse for test match cricket. I am following cricket only since 1990 and only a handful of captains had the guts to do something challenging in test cricket.

    Shame on you DAN....

  • bc1992 on November 17, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    @boris6491, what makes you think NZ will be any more vulnerable than India on a green wicket? In 2002 on green seamers the Indian lineup struggled to even break 100 on a few occasions, and NZ batsmen play their entire careers at home on seaming wickets. If the wicket is green in Nagpur, it will come down to who has the better seam attack, and at the moment that is NZ. Sreesanth is a joke, he would struggle to get a spot in a NZ provincial side, and while I'm no coach he has a host of technical problems that even the untrained eye can see. That's before you even get to his temperament issues - celebrating like that when he dismisses a bunny like Tim Southee? Give me a break......Ishant Sharma - is he out of form or something? Surely he would be a better option than Sreesanth. And Munaf, the few times I've seen him play he looks useful, why isnt he in the side? I would bring in McKay for the final test, some extra pace on a greentop would make things interesting for the Indian batting

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