“It's not often that New Zealand are in a position to enforce the follow-on,” began Chris Martin, succinctly summing up just how the home team felt, having reached a position from which they're favourites to level the series.
Martin, who became the fifth New Zealander after Richard Hadlee, Daniel Vettori, Chris Cairns and Danny Morrison to pick up 150 Test wickets, admitted that New Zealand did not expect to get as much success as they did on Saturday. “It's quite difficult to picture getting eight wickets on that pitch in a day. For us to actually end up with that result is something we weren't expecting at the start of the day,” said Martin, while attempting to explain just how this happened.
“The way the modern player plays is to hit boundaries, and it's the same with the Indian batsmen. If you put it full enough and out there, they back their ability to hit it to the boundary,” said Martin. “I suppose you've got be a bit more calculative, take your time, and make sure you're used to the conditions before you play those shots. The new ball definitely put some doubt in the players' minds.”
While the seamers did their bit, Vettori and Jeetan Patel too picked up crucial wickets. “The way Vettori attacks is to deny (runs), and Jeetan operates the same way. If you can keep a quality player from getting his fix from the boundary, it puts a lot of pressure on him,” said Martin. “The scoreboard doesn't go anywhere. When you do pick up wickets, it tends to stagnate sides.”
Even part-timer Jesse Ryder got in on the action, removing Rahul Dravid when he was batting well. “Jesse is one of those naturally talented athletes. You look at him and you wouldn't think he could not do half the things that he does,” said Martin. “He feeds off having that golden touch. When he gets the ball something can happen. Again he lulled a guy who was batting nicely into a bad shot. That sums Jesse up. He is a little bit better than you think. You can't take him lightly.”
From the evidence, India seem to have taken Jesse and his buddies a bit too lightly, and paid the price.