O'Brien's 'best day' of cricket
Iain O'Brien said his 'best day' of cricket was perfectly rounded off by Tim McIntosh and Daniel Flynn's occupation of the crease, consolidating New Zealand's position after his career-best figures of 6 for 75 had kept West Indies to 305.
New Zealand's batting has been erratic of late, but O'Brien was delighted with the century stand between McIntosh, who ended the day unbeaten on 62, and Flynn (57). "To watch two guys play Test cricket, to watch two guys play genuine, proper, Test cricket, I really enjoy that stuff. There was nothing flashy, everything was just solid, it was good to watch."
O'Brien said the benefit of rest for bowlers was "huge". "In South Africa last year we had only three hours off the park in one of the Test matches. That's just not long enough.
"We've had most of today off and we'll sleep on it overnight and have most of tomorrow off as well. There's nothing better than time off the park to recharge the batteries. If you go back out there straight away and you're still fatigued, things start happening that are not the the right things and that's how you get injuries as well."
New Zealand coach Andy Moles was also pleased with his two batsmen. "Those two set a base that our middle and lower order should be able to launch from," Moles said. "There job is not finished yet as [McIntosh] needs to push on to a bigger score but he is well on the journey.
"McIntosh, in his second Test, has shown the mental approach needed for this position and was starting to flourish towards the end of the day, while Flynn continued to impress in the way he is handling the all-important No. 3 role."
O'Brien was chuffed with his bowling after being in a "dark place" following the first Test in Dunedin. "That's as consistent as I've ever been out in the middle, pace-wise as well. And to hit areas I was wanting, it was pretty rewarding, pretty pleasing to do that.
"I spent a bit of time in a dark place after Dunedin and looked back to when I bowled well. I remembered bowling to Michael Clarke in Australia and thinking 'this is going well', so I went back into the nets to explore that and I found one thing I wasn't doing in Dunedin and brought that back into my action."
O'Brien felt he had to keep performing to hold his place in the side, with players like Chris Martin on the sidelines. "The demons are always there and you're only one, two or three bad spells away [from being dropped]."