New Zealand opener Will Young put in a fantastic batting display in his first foray in India, scoring 89 in their first innings in the first Test in Kanpur. Young and opening partner Tom Latham put on a 151-run partnership to give New Zealand a strong start. But after Young’s dismissal, India clawed their way back into the game and eventually took a 49-run first innings lead.
Young looked comfortable against spin, and said it was a stint with New Zealand head coach Gary Stead early on in his career that helped him improve his game against spin.
Speaking at a virtual press conference after Day 3 in Kanpur, Young said:
“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 went on to reveal some of the drills that Stead made him do that helped him improve his game against spin.
“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 said on his stint with his then Canterbury Cricket Club coach.
Young explained how the drill helped him develop the sweep shot.
“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 said.
“A very cool customer” – Will Young hails opening stand with Tom Latham
After India scored 345 batting first, Will Young and Tom Latham put on a stunning opening partnership that frustrated the home bowlers.
Young and Latham became the first visiting pair of openers in five years to stitch a partnership of 100 or more against India.
While Young fell 11 short of a maiden Test century, Tom Latham went on to make 95.
Speaking about playing with Latham, Young said:
“Tom’s a lovely man, a very cool customer, very successful in these conditions. I had the pleasure of batting with him in club cricket. He was awesome. We discussed various options of where to score and how to score. It was just nice to tick off that milestone really. Hopefully we can replicate the same.”
New Zealand were bowled out for 296 thanks to Axar Patel’s five-wicket haul. India, in response, were 14/1 at Stumps on Day 3, with a lead of 63 runs.
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