New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson said his team is pleased to keep things in the balance after India reached 146 for three on day two of the World Test Championship final in Southampton on June 19.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma (34 off 68) and Shubman Gill (28 off 64) showed remarkable application against the moving ball to share a 62-run stand.
However, New Zealand was able to take three wickets before bad light brought a premature end to day two. The opening day was washed out.
“It was a good day for Test cricket, the disruption probably didn’t help the momentum that we had at that point of time,” Jamieson, who took one wicket, said during a virtual press conference.
“They played really well, they put away bad balls, and they were patient outside off, our plan was to stick around, keep things restricted and we got three important wickets as well.
“It was crucial to try to get balls in reasonable areas for long periods, how we did that throughout the day after they started off well was pretty pleasing, to keep things in the balance.” Jamieson said India is “a quality line up from 1 to 11”. “There is a reason why they are one of the top teams in the world for a long period of time. For us, it was about putting the ball in the right areas and I think we were able to do that for the most part and take that confidence tomorrow,” he said.
Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour said that a first innings score of 250-plus will put India in a fighting position.
Asked about his opinion, Jamieson said: “We certainly haven’t spoken around a number, I think there is an opportunity to score runs as a batting unit and there is still some help with the ball moving around and seaming.
“The Indian batsmen have shown if you are patient, there are still runs to be had. So whether 250 is a good score, only time will tell.” Jamieson said his team was “able to keep the ball in challenging areas for long period”. “You look at their lineup, you are expecting those guys to do well, they have good records and they have done special things around the world. They have put away slightly bad ball, they were able to score freely,” he said.
“They certainly played well in first hours. We tried to wobble the ball a bit and keep guys engaged. It is part of our arsenal, there were no set plans how we want to operate after that first hour.” With the New Zealand pacers bowling in tandem, the Indian opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill tried to come down the track sometimes.
“It was an interesting one, it is not something we probably expected a huge amount,” Jamieson said.
“My take was that, if they were walking then they were not comfortable where I was bowling in the crease, so I tried to take that as a positive.
“The more they felt that they had to move around to throw us off, we could just hang in there and it sort of can get dividends.”
Gill had taken a nasty blow off Jamieson during the second day and the Kiwi pacer said he is just happy that the batsman was okay.
“It is not nice to see someone get hurt and see physios run on, so it was good to see he was okay.”