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LBW glut puts New Zealand on back foot

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/09/2016 By Amlan Chakraborty

With six lbw dismissals cluttering up their scorecard, New Zealand clearly have not put their best foot forward in the first test against India.

India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja frequently beat the bats and hit the pads of the New Zealand batsmen, the hosts coming close to equalling the record of seven lbw dismissals in a test innings.

Jadeja said the lbws could be a result of New Zealand's dilemma on a pitch where the odd ball spun viciously while others went straight.

"Batsmen who are not familiar with Indian or Asian conditions often cannot make up their mind which ball to defend and which one to attack," Jadeja said.

"By the time they got a hang of it, they had lost six-seven wickets."

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling was one of the few Black Caps batsmen not to perish that way.

He conceded the pitch at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium had his team guessing.

"Sometimes the ball spins here and sometimes it doesn't," he said.

"It's about the lines we play and we're working on that every day, trying to figure it out."

While the Kiwis prepared to tackle the spin, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and Ish Sodhi were trapped lbw by deliveries that did not really turn.

A couple of leg-before decisions - especially those of Luke Ronchi and Ish Sodhi - were debatable but Watling was not complaining about the umpires.

"They have to make a call. It's the game of cricket, if they think it is out, it is out," he said.

Jadeja exploited the rough to keep the New Zealand batsmen on their toes and the 27-year-old credited head coach and former spinner Anil Kumble for his input.

"He told me when bowling to the left-hander, there was this rough where you'd have the sixth stump. He advised me to create an angle and deliver from wide of the crease.

"He said I should bowl as much as possible into that rough. After pitching there, some balls were going straight and some were turning. It put doubts in the batsmen's mind."

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