It was bizarre batting conditions for the New Zealand batters. In a country where usually spin plays a dominant role, it was early seam and swing movement that spun a web around their batting abilities. In the blink of an eye, the visitors went down spiralling like a pack of cards, crashing to 15/4 within the powerplay.
The architect behind the destruction was Mohammed Shami, who after some inconsistent display finally hit the right note with the ball in hand. On the day, the right-arm seamer picked up three crucial wickets – Finn Allen, Daryl Mitchell and Michael Bracewell – in New Zealand’s innings that lasted just 35 overs.
At the post-match presentation, the 32-year-old pacer called for the importance of assessing the conditions early and passing the message to the other bowlers. Shami also at the same time opined that he thought that he would get such a proper seam position.
“I never thought I'd get to have a proper seam position and it gives me joy to see the seam upright as it goes in the air. As a new-ball bowler, it's important to assess the conditions and pass the message quickly to the other bowlers as well,” Shami said at the post-match presentation.
Luck plays a huge factor often for a bowler and Shami reckoned that it is how the game works, stating that sometimes you might not be in good rhythm and yet the wickets fall in quick succession.
“Whenever I start, I just focus on maintaining the right lines and lengths. But it does happen sometimes that you bowl well and yet don't get wickets. On other days you may not be in rhythm, and will still get wickets. That happens. I feel that the more you work with the ball in practice, the more success will come,” he added.
Tom Latham, on the other hand, wasn’t a man who was pleased by the team’s performance. Latham too was dismissed for a single-digit score, and was quick in pointing out that it was a bad performance from the batters.
“Batting up-top wasn't our best performance. India put the ball in the right areas and it was one of those days where everything we tried didn't work. On the other hand, everything India did worked,” Latham was quick to point it out in the presentation.
At the same time, however, the left-hander revealed that the tennis-ball bounce that moved were perhaps the biggest reason for their undoing.
“There was some tennis-ball bounce, some came through, some kept low and there was some movement. We just couldn't build partnerships at the top. Guys lower down tried to fight but it wasn't easy. We didn't adapt well today, considering the surface,” Latham added.