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BCCI Staff 15 February 2014 - 03:18pm IST

Rahane-Dhoni stand hurt us: Watling

Kiwi wicketkeeper credits Indian batsmen for their uninhibited performance

BJ Watling, New Zealand’s wicketkeeper, was a disappointed man after his team conceded a 247-run first-innings lead to India on the second day of the Wellington Test. He said the bad day in the field means the Kiwis have three days of hard work ahead of them.

"It was not really an ideal day for us,” Watling said. “We got ourselves into situations where, if we had taken another wicket or two, we could have been chasing 100 or 150. Obviously, it was a disappointing result in the end but we have still got three days to grind it out here. The pitch is definitely looking a lot better to bat on.”

Watling gave all credit to the Indian batsmen who played uninhibited brand of cricket to pile on 438 runs. "Credit must go to their batsmen,” he said. “(Shikhar) Dhawan obviously played really well at the top and got them off to a good start and (Ajinkya) Rahane's hundred was pretty good. He played very well. Then, (MS) Dhoni's counter-attack hurt us and that partnership was probably the difference between an okay day and a good day for them. If we had taken a wicket there, we could have been right in the hunt,"

At the end of the day, New Zealand were 24 for 1, trailing India by 233 runs. Watling said he was confident of an improve show with the bat since the wicket has settled down well.

"The wicket has definitely improved. On day one, it was pretty green and doing a bit,” Watling said. “Today, there was still enough in it for the bowlers but it has browned off and looks a pretty decent batting track now. We are looking forward to getting out there and taking on the challenge and trying to bat for a long time as a group. It's going to be a huge challenge. We are going to have to bat long here to get ourselves back in the game.

"(Ishant) Sharma is bowling really well, so is (Mohammad) Shami and Zaheer (Khan) is an experienced bowler. He will hit some good areas too, so we got to soak it up in the morning for an hour and then bat for a long time. But I don't think there are too many demons in the wicket at the moment, and it should be at its best tomorrow.

"There is still good attitude in the dressing room. The bowlers ran in hard today and bowled well and we appreciated their effort. Now, it's an opportunity for the batsmen to try and grind out as many runs as they can and bat for a long time. We know what's ahead of us and now it's time to try and push back," Watling said.