Nagpur: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori praised the Indian bowlers for their disciplined effort that saw the visitors reeling at 148 for seven at the end of the first day of the third Test match at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.
“I wouldn’t say rather than bad batting from us it’s been a good bowling effort from the Indians. Apart from myself, the others were out to good deliveries. So we should give credit to the Indian bowlers as they maintained a good line and bowled in right areas,” the Kiwi skipper said.
Vettori, however, said that this VCA stadium strip is not the one where one can post a total of around 500. “This is not a 500 kind of wicket. The feedback is that there is slow turn and playing spin is manageable. The plan would be to score as many runs as possible and then put pressure on the Indian batsmen with the bowl,” he added.
Asked about how Brendon McCullum, who came in at No. 8 instead of opening the innings, sustained the injury, the skipper said, “Just before the toss, Brendon was seen lying down in the field and in pain. It was confirmed as back spasms. But still we took a chance with him. It takes around 24 hours to heal, and hopefully, he would be able to bat normally tomorrow.”
The skipper defended his decision to bat first although he knew that McCullum was injured before the start.
“We thought that if we didn’t lose wickets today, Brendon would get fit tomorrow and come out to bat in the middle-order. But we lost wickets and he had to come out. But he showed a lot of courage and did pretty well. So it wasn’t a hard decision.”
He also praised Jesse Ryder terming him a quality player and said that it is the injury that has been bothering the burly New Zealander since the first Test.
About the delayed start, Vettori said that the portion of the outfield that took time to dry up, can again create problems as the stadium’s roof prevents it from getting sunlight.
“We hope that there isn’t stoppages due to rain as it will again take time to dry up.”
Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha, who came for the interaction with media, said that it was a great effort from the bowlers having sent almost all the recognised batsmen apart from McCullum back in the pavilion.
“We bowled in the right areas, and hopefully, we will get them out early tomorrow and hope to take a big first innings lead,” the left-arm spinner who had figures of two for 49, said.
Asked about his role in the team as restrictive option, Ojha said that it doesn’t necessarily mean that he would need to bowl to a negative line.
“I am instructed to bowl straight but I never bowl a negative line. I am always attacking the stumps.”