We need to occupy the crease: Franklin

James Franklin was the only top-order New Zealand batsman, apart from Kane Williamson, to face the Indian spinners with a certain degree of assurance.

The all-rounder, after his unbeaten 43 in the first innings, spoke about his approach and New Zealand’s chances among other things. Excerpts.

How different was your approach from the rest of your team-mates?

I just tried to keep my game plan as simple as possible and just waited for them to bowl to me. Obviously, there was always going to be some balls that were going to spin past me. I was just trying not to worry about them and focus on the balls coming to you each time.

Is the game drifting away from you?

I don’t believe so. Hopefully, we shall rectify the few mistakes we made in the first innings and look to stay a lot longer in the crease. It will start with Kane and Brendon (McCullum) tomorrow and probably, now it’s about taking time out of the game and scoring runs along the way. It’s a pretty simple formula, just occupy the crease.

Your impressions of Indian spinners...

They are obviously good spinners and done well in India. They have a lot of fielders around the bat. We can’t let that worry us and we have to concentrate on our own ga-mes.  Take it one ball at a time.

Are you a reluctant bowler these days and do you think yourself more as a batsman?

My role as a bowler has changed. Obviously, being the fourth seamer in this game, it’s about blocking out one end and keeping it tight when you have a strike bowler at the other end. If I manage to pick up a wicket or two every innings, it’s a bonus for the side.

The emphasis here is on scoring runs because the wickets are more conducive to spin bowlers.

Is there any mental block against spinners and is it the cause for NZ’s decline?

Possibly yes. But I can’t answer for the group. I can only answer for myself. I don’t think there was a massive amount of turn. Ash (Ashwin) got a few balls to turn and bounce but that was the exception rather than norm. We discussed this morning before the start of play on what we have to do. Unfortunately, we haven’t been quite able to do as we are following on now.

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