Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma today said that the Indian team got “what they wanted” before going into the first Test against New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland, starting February 6.
“We got what we wanted from this practice game. All the batsmen got in and made some runs which is a good sign before a Test series. We are ready and both the batsmen and the bowlers got what they wanted from this match. I am happy with how things went in the last two days,” Rohit, who scored a half-century along with Ajinkya Rahane said at the post-match press conference.
Apart from Rohit and Rahane, Ambati Rayudu (49 no) and Ravichandran Ashwin also got some useful batting practice.
Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara scored 33 runs while Ashwin also had a good time with the ball taking two for 46.
Among bowlers, Ishant Sharma (2/58), Zaheer Khan (1/42) and Umesh Yadav (1/70) were also among the wickets, but the most impressive bowler was unheralded Ishwar Pandey with figures of 3/42.
Rohit had words of praise for young Pandey.
“Pandey bowled really well. Given the conditions, he stuck to his plans and he got rewarded with three wickets. All the other three fast bowlers also did well. They did not get the wickets they wanted, but Pandey was the one who got really stuck there,” said Rohit.
Rohit said that it was important to rotate all his bowlers unlike the New Zealand XI, who gave their bowlers longer spells.
“If you look at their bowling analysis, they probably bowled 15 overs each, which is pretty good on day one. We had to rotate the bowlers, and we had to see all the fast bowlers who were in the squad. Everyone got what they needed to get out of this game. We are looking good and raring to go for the Test series,” he added.
Rohit defended yet another poor show by Shikhar Dhawan (26) and Murali Vijay not making the most of the batting time in match situation.
“I won’t say it is disappointing that they didn’t bat longer. They had a decent outing in the middle. They got a feel. It is always disappointing to not get runs. It is not an issue. I am sure it is a matter of one good innings and things will change quickly. That is what I feel and I am sure those guys also feel the same,” said the stand-in skipper, come to the rescue of his batsmen.
The Indian team now leaves for Auckland on Tuesday and then they have a short turn-around of only one day before the first Test begins in Eden Park on February 6.
“We knew it was going to be very hectic. Mentally, we have got to be ready and everyone is ready. Touchwood, there continued…