John Wright: 'India has to find answers quickly'

Former New Zealand captain John Wright believed the Indians were “a bit rusty” during the first Test at the Basin Reserve.

A former India coach, Wright helped the country to a historic Test and ODI triumph in Pakistan in 2004.   -  K Murali Kumar

Former New Zealand captain John Wright believed the Indians were “a bit rusty” during the first Test at the Basin Reserve.

He said to Sportstar, “India looked out of sorts. It had two new openers and the middle-order found the going tough. It has to find answers quickly.”

Wright, a popular former India coach, who led the country to a historic Test and ODI triumph in Pakistan in 2004, said, “The good thing for the Indians is that their ‘A’ team played in Christchurch recently and Kohli’s side would not be short on inputs about the conditions.”

Wright had words of appreciation for New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. He observed, “Kane has done enough to have the term ‘Great’ attached to his name. He has real quality and has the footwork and the balance to succeed in different conditions.”

Wright said, “Williamson is one of those rare batsmen whom you look at the scoreboard and he’s already 40. And you had not realised he had scored all those runs. That’s the quality of a very good player.”

Wright noted, “And he’s also very humble, that very good for a player of his stature. Plus Williamson is not even halfway through his career.”

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Sharing his thoughts on Ross Taylor 100-Test feat, Wright said, “He is such a natural batsman, has so many shots. If you see his record across formats, he is right up there. Great contribution to New Zealand cricket over the years. And he’s a good man.”

Wright shifted his attention to New Zealand’s destructive pace pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, “When the ball swings they can be deadly. It’s a right-left combination so the deliveries are coming at different angles at the batsmen.”

The former New Zealand opener said, “If the ball doesn’t swing, they can find the going tough like we saw in Australia recently. But for most part Southee and Boult have been really effective for New Zealand. One of the top pairs.”

Asked about Jasprit Bumrah’s struggles in the Wellington Test, Wright, who has seen the paceman up close at Mumbai Indians, said, “He’s coming back after an injury. He’s finding his feet and rhythm again. It can happen to most players. After the highs, there is a plateau.”

Wright noted, “Teams must have seen endless vidoes of him. Once you become the lynchpin of an attack, the opposition teams really put you under the scanner and look for methods to cope with you best.”

Wright said, “Sometimes, they just play you off, not give wickets to you. Bumrah is an intelligent person, and I am sure he will find a way out. He has to fight his way through such periods.”

And Wright continues to be affable. A true blue Kiwi, he certainly is.