India batsman Hanuma Vihari confessed that it was poor batting from the visiting team that saw them bundle out for 242 against New Zealand on the opening day of the second Test at the Hagley Oval on Saturday. In fact, he went on to add that the wicket didn’t do as much as the Indians had expected.
“Yes, obviously as the pitch didn’t do as much as we expected. They bowled in good areas and knew what to expect from this track. Prithvi Shaw set the tone, Cheteshwar Pujara spent time. All dismissals happened at wrong time. None of the dismissals were because of the pitch. Mostly it was because of batsmen’s error. Pitch was fair,” Vihari said at the end of the day’s play.
Vihari though praised New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson and said the bowler deserved his maiden fifer.
“He will get much more bounce than other bowlers and that extra bounce is a factor on these kind of pitches where it is bouncy and much more spongy than Indian tracks. To play him on front foot balls are more dangerous than back of length or short balls. Jamieson deservingly got five wickets,” he said.
He looked in control till the time he was at the crease and said that the idea was to not put Pujara under undue pressure and that is why he kept looking to score.
“As Pujara was playing at one end and I wanted to take that lead and play positively because he is a player who will play for a lot of time. We know that. So I didn’t also want to take time and put pressure on Pujara or on our innings because if you don’t keep scoreboard moving you will get stuck like in the last game. That’s why I decided to play positively and take them on,” Vihari pointed.
A collapse saw India lose their last six wickets for just 48 runs and Vihari admitted that he should have carried on and scored a big one.
“It was a wrong time to get out obviously just before tea as we had a good session. We scored 110 runs and lost only one wicket prior to that. I was batting positively but I played one shot too many,” he said.
“As a team we wanted to show more intent. Wicket was much better here and it was a personal decision to put the short ball away and put pressure on them. It didn’t go our way on a couple of occasions. I am sure when we get opportunity again we can do it.”
Having played for India ‘A’ at the venue, Vihari said that the wicket would ease out.
“I played an India ‘A’ game here and that’s what I was communicating to my teammates that it doesn’t do much after the first session and it really flattens out after that. It will slow down on day three and four. It played according to our imagination. It’s a fair wicket,” he said.