Sleep-deprived Ishant Sharma ready to stretch for team

Updated: Feb 23, 2020, 07:27 IST | Vimal Kumar | Wellington

The only silver-lining for India was an outstanding bowling effort from the senior-most pacer Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma

Indian batters' poor show continued for the second day after they added just 43 runs to their overnight score of 122-5 to end their first innings on 165 at the Basin Reserve on Saturday. Ajinkya Rahane top-scored with 46 while Rishabh Pant scored 19. Tim Southee and debutant Kyle Jamieson finished with four wickets each.

After dominating with the ball, New Zealand ruled over India with the willow too. The hosts were 116-2 at tea with skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor looking solid. The duo went on to post a 91-run stand for the third wicket. By the time New Zealand ended the day at 216-5, the hosts had taken a 51-run lead.

The only silver-lining for India was an outstanding bowling effort from the senior-most pacer Ishant Sharma. "I am not happy because I haven't slept for two days and I was struggling a lot today [with my body]. The way I would have liked to bowl, it didn't happen. They [team management] asked me to play and I played," revealed Ishant, who ended the day with 3-31 in 15 overs.

Ishant kept bowling well from the same end where the lanky Jamieson got four wickets. Before the match, the talk was whether to risk Ishant as he joined the team just a few days before the Test series after recovering in time from an injury. But here, Ishant was more at ease than well-acclimatised Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. "The day before the Test match, I slept for only three hours. I was struggling a lot. The more you can recover [from jet lag], the better effort you can put in on the ground. There's no better recovery than a sound sleep. The sounder your sleep is, the better your body will respond on the ground," said Ishant.

However, on a pitch where no batsman were able to get past fifty, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson missed his ton by 11 runs. At one stage, NZ were just 166-2 when R Ashwin removed Henry Nicholls.

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