Cricket-New Zealand's 'old-school' fight pleases captain Williamson

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC World Test Championship Final - India v New Zealand - Rose Bowl, Southampton, Britain - June 23, 2021 New Zealand's Kane Williamson after winning the ICC World Test Championship Final Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The cricket connoisseur in New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was particularly pleased by the "old school test cricket" his side played to pull off a thrilling draw in the opening match against India on Monday.

New Zealand's last batting pair of debutant Rachin Ravindra and number 11 Ajaz Patel saw out the final 52 deliveries in fading light to secure a thrilling draw at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium.

"For us, it was sort of some old school test cricket trying to bat out a day and survive, which isn't seen all that often in recent years," Williamson said after the see-saw contest.

"It was good fun and nice to come away with the draw in the end."

Chasing 284 on a final day track to go 1-0 up in the two-test series, New Zealand managed to keep the morning session wicketless.

Tom Latham topscored with 52 and Sunday's nightwatchman Will Somerville made 36 but it was the obdurate partnership for the final wicket between Ravindra and Patel that saved the match for the touring side.

While the umpires kept checking the light-meter, India continued with spin from both ends and deployed seven fielders around the bat, ramping up pressure on the last New Zealand pair.

"I think India were 20-something overs ahead of their over rate, which is unheard of. They were getting through their overs very quickly," Williamson added.

"We knew that it was going to be a real scrap throughout the day as scoring was tough... It was a really good fighting effort to bat out the day against an amazing spin bowling attack."

Williamson termed Ravindra as an "all-round package" and said the experience would stand the 22-year-old in good stead.

"An amazing experience to have in his first test match, and to be there at the end is something he'll remember for a long time," Williamson said.

The second and final test is scheduled in Mumbai from Friday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Rohith Nair)

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