New Zealand pacer Tim Southee believes that dismissing aggressive wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant early on in the morning paved the way for the Kiwis to skittle India out for a small total and take a lead heading into Day 3 of the first Test in Wellington.
India lost their top-order cheaply on the first day and a lot of hopes were pinned on Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant to stitch together a cogent partnership that could propel the team’s targets into a respectable realm.
However, the morning session started on a disastrous note for India with Pant’s avoidable dismissal. Rahane called on Pant to take a quick single when there wasn’t a scope for one and this resulted in the latter getting out cheaply. Soon, Southee ran through the Indian tail and the visitors were all back in the pavilion with only 165 runs on board.
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New Zealand ended the day with a 51-run lead, and Southee believes that Pant’s dismissal early on was the catalyst to the Kiwis ending the day in the ascendancy. The veteran pacer stated that New Zealand knew how strong Pant would be with the game leading into a second new ball and that he would open up one end whilst Rahane would grow in confidence eventually too.
“I think the run-out of Pant was a big play this morning,” said Southee
“With him being such a dangerous player, especially leading into the second new ball, he could score really quickly along with Jinks (Rahane),” he added.Published 22 Feb 2020, 14:56 IST