India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Hyderabad, 2nd day August 24, 2012

Patel banks on New Zealand's ability to fight

Jeetan Patel, the New Zealand offspinner, has said his side can "fight" and come back in the Hyderabad Test despite needing another 133 runs to avoid the follow-on with all the specialist batsmen dismissed.

"We have got the opportunity tomorrow," Jeetan said. "Face the music, and fight - what we know the best. The best thing about the Kiwi cricketers is we know how to fight. We have been in a lot of situations where we had to fight. Tomorrow is a good chance for the guys to get back in."

While Jeetan was hopeful of a comeback, R Ashwin, his India counterpart, said the home side would have an eye on enforcing the follow-on if New Zealand were to get dismissed early tomorrow."With respect to how the wicket is behaving and it being a little bit cloudy, I think we should be looking to bowl twice and get the job done," Ashwin said.

The pitch did not deteriorate much on the second day but there was a lot of bounce and some turn for the India spinners. Patel said New Zealand were expecting the pitch to behave the way it did. "I think the wicket has changed a little bit. But it's still slow and low with the seamers. It is taking more turn, probably a little more than we expected, such as an under-prepared wicket, and we expected that."

Despite knowing that, New Zealand could not handle the Indian spinners, losing Martin Guptill to Ashwin's first delivery and Brendon McCullum to Pragyan Ojha's third ball. Ashwin and Ojha claimed all five New Zealand wickets to fall today. "It is disappointing. It's as simple as that," Jeetan said. "They bowled some good balls and we nicked them. That is what happens in cricket. It's tough. It was always going to be a hard tour for us bowling first up on a wicket that does not help you."

Not that Jeetan did badly when he bowled. India usually target the opposition spinner, but Jeetan was difficult to get away, and ended with 4 for 100 in 41 overs. Bowling to a 6-3 on-side field right through, he restricted run-scoring opportunities, and three of his four wickets came when batsmen tried to hit out. With Daniel Vettori being New Zealand's lead spinner, this is only Jeetan's 14th Test since making his debut in 2006, and he spoke about making the most whenever he got the chance.

"There aren't too many opportunities when I get to play Test cricket, so when I do, I got to put my hand up. I want to contribute and get wins for us. Obviously, getting a four-for is nice but I will have to get more than that to get us over the line."

Jeetan said he had a made a few adjustments, both technical and mental, and was now enjoying his game more. "A couple of years ago, I made a couple of changes to my action and my mental approach to the game is different now. I'm trying to enjoy a lot more the moments that I play as opposed to looking at it as if it is my last moment. That sort of mental attitude has put me in the forefront of what's happening rather than what has happened. Getting an opportunity in county cricket [for Warwickshire] was very good for me. I needed four months of just bowling as many overs as I could."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ramakrishnan on August 25, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    This Kiwi Team is no better than a club team. Even a child can predict the outcome of the series. Total lack of application on the part of their top order batsmen. Ross Taylor loves to give his best only in IPL and so also McCullum. You cant win matches in India with mere bowlers unless their batsmen put enough runs on the board. An innings defeat looms for NZ and probably, the match will be over by tea on Day 4.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    As an Indian fan, we wish you the very best. Hope you perform beyond expectations and enjoy your stay in our country. I enjoyed my three days in yours.

  • D on August 25, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Somebody kindly call in the SPCC... the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cricketers. A group of players that barely have the skills for IPL/Twenty20 are being asked to play a Test series in India. I can't anyone in the Indian squad will be complaining -- great chance to fluff their averages -- but the real loser in this contest is us the spectators. We have to put up with this awful embarrassment masquerading as a Test series. New Zealand: please pack your bags and go. India can slot in another mini-IPL during this time, and make a lot more money to boot.

  • Matt on August 25, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    New coach or not this NZ team with is less than oridinary batting line up will struggle to make 350 in any innings of any test match. Honestly, this game will be over by lunch day 4!!....NZ batsmen in particular Taylor and Bmac repeatedly fail. BMac should be at 6/7 so an extra batsmen can be included or else he needs to be dropped. NZ will struggle to 250. Again our bowling was ok restriciting India to 400 at home is a good effort. Its a real shame our batsment cant back them up.

  • Freeza on August 25, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    @Inzamam75 spot on mate, I'm absolutely sick of it. Some shots by those two have been absolutely horrible. I'm really concerned about Taylor, hes just laughing and joking around in the field like he doesn't give a toss. Its really a shame because he was about to become something special a couple of years back, same with McCullum. I mean we are losing basically every game with them in the team anyway, we may as well lose and give some younger guys (who will fight and give it everything for their country) a go, give them some experience.

  • Chay on August 24, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    I would guarantee that any first class batsman in New Zealand would show more heart, brains and application than Ross Taylor or Brendon McCullum. Taylor's comments that no Dravid or Laxman was a bonus proved how clueless he really is. One of their replacements has scored more first class centuries than he has! Sorry for ranting but I'm sick of these muppets and people who defend them because they're "talented" or the "best" we have. New Zealand cricket would be better off without them both and getting in some real first class players with the desire to play test cricket and be measured against the best.

  • michael on August 24, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    NZ batsmen have done exactly what was expected--McCullum and, Flynn have to be dropped or at least McCullum should be wicketkeeper at no. 7. Taylor is on notice. His series of failures can't be justified much longer. But who will replace them?? Good question, there isn't anybody. We'll have to wait for the next generation

  • Ganesh_Toronto on August 24, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Patel did well to capture 4 wickets bowling on the first and second day pitch. he can only get better from here. Good bowling by Ashwin and Ojha on Day 2 and good close in fielding by Virat and Sehwag. Nice to see that no catches were floored. MS innings in this test was more mature and hope he can follow up with more of such innings.

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