Williamson Rues Benign Pitch on Final Day at Lord’s
The losing captain reckoned the surface did not deteriorate as much as he expected.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said his team will have to start from square one after the first Test against England at Edgbaston resulted in a draw as his side failed to bundle out the hosts on a pitch that did not deteriorate as much as he expected.
England, who were asked to chase 273 in 75 overs on a final day pitch after Kiwis declared their second innings at 169/6, didn’t fancy pursuing the target. New Zealand weren’t able to make inroads on a pitch that was still conducive to batting on the fifth and final day. Besides rotating all his bowling resources, Williamson himself rolled his arm over, but England played possum to finish at 170 for three in 70 overs.
"We made the decision [to declare] based on what gave us potentially the best chance to win the game, or enough overs [to take the wickets]. We knew losing a day was going to be tough but we wanted to give it a crack. Unfortunately towards the end things fizzled out a bit, we were expecting the pitch to deteriorate a bit more and it did show signs on day four in particular that that was going to happen, but it sort of flattened out," said Williamson after the match.
"We declared for a reason and that was to try and push for a victory," the losing captain added. "Although it seemed unlikely for a period, if one spun out of the rough or you were able to open up an end, then things could happen reasonably quickly, and we were holding on to that hope for as long as we could. But clearly things became quite docile out there."
Williamson reckoned his side, if faced with such an uphill chase, would have given it a shot. However, he felt both sides were anticipating the pitch to grow abrasive which is why neither England went for the kill nor New Zealand gave up till the end. That the third day, often denoted as the moving day of Test cricket, was washed out didn’t help matters either.
"It's always tough to know how an opposition will look to attack a chase, obviously all three results still possible. If we were in that positon, you do want to get a really good base and try to take the game to a deep stage where you might have a smaller chase of less overs but throw all your resource at it. Clearly there was a lot of work to do to get to that, a lot of overs left and I think both sides were expecting the pitch to deteriorate more," he explained.
"It kind of ebbed and flowed, and scoring wasn't quick throughout. We felt if we could pick up wickets throughout that would give us the best opportunity and life could be quite difficult, but that wasn't the case. Things didn't perhaps unfold for either side.’’ Williamson reasoned. "We have to start again and adjust to conditions in Birmingham."
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