Mumbai: On one side New Zealand’s batting coach Craig McMillan praised Kane Williamson and Tom Lathan for a focused performance, on the other host team’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar expressed his frustration of the frequent drink breaks taken by the kiwis during the India vs New Zealand’s First Test at Green Park Stadium, Kanpur on Friday.
The commendable partnership between Kane Williamson and Tom Lathan was the reason for a scoreline of 117/2 wickets.
The host managed a wicket in the first session and a wicket-less second session, to get in 26 overs.
“Their (Williamson-Latham) discipline (was key). They stuck to their game plans and when the Indian bowlers missed we jumped all over it. I thought the way they rotated the strike with that left and right-hand combination throughout the partnership was crucial,” said a proud McMillan at the press conference after the second day’s match.
“They just worked really hard and showed how hard it is out there. This surface is still playing pretty well, but there are a few balls taking off and turning. All-in-all self-discipline from both those guys throughout the partnership was crucial,” he added.
We’ve done a lot of work in terms of using the feet and getting deep in the crease. They are all key things to playing spin well. You watch the best players of spin around the world and they don’t get caught on the crease, they are either forward or back. All our guys have done a lot of work on that and everyone does it differently,” the former Kiwi all rounder added a note on his batsmen’s counter of the classic spin attacks.
Everyone’s technique is different and it is important you don’t just try and play the same way. You have to use what works for you and we’ve done that really well. Both players today used the depth of the crease really well. The key to that is picking up the length early, if you do that you can go forward or back.”
McMillan lauded the Indian spinners and said that the victory partnership of Williamson-Latham’s had focus at its pivot. Visitors were happy too with the proceedings of the match.
“That’s part of playing in India. We are confronted by two very good spinners who know the conditions well and are going to challenge you at different times. Mental (focus) plays a big part, not getting flustered, being comfortable in those conditions and being comfortable with the ball beating the outside edge and not letting that worry you,” MacMillan said.
“Both the guys soaked that up really nicely throughout that partnership and whenever they got scoring opportunities they made the most of it. That is one of the keys. You don’t allow Ashwin or Jadeja to bowl 12 or 15 balls at one person. You have to find a way, a way to get down the other end and both those guys did that really nicely today,” he said further acknowledging the effort.
McMillan went on ahead to tweet an encouragement for the Kiwis reading “A good tough day for Test cricket. Boys were disciplined and skilful. A lot more hard work ahead,” under the Twitter handle of @blackcaps.
He feels Latham was lucky to not get out when his shot bounced off his feet hitting KL Rahul’s helmet grill.
“I haven’t spoken to him, but obviously he has hit it into his foot and it’s bounced up nicely. Then the ball has ended up hitting the grill which means he is not out. A bit of luck on both sides. A bit of luck that he has hit it into his foot and it is a catch, and then a bit of luck from our side that it ended up touching the close fieldsman’s grill. We were happy with that and the way it played out,” he said.
“Well he has one of the shortest run-ups in world cricket so it is never going to take long for him to get through his overs. As a batsman it is important you are not rushed and you take your time so you are ready to face in your own time. That can be difficult when someone has such a short run-up, but I thought the guys did that well,” he gave a tip for going up against Ravindra Jadeja who is always in a hurry to complete the overs.
He expressed his exasperation over the rain breaks. Ironically so, even the Indian batting coach was not quite happy with the recurrent breaks taken by the Kiwis.
India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar believes the host team lost its momentum over the frequent take of breaks. He strongly feels it marred their flow and it may be a tactics of New Zealand.
“It was starting to turn a bit, and the bowlers were getting into good rhythm,” Bangar said. “I think the break of rain and the intermittent breaks in between definitely hampered the bowlers’ rhythm. That is something that we need to be aware of. And if somebody has come out with a ploy we need to negotiate that as well”.