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‘Wasn’t really an ideal day for us’

Wellington: Bradley-John Watling admitted that a long, hard battle lies ahead of the New Zealand batsmen in the second Test against India, after the visitors took a formidable 246-run first-innings lead, riding on Ajinkya Rahane’s maiden Test ton here on Saturday.

“It was not really an ideal day for us. We got ourselves into situations where, if we had taken another wicket or two, we could have been chasing 100 or 150. Obviously, it was a disappointing result in the end but we have still got three days to grind it out here. The pitch is definitely looking a lot better to bat on,” the New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman said at the end of second day’s play.

“Credit must go to their batsmen. (Shikhar) Dhawan obviously played really well at the top and got them off to a good start and (Ajinkya) Rahane’s hundred was pretty good. He played very well. Then, (MS) Dhoni’s counter-attack hurt us and that partnership was probably the difference between an okay day and a good day for them. If we had taken a wicket there, we could have been right in the hunt,” Watling added.

“The wicket has definitely improved. On Day 1, it was pretty green and doing a bit. On Saturday, there was still enough in it for the bowlers but it has browned off.”