Wellington: New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling admitted that a long, hard battle lies ahead of their batsmen in the second Test against India after the visitors took a formidable 246-run first innings lead, riding on Ajinkya Rahane's maiden Test ton here today.
"It was not really an ideal day for us. We got ourselves into situations where, if we had taken another wicket or two, we could have been chasing 100 or 150. Obviously, it was aisappointing result in the end but we have still got three days to grind it out here. The pitch is definitely looking a lot better to bat on," Watling said at the end of second day's play.
"Credit must go to their batsmen. (Shikhar) Dhawan obviously played really well at the top and got them off to a good start and (Ajinkya) Rahane's hundred was pretty good. He played very well. Then, (MS) Dhoni's counter-attack hurt us and that partnership was probably the difference between an okay day and a good day for them. If we had taken a wicket there, we could have been right in the hunt," Watling added, summing up the day for the two teams.
New Zealand finished at 24 for one, still needing 223 runs to make India bat again.
How the pitch behaves over the next three days will be vital to their chances of preventing India from squaring this series.
"The wicket has definitely improved. On day one, it was pretty green and doing a bit. Today, there was still enough in it for the bowlers but it has browned off and looks a pretty decent batting track now. We are looking forward to getting out there and taking on the challenge and trying to bat for a long time as a group," he insisted.