Mumbai: Green Park Stadium sadly resulted in a barren score for India as its turf turned into a battlefield when the Kiwis avenged their position and the hosts were left with a humble 291/9, on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand at Kanpur on Thursday’s.
Murali Vijay, on whom the masses had pinned down their hopes on the occasion of India’s 500th Test, admitted to have lost the advantage of the home ground, in spite of doing well at a point with a good 154 for 1.
He was the top scorer for India with a decent 65, and got out to a loose shot against the kiwi ball by Ish Sodhi. Sheer lack of concentration got him in soup as he admitted saying, “It was just a bad shot selection and I can really work on that and put up a better show in the second innings.”
“We got out to loose shots as well and wicket was deteriorating as well, so we really got to be patient on this wicket. It’s a lesson learnt and hopefully we can put up a better show in the second innings,” said am optimistic Vijay at the press conference.
When further questions were asked about the loose game, he said it was “bit of both”- lack of application from the batsmen accompanied with the wicket.
Celebrated skipper Virat Kohli and the right handed batsman Rohit Sharma’s dismal shot selection too costed us the wickets.
Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma, who is recovering from the mosquito-borne viral infection chikungunya was ruled out of the match which may have marred the preparations.
“We have put runs on the board. What we have got to do now is go there and put pressure on them. It’s a good total to play around with,” the Tamilian opener showered confidence, further adding that we were in a “good position”.
He further added saying, “We have our plans, the wicket is on the slower side and it is going to be difficult to score runs. That is what I have experienced on the first day, so it’s going to be difficult for them as well with the quality of Ashwin and Jadeja in the side. It’s going to be a good day for us, hopefully.”
On being asked how the team felt in the dressing room, when Rohit stabilised the scoreline with his partner Ravichandran Ashwin for 52 runs, only to get out by chipping the ball to Sodhi, Vijay said, “That’s his area, when it comes out good, it looks good. When it does not, you fall on the wrong side. We still got to back our instincts.”
He further encouraged his fellow mates by saying, “At the end of the day, we are playing a sport where you go to win matches rather than just participate in it. Whatever has got you here, you got to back that.”
“I would say, they had a good attack. According to situation, we got to make a play out of it. We knew this is going to be the plan (Kiwis fielding three spinners), we were well prepared for it. We could have capitalized a bit more after tea,” he said, thinking of their spin attack to be decent.
I played only one innings there and after that it’s been long and after that I am happy to play cricket again” admitted a satiated Vijay after a single digit score (of 7) to show in India’s previous match in the West Indies to and fro.