india

Mumbai show New Zealand the way to handle Indian pitches

Ronchi confident of team playing better after drawn tour game

PTI
18:31 September 18, 2016
 New Zealand’s Luke Ronchi

New Delhi: New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi has no qualms in saying that Mumbai, in the warm-up match, showed the visitors how to play in Indian conditions and they will have to play better to beat the hosts in the upcoming Test series.

Ronchi felt there were more positives than negatives to take out of the only warm-up match of the team’s India tour.

“I think getting used to the wicket which was changing over three days (was one takeaway). It was deteriorating a bit with guys facing more spin towards the end and ball doing a few different things. Mumbai bowled and batted really well. I think we got some learnings from that. When they took us on in the final session yesterday, we were not able to pull off our game plans. There are lot of positives, couple of little negatives to sort out. We have a big series coming up and there will ups and downs,” said Ronchi.

The back-up opener smashed 107 off 112 balls on the third and final day of the game here today, making his case for selection in the first Test to be held in Kanpur from September 22.

When asked whether their morale was affected after leaking 402 runs yesterday, Ronchi’s reply was a firm no.

“And we were playing in foreign conditions and they (Mumbai) know their conditions. The way they batted was (really good). They had a young 17-year-old (Arman Jaffer), who batted really well. They showed us how you can play on these wickets.

“Spin is a big thing and they took our spinners down later in the day. They showed us what can be done on these wickets. They played brilliantly. We got to play better to bowl teams like these out and even better if we want to beat India,” said Ronchi, who has also represented Australia in international cricket.

The 35-year-old played his only Test in May-June last year. With the hundred today, he has put the team management in a selection dilemma. As coach Mike Hession pointed out early, Ronchi is here as a back-up opener and could replace the out of form Martin Guptill for the first Test.

Asked about the chance of being picked in the XI, Ronchi said it was the decision of the team management.

“It was just a position given to me for the second innings, to go out and open. I just wanted to have a hit and do as best as I possibly could. If it (if he is selected) comes up, I would certainly not say no, but you never know what Hesson and Kane (captain) are thinking. So I just go about my business and do the best I can when given a chance. If I am not playing, I am not playing. If I have to bat at 11, I would be happy to do that as well,” he said.