Ahmedabad: After becoming the youngest New Zealand cricketer to score a century on debut, Kane Williamson on Sunday said the hard grind while preparing to face India’s spinners had paid off in the first cricket Test here.
“We knew before coming here we have to face top class spin bowling. Patience was the key. We had prepared very hard for it and it has paid off,” said the 20-year-old Williamson after the fourth day’s play at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera here.
Williamson top-scored for New Zealand with 131 in a total of 459 that fell short of the Indian first innings score by only 28 runs.
He also became the eighth New Zealand -- and the second visiting batsman from all countries this year -- to notch up a hundred in Test debut on Indian soil. South Africa opener Alviro Peterson was the first to score 100 in Kolkata in February against India.
Williamson, who showed enormous patience and the correct approach to tackle the Indian spinners on the slow track here, batted for over six and a half hours and hit 10 fours in his 299-ball essay.
He was dismissed by left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who took his career-best innings haul of four for 107, at the stroke of lunch on Sunday.
The youngster said that by nature New Zealand cricketers played aggressively and thanks to the superb bowling by Chris Martin, who claimed 5 for 25 to break the back of the Indian batting, the visitors were in with a chance to win the match against the world number one Test team.
“We are aggressive by nature. It was a superb effort by our bowling (Martin). When the third (Indian) wicket fell we were charged up and decided to have a go at their batsmen,” he said.
India lost their first three wickets with only three runs on the board before tea with Martin taking two wickets without conceding a run.
Virender Sehwag, who scored 173 in the first innings, was run out by a superb piece of fielding by substitute Martin Guptill.