~~Seamer-friendly pitches were not easy for batsmen~~

Published: Sunday, December 22, 2002, 18:58 [IST]
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Hamilton: India captain Saurav Ganguly said Sunday batsmen had a tough time on seamer-friendly pitches in the two-Test series against New Zealand.

"There was everything in pitches for fast bowlers in both the Tests. There was pace, bounce and seam movement. It was not an easy going for batsmen," said Ganguly after his team's four-wicket defeat in the second and final Test. The tourists lost the two-match series 2-0, having already suffered a 10-wicket defeat in the first Test at Wellington. "I don't want to comment on pitches, whether they were seaming, bouncing or wet. Just two fifties from India and one from New Zealand in four innings show it was not an easy time for batsmen," said Ganguly. Rahul Dravid (76) and Sachin Tendulkar (51) were the only Indians to score half- centuries at Wellington, while Mark Richardson remained the top-scorer of the series with 89 in the first Test. No batsman managed a half-century in the low-scoring second Test. "I don't want to make an excuse, but the scores in the two Tests will give the answer. There was quite a lot for seamers in both the matches and I think pacemen of both the sides bowled very well," said Ganguly. Only New Zealand managed to cross the 200-mark in the series as they scored 247 in the first innings of the first match. India made 161 and 121 in the opening Test and 99 and 154 in the second. Ganguly said he felt his team could have put more pressure on the hosts had they scored 40-50 more runs in the second innings. "I think 40-50 more runs could have made a difference," said Ganguly, whose team made 154 in the second innings. "We should have put more runs on the board in the second innings. It's really disappointing that we failed to win an away Test series again." India has not won a Test series outside the sub-continent since 1986 when Kapil Dev led his team to victory in England.

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