No wickets with new ball hurt: Southee
Bengaluru, Sep 3: The inclusion of Tim Southee in place of Chris Martin was the only change that New Zealand made in their team after the innings loss in Hyderabad. And despite the result in Bengaluru not going their way, the decision proved to be spot-on. Southee rattled the Indian batsmen in the first innings to register career-best figures of 7/64 and give the visitors a slender lead.
The pacer was expected to be equally effective, if not more, on Day 4 of the Test as India were chasing 261 runs. However, the wickets didn’t come – he ended up with 1/68 – and the hosts got over the line with five wickets in hand.
After the loss, Southee spoke to bcci.tv about the changes he encountered in the wicket in the second innings and where the Kiwi bowlers failed to seize the initiative. He also lauded the team’s improved performance and the fight they put up after recovering from the heavy loss in the first Test.
Despite the loss here, the team must be really proud of the way you fought after the Hyderabad loss.
It was good to turn things around from Hyderabad and we showed a lot of courage to do that. The result was disappointing in the end, but we fought hard. We put on a pretty good performance but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough. We came close and it was a very much improved performance.
After your exploits in the first innings, the expectations were high from you when India batted on a fourth-day track. What went wrong?
It’s always tougher as the game goes on; the wicket didn’t have too much in it. We were just one or two wickets away from getting back into the game. Yes, it would’ve been really nice to get a couple of more wickets with the new ball. That responsibility was on Trent [Boult] and myself. But India got off to a good start. We made a scroll back but fell short by a couple of wickets.
As a fast bowler, how would you assess this wicket?
I thought it was a pretty good cricket wicket throughout the whole four days. There were runs scored and wickets taken.
Did it behave differently in the second innings from the first?
In the first innings, we got wickets with the new ball, which made things a lot easier. But not being able to do that in the second innings made things a little bit tougher for us. There was a bit of swing in the second innings; but not as much as there was in the first innings. It wasn’t something that we were relying on. Obviously, we’d have liked a lot more swing but it wasn’t to be.
Did the rain and overcast conditions make things better for you in any way?
I don’t think that was an advantage. In fact, the ball got a bit softer, so it became that much harder for the bowlers. It didn’t have a big effect on either side.
What lessons would the team take back home from this series?
The second Test was a massive step forward from Hyderabad and hopefully we can keep progressing as a team. We’ve got plenty of Tests coming up against some tough opposition. Hopefully, we learn from not only this game but also the defeat in Hyderabad, grow as a side and churn out some more Test wins.