Nagpur: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori feels that losing seven wickets on curtailed first day’s play of the third and the final Test became decisive in the end.
“I think after winning the toss, scoring just 193 put us under a lot of pressure. And yesterday morning we bowled so well and took three wickets but couldn’t capitalize on that. Dhoni and Dravid played exceptionally well. There were lots of niggles for us but I think India showed us how to bat, especially in this Test,” the New Zealand captain said at the end of the third Test match that India won by an innings and 198 runs.”
Vettori however didn’t agree that an extra spinner would have been of any help. “No I don’t think so. We lost because of our batting in the first innings. The disappointment was more so because this was a pitch where one could have batted long enough to save the match. Any time you lose, you surrender too early. We are disappointing with our performance. We knew we had to be positive this
morning but couple of dismissals... There was a period where India bowled well but once you get through the new (hard) ball, it’s a wicket where you can bat on for a long time.”
Although Vettori didn’t want to comment on how Indians will fare in South Africa but didn’t forget to mention that the wickets will have a huge bearing on the outcome.
“I am not sure on what grounds they are playing. That will have a huge bearing on it. India are No 1 team in the world for a reason and they have started to play exceptionally well overseas. So South Africa seems final frontier for them.”
When asked whether the mental frame of the Kiwi batsmen was a bit of a problem, he said, “It’s hard to comment on that. I can only look at the overall performance and say it was poor compared to the first two Tests. We were exceptional because we grinded it out and put in good performances. In this part of the world, the first innings runs keeps you in the game and then its up to your bowling attack to take wickets. But that didn’t happen here,” he said.
Ishant Sharma’s bowling was also a factor, said the left-arm spinner. “The real difference was Sharma. To take seven wickets on this surface...we knew we were in for a challenge against spinners but we should have done better against the seamers. It was a pretty flat track for the seamers but for him to come in and do the damage was the real difference between the two teams.”
The skipper also maintained his stand on UDRS.
“I am consistent with my opinion and that is about the referral system is good for the game.”
About the positives that have emerged from the Test series, he said, “Williamson, McCullum, Ryder and McIntosh are an exciting group of batters. Now we have to learn from India about batting long hours day in and day out.”
The New Zealand captain also said that Jesse Ryder who has been carrying calf muscle injury will be going back home.