Wellington, Feb 22 (IANS) New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Saturday said it was nice to see the back of Rishabh Pant early on the second day as the aggressive wicketkeeper could have scored more runs and taken India into a good position in the ongoing first Test at the Basin Reserve.
In the fourth over of Day Two, Pant could manage to add just 9 runs to his overnight score and was run-out in the fourth over in the morning session after being involved a mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane (46).
“I think the run-out of Pant was a big play this morning,” said Southee speaking to reporters at the end of the day’s play.
“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.
Southee, along with debutant Kyle Jamieson, picked four wickets apiece and allowed India to add just 43 runs to their overnight score before bundling them out for 165.
“We knew that once we could open up an end (and face) the bowlers, Jinks would look to play a bit more aggressively and that brings you into play a bit more. I think the way we bowled this morning was pretty good,” said Southee.
The Black Caps ended the day in the driver’s seat at 216/5 and having a lead of 51 runs. The hosts could have been in a much, more commanding position had Kane Williamson (89), Ross Taylor (44) and Henry Nicholls (17) not got dismissed in the final session.
Ishant Sharma was the tormentor-in-chief as he finished the day with figures of 3-31 from 15 overs.
“He’s been a world-class bowler for a long time,” Southee said of Ishant’s performance.
Ishant earlier revealed that that he slept barely four hours in the past two days and thus struggled hard to deal with a “jet-lag”.
“When you’re slightly underdone in terms of preparation and having an injury coming into the series you can call on previous experience,” said Southee.
“He has played 90-odd Test matches and he knows what he needs to do to get himself right for a Test match and when the preparation isn’t ideal he is able to find ways to perform like he has,” he added.