It was not quite the Eden Gardens of yore. However, the intense decibel levels from a strong crowd provided a fitting atmosphere as India wrapped up an emphatic victory to seal the series as well as rise to the top of the Test rankings. Though disappointed with the defeat, New Zealand captain Ross Taylor played down the difficulty for his batsmen in having to survive amidst vociferous appeals from the close-in fielders as well while insisting that the visitors put as much pressure on the umpires as they could.
During the post-match press conference, the 32-year old also expressed confidence in regular skipper Kane Williamson’s availability for the third Test at Indore and hoped that their luck with the toss would finally change.
When asked about the vigorous appealing and counterpart Virat Kohli inciting the crowd to join in on the action, Taylor believed, “Obviously it adds to the atmosphere of the ground and to the spectacle for people on TV as well. When you play ODIs, people are making noise all the time. (In) Twenty20, (it) is the whole time. It is a cauldron out there regardless of whether people are making noise or (whether) there are three or four people around the bat. It is always difficult. But was it a factor, I don't think so.”
The seasoned campaigner added, “Any time you come over here, you know you are going to get out-appealed. When you play against India or any sub-continent side, spinners are always a factor and there is always a lot of men around the bat. Any time there is little inside edges or bat-pads, there is always going to be a lot of noise. BJ (Watling) has tried his best, maybe a bit too much at times because he had to go off with cramp. I think this has been the best we've appealed, in my history anyway.“
After Williamson was ruled out of the Test with an illness, the Kiwis lost the toss as well which did not help matters at all. Though they had opportunities to seize control at various stages, India wrested back the initiative by showing better match awareness. Having already lost the series, there might be only pride to play for when the final contest starts on Saturday at the Holkar Stadium.
Not wanting to attribute the defeat to Williamson’s absence, Taylor maintained, “Anytime you have your skipper and best player out is disappointing. But, the team has to step up. We can't rely on Kane all the time. It was good to see him walking about. I'm sure he'll be a bit lethargic over the next couple of days, it's still pretty tiring losing a few kilos and being stuck inside. But, there are positive signs that he'll be ready for the next match and it will obviously be good for the team to have our skipper back. A similar wicket would be good and hopefully, he can win the toss (this time).”