The first day of the second Test in Bangalore on Friday saw a marked change in the mindset of the New Zealand batsmen. The visitors went after the Indian bowling, and piled on more runs in a single day than its aggregate total in both innings of the first Test (328 today versus 159 and 164 in Hyderabad).
Opener Martin Guptill displayed this attacking intent, dispatching pacer Umesh Yadav for three boundaries in the 18th over during his knock of 53. “We always have the intent to play positively and attack. Luckily for us, the plan worked out today,” Guptill said.
Captain Ross Taylor broke a lean patch with a rapid hundred today. His 113 was studded with many exquisite strokes, and Guptill was all praise.
“Ross is a class player and some of the shots he played were really special. It makes it a lot easier for the batsmen coming in after him, because it takes a bit of pressure off them.”
The first-day pitch here in Bangalore barely troubled the batsmen. The bounce stayed even, and shots brought ample reward. “It is definitely a different wicket here (compared to the first Test at Hyderabad). There was not as much turn and bounce for the spinners. We made use of a different wicket with our positive intent. Hopefully we can get to the 400-450 mark and put some pressure on India. If our bowlers can get some swing and seam movement, hopefully we can exploit that,” Guptill said.
Pragyan Ojha, who became the first Indian spinner to bowl the first ball of a Test, came good with four wickets. “It was a good first day wicket. On this kind of a surface — which was not doing much, they were trying to be a little aggressive. Ross played quite well,” he said. He added that the surface behaved like a typical first-day wicket. “Taking six wickets on a wicket which is not doing much was a good effort.”