New Zealand opener Will Young kept the Indian spin department at bay for the longest time in tough batting conditions on the third day of the opening Test of the two-match series in Kanpur, on Saturday. He hit a career-best of 89 and scored 14 boundaries during his stay in the middle.
The 29-year-old credited his coach, Gary Stead, for helping him understand the ‘art of batting and playing spin in India’.
“It was three or four years ago now. He had just come back and I jumped on the back of a bunch of fellow cricketers to learn about the art of batting and playing spin in India,” he said during a virtual press conference.
“At one point, Gary and I were training for nearly two weeks and one of the drills was the sweep without the front pad on,” Young recalled about his stint with his then Canterbury Cricket Club coach.
“It was about sweeping the balls otherwise you would get bruised… So it was one thing Gary taught me and yeah it’s still a work in progress — the sweep shot.”
He was included in the New Zealand side after Devon Conway was injured. However, his dream run came to a halt when he was dismissed by India’s Ravichandran Ashwin. He was 11 runs short of a century.
“You can’t just rest on your laurels. I’m grateful for another opportunity to represent New Zealand and contribute with the bat,” he said.
“Different days, different methods work. It is tricky to find that balance between defence, spending time in the middle and getting used to those conditions and also aggression, and how to take those calculated risks to keep the scoreboard ticking over,” Young said.
Young said the cracks are starting to open up and his batters couldn’t negotiate the low bounce.
“Right from day one there were visible cracks on the wicket. The cracks are opening up a little bit further as well as three days’ worth of bowlers’ footmarks and a bit of rough for the spinners to aim at,” he said.
“A little bit of uneven bounce too. I think a lot of our batsmen today were beaten by low bounce,” the New Zealand batter said.