New Zealand pacer Matt Henry lauds teammate Jeetan Patel

Kolkata, Sep 30: New Zealand pacer Matt Henry on Friday lauded his team's off-spinner Jeetan Patel, who was making a comeback after a gap of three years.

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"It is a tough ask coming in from England and only having a couple of days to prepare. He's obviously got a lot of experience and he came in was outstanding. He brought a lot of energy in the field and experience and confidence."

Matt Henry

India were 239/7 in 86 overs at stumps on Day I of the second Test at the Eden Gardens here on Friday. Patel took 2/66 in 21 overs to contribute to his team's cause.

Henry said the spinners were exceptional. "The way both spinners bowled in tandem was excellent. They showed a lot of control and created pressure through those tough periods where it was really hot and important we could control that run-rate because we had to keep that squeeze on."

On the team's performance, Henry said they ticked all the boxes.

"The way we went about our work today was outstanding. We knew we had to make sure we controlled the run-rate because it is very tough in these conditions to take wickets. We knew it was important with the new ball to take advantage of it because the wicket had been under covers for a long time so that was going to be a crucial part of the game."

"Moving forward from there it was just important to maintain those (bowling) partnerships through the middle and make sure we could create pressure by building dots. Our spinners were outstanding today. Jeetan and Mitchell Santner were fantastic in allowing us to build a lot of pressure and that manifested to what happened at the end of the day."

Henry was called up in place of ace quickie Tim Southee who injured his ankle in the run-up to the Test series.

"I knew I was coming over and having to prepare to play and if I got my opportunity I know my role and do the best."

"I knew I had to make sure I did all my preparation. I've still being doing a lot of training and work behind the scenes. Even not being able to play in South Africa, I was still doing a lot of work with the coaches in the nets and making sure I was ready to go if needed. We had a few warm-up games out at Lincoln, some winter training squad one-dayers to keep the loads up."

Henry said Trent Boult, who got the wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli (9), was fantastic when bowling to the top draw right-hander.

"He is obviously a world-class player and you have to very patient with those kind of guys. Every bowler has an individual plan of how they will skin the cat and the way Boulty (Boult) bowled to him was fantastic and he eventually got the result."

On Kiwis' batting, he said, "We have a great batting line-up and obviously it is a shame not to have regular skipper Kane Williamson there but I know our batsmen will. It is going to be a tough day with the heat and things like that. We just have to keep playing the long game and apply it as best we can."

"I'm not a batter but we are in a good position and it is going to be an important day tomorrow."


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