Pacer O”Brien faces a new challenge in Kiwi-India TestsMarch 16th, 2009 - 1:20 pm ICT by ANI
Auckland (New Zealand), Mar.16 (ANI): Kiwi pacer Iain O”Brien is looking forward to playing Test cricket.
New Zealand’’s most successful bowler during the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy stalemate in Australia last month, O”Brien was brought down to earth with a bang against India.
A batting card fronted by Virender Sehwag dominated the five-match series until a surprise eight-wicket loss in Auckland last night.
After snaring 10 wickets at 25.30 across the Tasman O”Brien, like every New Zealand bowler, was punished by Sehwag’’s flailing blade.
O”Brien experienced the disappointment of being axed for game three in Christchurch.
He replaced Tim Southee in Hamilton after the youngster went for a hundred but Sehwag again proved uncontainable as O”Brien’’s three overs at Seddon Park cost 37.
A familiar pattern then re-emerged at Eden Park yesterday. O”Brien’’s opening four overs contributed 34 — including 20 in his last, although Sehwag was dropped at slip.
Exiled to the outfield as Jesse Ryder and Jacob Oram applied the clamps, O”Brien returned for India’’s short-lived batting power play to dislodge tailenders Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma.
Figures of two for 43 gave him three for the series at 58.66 apiece, while his economy rate was an expensive 7.18 runs per over.
O”Brien, who writes a popular blog on the cricinfo website, has been quiet in cyberspace since his recall in Hamilton — but he did open up to media today before the squad headed to Hamilton, venue of the first test starting on Wednesday.
“It was nice to get a couple of wickets at the end there, though it’’s a sort of slap on the make-up wicket — it makes you look pretty for a wee while but deep down I wasn”t particularly happy with the way the series had gone.
“It’’s been a learning curve obviously. It was certainly tough and coming into the tests I”ll have to up my consistency.”
O”Brien hoped the test pitches would have a little spice in them after India’’s strokemakers thrived on lifeless wickets and felt the longer version of the game would offer some respite. (ANI)
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