Indore: On the end of a buffeting from Virat Kohli and middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane on the second day of Indias third Test against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Sunday, New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said the Indian captain had taken the game away from the visitors.
“(It was) high quality batting, took a good delivery to create half chances. Went through long periods of play where we reeled out a lot of plans, stuck to our game well, but we were worn down. Kohli killed us softly, is the nicest way of describing it, after scoring about 120 singles (out of his career best score of 211),” Hesson told media at the end of the day’ play.
“A tough day but, sounds funny, also a satisfying day in terms of the standards we set. Our seam bowlers delivering 30 overs, 135-140 kmph at times, in heat and humidity. At no stage did we roll over and give soft runs. I thought it was a high quality Test cricket. We contributed to that with our bowling.
“When you go over a 100 overs without a wicket it can be demoralising. If you’re not strong willed and keep fighting it can be tough, but we did that pretty well,” he added.
Kohli notched up his second double ton of the year by scoring 211 while Rahane posted his second hundred of 2016 with a 188 as India rode their record-breaking fourth-wicket stand of 365 to lay the foundation of a big total.
Replying to India’s first innings score of 557/6 declared, the Kiwis trailed by 529 runs at stumps with a score of 28 for no loss.
Hesson said the third day will be very important.
“Any Test match they have to set the tone, that’s something we haven’t been able to do. This is the third of three quite distinctive surfaces. (We have) been shown a blueprint of how to play on it. As the game moves on things will become harder but Monday’s an important day for us.
“The surface is still pretty good. (It’s) fair to say footmarks (are) building as they tend to do, but body of surface is good. I’m sure the umpires will maintain that,” he said.
“We just have to bat for long periods of time. Each batsman has his own game plan and it is a matter of being very decisive around that. It is not quite as sharp a turn at the moment as perhaps in Kanpur but we know that will change over time. We have a very good blueprint of how to bat of that surface. Our challenge tomorrow is to try and replicate something similar.”
He said the team tried out a lot many things to break the fourth wicket stand.
“At 100/3 on a very slow surface we had got ourselves in a nice position but Virat in particular yesterday was very composed around how he played. There was one half chance but outside of that it was faultless,” Hesson said.
“We tried to bowl straight, wide, tried to bring the foot holes into play, bowl around the wicket, a short (ball) plan. We tried a lot of things and we created a lot of chances against Ajinkya but it wasn’t to be. The way they carried on, it was an exceptional partnership and we have to acknowledge that and say well played.”