IND draw NZ: Kane Williamson hails Tim Southee after fifer, calls it ‘Test best by Kiwi bowler in subcontinental conditions’

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson heaped high praise on pacer Tim Southee for his bowling effort in Kanpur Test.

Team India managed to take eight wickets on Day 5 of the first Test but some late drama and stout-hearted performance from batters of visiting team prevented the hosts from gaining victory. Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel came up with a determined performance to hold off the Indian spinners in the final hour of the Test to earn a commendable draw as the hosts ended the Test one wicket away from victory.

“There was a lot of hard effort that went to get that result in the end. There were sort of many contributions throughout the game that kept us right in it, certainly after losing the toss, and then there was a strong partnership. Wridhniman Saha getting 50 really put back them on the front foot and allowed them to declare and try for the winning result,” Kane Williamson said in the virtual post-match press conference on Monday.

“For us having that experience, going out batters spending time in the middle and bowlers getting their overs done after fairly disjointed preparation. Its’ really valuable and for us it’s important we make adjustments again, going into the new venue,” he added.

Talking about two spinners, the skipper said: “I mean yeah you always are trying to adjust to conditions. The spinners have been outstanding for us in these sorts of conditions.”

Pacer Tim Southee who took a five-wicket haul in the first innings (5/69) and returned with three wickets in the second (3/75) was the pick among the bowlers for Williamson.

When asked if Tim Southee’s effort in Kanpur Test was probably the best by the Kiwi fast bowler in the subcontinental conditions, Williamson nodded and said: “Yeah, I think. I agree with that statement.”

“He was incredible. There wasn’t a lot of pace to play but he was able to change his angles and certainly was immaculate with his length. Created opportunity for us. You know which is very special and he is certainly at his best,” he added.

Williamson also shed some light on the team’s approach going into the final day. ”When a win was out of question, draw was the next best option to try and fight for. A number of really valuable contributions after a fairly disjointed preparation. And for us, it’s important that we look to make those adjustments quickly,” Williamson said.

”The result was one ball away. But in the end, Rachin (Ravindra) in his first Test match and Ajaz (Patel) as well showed a lot of determination to bat those few overs before bad light,” he added.

The two sides will now face off in Mumbai for the second and the final Test of the series on December 3.