New Zealand will fight hard on day three, says Jeetan Patel

Criticising the “slow and low “wicket, Jeetan Patel said they expected a strip which would help the hosts AFP

Hyderabad: Aug 24, 2012

Their first innings is in disarray after losing five batsmen but New Zealand spinner Jeetan Patel says they know the art of “fight” and hoped of making a comeback in the first Test against India.

New Zealand are trailing India by 332 runs and saving the follow-on would be a daunting task for them tomorrow.

“We have got the opportunity tomorrow, face the music, and fight what we know the best. The best thing about the Kiwi cricketers is we know how to fight. We have been in a lot of situation where we had to fight.

“Tomorrow is a good chance for the guys to get back in.

Hopefully if things get better we can get closer to getting back into the game,” Patel said with a lot of positivity.

Patel was critical of the wicket, but said they expected a strip which would help the hosts.

“I think the wicket has changed a little bit. But it’s still slow and low with the seamers. It is taking more turn, probably a little more than we expected. Such as an under-prepared wicket and we expected that,” he said.

Nevertheless, he gave due credit to India bowlers for good performance.

“It is disappointing. It’s as simple as that. They bowled some good balls and we nicked them. That is what happens in cricket. It’s tough. It was always going to be a hard tour for us bowling first up on a wicket that does not help you. It’s an opportunity to bowl plenty of overs against the best batsmen in the world.”

Patel was the visitors’ best bowler with four wickets and he said he would like to have more such performances to cement his place in the side.

“I always felt it’s an opportunity. I had little success but we have got to do a lot of work. Obviously getting four-for is nice but I will have to get more than that to get us over the line,” Patel, who is New Zealand’s main spinner in Daniel Vettori’s absence, said.

Patel said the team was missing Daniel Vettori and his team would have done better had the senior spinner not missed out on the tour due to injury.

“You can’t take anything away from Dan (Daniel Vettori).

He is exceptional Test bowler. With him being here, it would have been a different dynamic in the team altogether.”

Patel said he had no additional pressure in Vettori’s absence.

“I have come back into this side since there was an opportunity to play. For me, it is just another chance to play for New Zealand and to do what I love doing, which is playing for my country. I don’t think there’s any extra pressure,” he said.

Asked whether he missed another spinner bowling in tandem with him, Patel said, “I had a lot of help from Chris Martin, Boult, Bracewell bowled today. The results came from that. It is nice to have another spinner at the other end but you have to find a way. I wouldn’t have got the wickets I got today if the other bowlers hadn’t bowled as well as they did.”

Patel credited his stint at the County cricket for improvement in his bowling.

“Getting an opportunity in County cricket was very good for me. I needed four months of just bowling as many overs as I could. I guess a couple of years ago, I made a couple of changes to my action and my mental approach to the game is different now.”

Asked about the disappointment in the camp after skipper Ross Taylor got out to a low catch he said, “Honestly, I did not see the whole thing. I was taking an ice bath. I think it may have been a bit of disappointment with the way the decision was made. But it’s cricket.” (PTI)