Special Correspondent

NAPIER: Rahul Dravid said the fourth day of the second Test was “mentally demanding”, adding it would help century-maker Gautam Gambhir enormously.

“It was a mentally demanding day, and I thought in the first session New Zealand came out and bowled well,” said Dravid, who incidentally hit his first Test six in nearly two years during his 62.

“They knew they had a sniff and they had their tails up. We had to get thought that session. Hats off to Gautam for being there through the end of the day. He will learn a lot from this innings and probably more than any he has played in his career. This will give him a lot of confidence in showing that he can read a situation and he can play differently. He must be tired, but the tiredness after making a Test hundred is the greatest tiredness in the world.”

Mentally draining

Asked about the 133-run partnership with Gambhir, Dravid said, “I think there were phases when both of us were challenging each other. It is mentally draining, your concentration does waver a bit. We have not been put in this situation for a long time actually, but we found ourselves with our back to the wall and we needed to show some character. It was good from our point of view that we showed we can play the game differently.”

On his dismissal, which replays showed wasn’t out, Dravid said: “At the instant you do get disappointed and you have a cold shower and you sit down and you had some time to ponder about it and reflect on it, you will get a better perspective on it. Sometimes things go your way sometimes they don’t…it is the rub of the green”

Moles happy

New Zealand’s coach Andy Moles said he couldn’t have asked for more from his bowlers on the fourth day. “They have come in and hit the wicket hard in the areas and bowled in good areas for long periods of time,” he said. “India batted well and showed good discipline. But we have also shown exceptional discipline with our bowling attack.”

Asked if New Zealand’s bowlers were sore having to bowl in back-to-back innings because of the follow on, Moles said: “Obviously, you are bit tired when you make teams follow-on. They are sore but there are no injuries. Good teams spend a lot of time in the field so my message to the team is that we got to get used to it. If we are going to become a good Test side it is about getting big scores and then making teams follow on.”

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