Will Young Says Playing The Long Game Is The Main Takeaway From The Innings Against India
New Zealand opener Will Young said the main takeaways from his impressive knock of 85 against India in the first Test at the Green Park Stadium was to play the long game while riding the ebbs and flows of the proceedings. He added that it would be nice for him to replicate his 151-run opening stand in the first innings with fellow opener Tom Latham. Young was the second top-run scorer for New Zealand with 89 in the first-innings total of 296.
"I think it's just the ebbs and flows of a Test innings here. When I walked out to bat with Tom, there was the new ball to content with. With just two seamers in the Indian team, one has to look out for swing or bounce with some bit of sideways movement. You get through that phase and then you face spin with the new ball and hard seam while you are conversing and communicating with what's working in terms of options," said Young while replying to a question from IANS in the virtual press conference.
"I think there's going to be a time in a Test innings when you are struggling or are on top. You are sort of riding the wave and ultimately batting as well as you can. Tom and I kept small targets to keep each other going. It would have been nice to keep batting with him for longer but it wasn't to be. The main takeaways were to play the long game and ride those ebbs and flows," added Young.
The 29-year-old was appreciative of his senior opening partner Latham, who stood like a rock till he was outwitted by left-arm spinner Axar Patel. "Tom is a lovely man to bat with. He's a very cool customer and has been successful in these conditions before. I have had the pleasure of batting with him in club cricket at Christchurch and all the way up to international cricket. Tom is awesome and we keep each other going in discussing various options of how and where to score. It was nice to bat with him and hopefully, we can replicate the same partnership in the second innings."
Young expects the slow nature and variable bounce on the pitch to carry on in the remaining days left in the match. "Right from day one, there were visible cracks on the wicket. I guess on day three, the cracks started to opening up a little bit further as well as three days of fast bowlers creating footmarks and a little bit of rough for the spinners to aim at. So, the rough has grown and potentially the cracks are starting to open up fractionally. Therefore, a little bit of uneven bounce, and our batsmen were beaten by low bounce or lack of it. I expect those things to continue further for the next two days."
He also thinks that finding the balance between attack and defence will be fascinating for the batting orders of both teams. "I think each batsman has gone out there with their own method of how they are going to combat the conditions. Also, the Indian bowlers are highly skillful in these conditions. Different day, different methods work. It is tricky to find that balance between defence, once you spend time on those conditions, and aggression, in how to take those calculated risks to keep the scoreboard ticking. Both teams have got an innings left. It will be really interesting to see how both teams go about that as the game progresses."
Young signed off by talking about a drill for employing the sweep shot during his tour with the A team to India in 2017. "It would have been three or four years ago now. Gary Stead was the coach of the Canterbury domestic team back home and I jumped to come over and learn about the art of batting and playing spin in India. At one point of time, when we were training in these conditions for two weeks, Gary put one of the drills to sweep without the front pad on. It was the drill which Gary put me through the day and yes, the sweep shot is a work in progress. But a good drill."
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