New Zealand v India, 1st Test, Hamilton, 2nd day March 19, 2009

'It is good to be back' - Martin

Cricinfo staff

Chris Martin was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers, taking 2 for 53 © Getty Images

Chris Martin, the New Zealand seamer, believes his performance on the second day has helped put his doubters at bay. Martin, in his first international game in four months, said he was glad to be back in the team again and lauded his captain Daniel Vettori for showing faith in him.

"Test cricket is pretty big for me. It is good to be back," said Martin. "Once you are in the team and are hanging out with guys you have played with, the confidence it gives you is huge. I think Dan [Vettori] has given me the ball at good times in the match to let me have a good crack at it. To have actually given that payback today at few stages was good."

Martin was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with 2 for 53. His breakthroughs were timely: he dismissed Gautam Gambhir, who had added 105 with Rahul Dravid, and then broke a threatening 61-run stand for the fourth wicket by getting rid of VVS Laxman.

Asked if he was affected by the criticism surrounding his selection for the first Test, Martin felt he managed to deal with it easily. "I might get the odd word from friends and families, but my main focus was to not let the talk in the media leading to the Test. It has helped me relax and get into a groove.

"With that old man time catching up on you, you struggle a little bit sometimes. But in this Test I think I have managed to regain the perception of what people thought I had lost. To prove a few doubters wrong is always on my list, and also to prove it to myself as well."

Martin said New Zealand could have ended on a better note for his team had Daniel Flynn held on to a difficult chance from Sachin Tendulkar off Daniel Vettori while on 13. New Zealand did keep India's run-scoring in check but India hold the advantage with six wickets in hand and just one run shy of the home team's score.

"If you bowl a good line and a good length, batsmen respect it. To go at three an over on that wicket was a good achievement," said Martin. "Had we held held our catches, perhaps the day would have been more even."

Though India are still ahead, Martin was hopeful of a fightback as he believed the conditions in the morning would be conducive to fast bowling. "Each morning you turn up, there is always a bit of moisture," he said. "There is a little bit of something in the air. If we can at least pull back a couple of wickets, we can get ourselves right back in the game again."