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NZ must learn quickly: Williamson

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/09/2016

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson expects his team to learn quickly from their 197-run defeat to India in the first Test in Kanpur.

India are in prime position to push for a series victory when the second Test begins in Kolkata on Friday, but Williamson has seen some encouraging signs for New Zealand.

"For a number of players it's their first time batting in these sorts of conditions and there'll be a lot of lessons learnt," he said.

"Looking to apply the skills that worked for a period of time, being able to do that for a lot longer - which is what the Indian players do - is very important."

He said the main goal for the Black Caps was to improve their consistency across five days, something they struggled with in the first Test.

"On the scorecard it looks like a biggish defeat, but there were a couple of moments where the game turned slightly more in their favour," Williamson said.

"The back end of our first innings with the bat, and certainly when we bowled in the second innings there was probably a three-hour period where we didn't bowl very well and they got away from us."

Ravi Ashwin finished with a 10-wicket match haul, collecting 6-32 in the second innings as the hosts were made to work unexpectedly hard on the final morning

But although the Kiwis' fifth-wicket pair of Luke Ronchi (80) and Mitchell Santner (71) took their stand to 102, the tourists lost their last five wickets for only 42 runs.

Resuming on 93 for four in an improbable pursuit of 434 on a worn but slow pitch, Ronchi and Santner had batted with increasing comfort against India's two finger spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

The two middle-order batsmen hit 16 fours and three sixes between them, but eventually Ronchi's shot selection let him down when he tried to pick out another big hit over the top off Jadeja and skied a catch to Ashwin at point.

BJ Watling helped Santner add another 36 before the slide set in.

Williamson said Santner and Ronchi had shown the way for New Zealand.

"Mitch and Luke certainly showed they have the skill sets to perform well in these conditions, but it's applying ourselves for longer.

"I think that's the same with the ball in hand for our young spin attack, who are extremely talented.

"Being able to remain focused for a long period of time, you know if you put the ball in the area for long enough you'll get your rewards."

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