Ahmedabad: As New Zealand found India in the driver’s seat in the first cricket Test early on, Kiwi batsman Jesse Ryder said things may have been different had they not dropped Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid.
“It’s always disappointing. You come here and play on their home turf and it’s been a long day on the field. It’s disappointing to drop those catches. Catches are always vital. If we had taken those, the story might have been different,” said Ryder at the end of the day’s play during which India rattled up 329 for three.
Sehwag made a strokeful 173, his 22nd Test hundred, after being dropped twice - on 144 and 155, while Dravid, who made 104, was dropped early in his innings, at 28.
The duo put on a record partnership of 237 for the second wicket, the best for India against the Kiwis and their 10th century stand against all comers.
Ryder, who gave his side the first breakthrough by dismissing opener Gautam Gambhir, said their bowlers failed to execute the plans.
“We had our plans against Sehwag. We obviously knew that he will come out and have a go against us. At times we didn’t bowl to our plans and we let him get away,” he said.
“It’s hard to stop a batsman who is going like that unless you stick to your plans. And we didn’t always stick to our plans. We wanted to tuck him up and not let him free his arms but we gave some width early on. That didn’t help us,” he added.
Sehwag got his runs off just 199 balls and with the help of 24 fours and a six before falling to rival captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori.
But Ryder was happy that both the well-set batsmen were snared by the Kiwis before close and to have restricted India to under 330 when at the beginning it looked as if 400 was on the cards at stumps.
“It was good to get those two wickets in the end. If we can bowl well tomorrow and get early wickets things will bring some change for us. They were looking at 400 at the end of the day at one stage and to finish on 300 + was some good work from us at the end of the day,” he said.
He was pleased to have dismissed Gambhir with his medium pace bowling.
“I was trying to just bowl full and straight. I am happy with that wicket,” he said.
Talking about Motera strip, Ryder said, “The wicket was two-paced and a bit up and down in the end but hopefully it looks like it would flatten out a little bit more. It shouldn’t be too bad. We have to see over the next couple of days.”