Mohammad Abbas, Pakistan pacer has admitted that he regrets the dropped chances that allowed New Zealand to establish their dominance in the second Test match. The hosts ended the day with a score of 286 for the loss of three wickets, just 11 runs behind Pakistan’s first innings tally of 297 runs.
Williamson and Nicholls stitched together a partnership of 215 runs in 55 overs, getting the hosts out of trouble as they were reeling at 71 runs for the loss of three wickets. Williamson was dropped twice on 82 and 107 runs, whereas Nicholls was caught superbly by captain, Mohammad Rizwan, only to find out that Shaheen Afridi had overstepped. He was later dropped on 86 runs by Rizwan, which was a straight forward chance.
“It was a tough day for us. As a bowling unit, if your fielders drop catches, it’s very costly in Test cricket,” Abbas said. “Playing against world-class players and then dropping their catches, or the one caught which was caught on no-ball, is quite frustrating. For a bowler, it gets really difficult to get them again. He [Williamson] is the No.1 batsman in the world and if he gets a chance, he is going to make us pay and make the most of it. We had some plans against him, but he played very well. He took his time and then when he was set he got some runs,” added Abbas.
New Zealand batting coach, Luke Ronchi admitted that his batsman had a bit of luck, but he stated that it was a part of the game.
“That’s part of cricket anyway, you’ve got to ride your luck,” Ronchi said. “Henry’s had a couple of innings now where there’s been a few chances but that’s just the nature of the game. And when you’ve got someone like Kane Williamson out there, you always know you’ve got a pretty strong rock to change the tide of an innings. It was a tight little period there, but we’ve known through the summer that if you work through those little periods, and you control as much as you can that as time goes on during the day, you can make the most of it later on,” Ronchi added.
Ronchi stated that given the pitches in New Zealand, it is likely that the ball dominates the bat on more occasions. “We play on pretty green wickets the majority of the time, Test cricket in New Zealand,” he said. “So more often than not, the bowlers are going to have lengthy periods of time when they are going to be on top of you. You have to just accept that and say, ‘Well, if you play and miss you play and miss. If you nick it and they drop it, it’s a chance to keep going.’ It’s probably going to happen more often than not, so it’s just about letting go of whatever’s happened and push forward with what you’ve got in front of you,” Ronchi said.