Mumbai: India will be keeping a wary eye on New Zealand batter Rachin Ravindra, who along with last man Ajaz Patel had defied India for nearly 10 overs and denied the hosts victory in the first Test of the series in Kanpur.
Ravindra is again in the middle at stumps on the third day of the second and final Test at the Wankhede here on Sunday, batting on two along with Henry Nicholls (36) as New Zealand stare down a barrell, having 400 more runs to score to win this match.
Ravindra had survived 52 deliveries along with Ajaz Patel in Kanpur and New Zealand will be hoping that he works out the same magic here on the next two days. The 22-year-old batter of Indian-origin said they have their work cut out for Monday.
“I think we have lost a few wickets, we have to take it ball-by-ball and we have a very long road ahead. Hopefully, we can build some partnerships and play ourselves in. Two of them (Mitchell and Nicholls) showed us how to get it done and we will hope to build on it,” Ravindra said at the post-match press conference Sunday.
Asked about his defiance against India at Kanpur, Ravindra said it was a team effort and not him alone that denied India victory in the first Test.
“Yeah, I think it’s important to keep our intent high. Get into good positions and smother the ball nicely. It wasn’t just me (who defied India in the first Test), it was the team that did it. Pretty cool to be there at the end though. Two days and a lot of cricket to play here. Take it ball-by-ball and maybe do something special,” he said.
Asked whether they would take a defensive approach or play his natural game on Monday, Ravindra said, “Whatever your natural game is. Keep the good balls out and put the bad ones away. Back our game plans and play accordingly.”
Asked about the incredible performance of Ajaz Patel, the other batsman of Indian-origin in the Black Caps lineup here, Ravindra said he was very happy for him.
“I couldn’t be happier for Jazzy (Ajaz). He’s an incredible bloke and a great spinner. Taking 14 wickets is ludicrous. Each time we gave him the ball, we knew he was going to give us a result. Having him in the team is also helpful for me and the others in the team.”
Ravindra, who had not been keeping well for the last few days, had broken Ajaz’s streak of taking all 12 Indian wickets to fall in the match so far when he got Shubman Gill out, claiming his maiden victory wicket.
Asked what was said in the huddle after he had taken that wicket, Gill said, “It was pretty funny because we thought he was going to take all 20. They congratulated me for taking my first wicket. That first wicket was very special.”
Asked what was the discussion in the team after they were bundled out for 62 in the first innings, Ravindra said they tried to put it behind them.
“It’s always tough being bowled out for 62. A lot went wrong. Everyone is a fighter and everyone tries to be better. We tried to put it behind and get better. Our plans were a bit more clear in the second innings. We just tried to do the same things over and over,” he said.