New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson conceded that the Indian side batting exceptionally well on Day 1, at times even putting away good balls, but insisted that the Kiwis themselves were content with how they bowled. Jamieson, however, said that he was not quite sure if 250 would be a winning total.
India being 62/0 after 20 overs, in swinging conditions, after they losing the toss was a start that no one quite expected, but such was the proficiency with which openers Gill and Rohit Sharma batted, taking the attack to the Kiwis. They lost their next three wickets quickly, but the experienced duo of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane ensured that it was India that ended the day strongly, losing just 3 wickets on a day where conditions were tailor-made for bowlers.
Following the impressive display of batting by team India, Kiwi speedster Kyle Jamieson admitted post the day’s play that Kohli & Co. batted supremely. Jamieson reckoned that the Indians, at times, even put relatively decent balls away, and asserted that Kohli’s men proved why they are one of the best teams in the world.
"They played really well, they put away bad balls, and they were patient outside off, our plan was to stick around, keep things restricted and we got three important wickets as well,” Jamieson said on Saturday.
"You look at their lineup, you are expecting those guys to do well, they have good records and they have done special things around the world. They have put away slightly bad balls, they were able to score freely.
"They certainly played well in the first hours. We tried to wobble the ball a bit and keep guys engaged. It is part of our arsenal, there were no set plans how we want to operate after that first hour."
New Zealand, surprisingly, were able to make no inroads with the brand new Dukes cherry and the Indian openers, in a way, put them off by walking down the wicket to counter the swing. This was done in particular by young Shubman Gill who, playing his first Test in England, looked at ease versus swing. Jamieson admitted that the Kiwis did not see the tactic coming, and labelled it an ‘interesting one’.
"It was an interesting one, it is not something we probably expected a huge amount," Jamieson said.
"My take was that, if they were walking then they were not comfortable where I was bowling in the crease, so I tried to take that as a positive.
"The more they felt that they had to move around to throw us off, we could just hang in there and it sort of can get dividends.”
At the same time, despite India ending Day 1 as the happier of two sides, Jamieson said that he was pleased with how the Kiwi bowlers operated. The 26-year-old said that, after the drab first hour, the bowlers bounced back well, and he expressed satisfaction over the consistency with which the seamers bowled post lunch.
"It was crucial to try to get balls in reasonable areas for long periods, how we did that throughout the day after they started off well was pretty pleasing, to keep things in the balance."
Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour had said that 250 might prove to be a competitive score, but Jamieson felt that, despite the ball moving around, there is an avenue for batsmen to score runs in the Ageas Bowl wicket.
"We certainly haven't spoken around a number, I think there is an opportunity to score runs as a batting unit and there is still some help with the ball moving around and seaming.
"The Indian batsmen have shown if you are patient, there are still runs to be had. So whether 250 is a good score, only time will tell."