Cricket: Demoralising day for Black Caps as India piles on the runs

By Andrew Alderson in Indore

Coach Mike Hesson has painted an upbeat picture of a potentially demoralising second day for the New Zealand cricketers in the third test against India at Indore.

He also issued a plea for umpires to exercise due diligence in preventing players running on the spin-friendly wicket. The directive came after India's Ravindra Jadeja was penalised five runs for doing so deliberately during the first innings.

The day was dominated by Virat Kohli (211) and Ajinkya Rahane (188) completing an Indian record fourth-wicket partnership of 365, the cornerstone in the hosts' 557 for five declared.

New Zealand are 28 without loss in reply.

Kohli and Rahane endured a handful of ambitious appeals and nothing went to hand as each made his highest test score.

"It was high quality batting and it took a good delivery to create a half chance," Hesson said.

"We reeled out a lot of plans but were worn down. Virat in particular was composed in how he played. There was one half chance, but outside that his innings was faultless. We tried to bowl straight, wide, brought the footholes into play, bowled around the wicket and initiated a short-pitched plan.

"He 'killed us softly' is the nicest way of describing it, after scoring almost 120 singles."

New Zealand endured a wicketless 112 overs during the Kohli-Rahane partnership.

"It can be demoralising if you're not strong-willed and keep fighting," Hesson said.

"It sounds funny, but it was also a satisfying day in terms of the standards we set. Our seam bowlers [Matt Henry and Trent Boult] delivered more than 30 overs each at 135-140km/h in heat and humidity. At no stage did we roll over and give soft runs.

"We bowled a lot of bumpers but the slower surface meant that they potentially bounced twice before the keeper. Matt Henry bowled 26 yesterday, including several at Kohli but he picked his ball nicely. We had more luck against Rahane, but it didn't lead to a wicket."

Rahane rated it his best test innings after battling early.

"When you struggle it is important to 'enjoy' that struggle because that makes it 'real' test cricket scoring a century in those circumstances. You can't score all of your hundreds in 120 balls.

"Credit goes to how I handled that spell yesterday when they were bowling short."
The onus goes on the New Zealand top seven to get parity with India, something they are yet to achieve in the series.

Hesson paid tribute to Martin Guptill and Tom Latham for surviving to stumps and buying their top order colleagues time to get a decent night's sleep, massages and rehydration.

"Having spent 169 overs in the park with humidity like that is incredibly challenging," he said.

"For our openers to bat nine overs after expending so much energy is an achievement that can't be underestimated with three massive days ahead.

"India's shown us a blueprint of how to play on this wicket."

Hesson chose his words carefully when asked for his reaction to Indian batsman - and more significantly left-arm orthodox spinner - Ravindra Jadeja getting penalised five runs for running on the wicket, a habit also evident in Kolkata.

"It's fair to say the footmarks are building, as they tend to do, but the body of the surface is good. I'm sure the umpires will maintain that.

"In countries where the wickets deteriorate like this, the umpires have to be decisive around how they look after the middle of the wicket. There are rules in place and they need to stick to those."

- NZ Herald

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