After hard work, we can ill-afford to slip | india | Hindustan Times
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After hard work, we can ill-afford to slip

Had we dismissed India closer to our score, it would have been an exciting finish to the third day. But Harbhajan Singh batted brilliantly to pull India ahead. We now need to dismiss the last wicket early on Monday and then bat the day to take control.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2010 23:11 IST
Daniel Vettori

Had we dismissed India closer to our score, it would have been an exciting finish to the third day. But Harbhajan Singh batted brilliantly to pull India ahead. We now need to dismiss the last wicket early on Monday and then bat the day to take control.

I could have probably tried Tim Southee for a couple of more overs when Harbhajan and Sreesanth were batting. When things don't go your way, there are always things you could have done differently.

It is a shame that even though we stuck to our plans, Harbhajan undid the good work. Overall, we are satisfied with the day. Realistically, it was just the last 45 minutes which were disappointing.

For us to come back after the way Virender Sehwag batted was a testimony of the character of the side. Sehwag is in good form and is batting better than the previous innings. What he does best is put pressure back on the bowlers. We need to adapt and that's the key. We need to put the pressure back on Viru and dictate terms in the second innings.

The Test has gone pretty well for us. As a captain, I am too picky, but the guys have stuck to the task. Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder have weighed in with the bat. The middle order is showing improvement. For McIntosh to score a hundred after a pair in the first Test shows his ability. A lot of people felt we should have dropped him, but we had faith in him and he repaid us in kind.

To think that our two key batsmen, Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, are yet to strike a hundred makes it all the more exciting as we head into the most crucial phase of this series. Both are desperate and fantastic players. I am sure at some stage they will come up with a big score.

Except for Sehwag and Harbhajan, while batting, we have managed to keep the India line-up under check in this Test. If we can tidy up that part, we can give ourselves a chance of winning this Test.

We cannot afford to take a session off from here on, rather we need to hold on for another six sessions. TCM