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Mumbai, Dec 6 : India head coach Rahul Dravid on Monday termed the result of the second Test match against New Zealand as “one-sided” but stressed that his team was made to work hard to win the series.
India won the second Test match by a massive margin of 372 runs against New Zealand. The mammoth victory margin marks India’s biggest ever win, with the previous one coming against South Africa by 337 runs in 2015.
The hosts bundled out New Zealand for 62 in the first innings before setting the target of 540 to win. In reply, the visiting side folded up for 167. While Daryl Mitchell made a fighting 60, Henry Nicholls played a knock of 44 runs.
No other Black Caps player could make an impact as Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav rattled the New Zealand line-up, with the off-spinners sharing eight wickets in total.
“I think it was good to finish the series as winners, came close in Kanpur, not able to get that last wicket, had to work hard here. This result seems one-sided, but right through the series, we were made to work hard,” Dravid told the official broadcaster after the match.
“There have been phases where we were behind and had to fight back, credit to the team. Great to see the boys stepping up and taking their opportunities.”
Dravid highlighted that the team missed some senior players but pointed out that the series gave Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel and Jayant Yadav an opportunity to prove themselves.
“Yes, we were missing a few senior players. Credit to the guys who came in, Jayant had a difficult day yesterday, but learnt from it today. Mayank, Shreyas, Siraj, who doesn’t get a lot of opportunities. Axar, great to see his development with the bat in addition to what he can do with the ball. It gives us a lot of options as well, helps us become a stronger side,” he said.
When asked why India didn’t opt to enforce a follow-on, the chief coach said, “We knew we had a lot of time, didn’t think much of the follow-on, also a lot of young batters in the side, so wanted to give them a chance to bat in conditions like these. Knew we may be in such situations in the future where we may have to force pace in tough conditions. So it was a great opportunity and the luxury of time to be able to do it.”
India will next take on South Africa in an away series later this month, starting December 26.
Talking about challenges in picking up the right combination with a lot of players stepping up in the now concluded series against New Zealand, Dravid said, “It was great to help in the development of our players. It’s a good situation to be in, we’ve had injuries in the lead-up, so we need to manage our players physically and mentally, it’s going to be a large part of my challenge.
“Challenge too for the selectors and the leadership group. It’s a good headache to have, see young boys perform well. There’s a great desire to do well and everyone’s pushing each other. I hope we have more headaches to have, as long as we have clear communication and we explain to the players why, don’t see it to be a problem,” he signed off.