Auckland: England are just one "crazy spell" away from getting right back in the series-deciding third Test against New Zealand on an otherwise placid Eden Park pitch, fast bowler Steven Finn said on Friday. New Zealand's batsmen, led by a maiden century from Peter Fulton, finished the first day of the match in a strong position at 250 for 1 after they had been put in by Alastair Cook on a green-tinged wicket that had promised so much more.
"You know in Test cricket that you are only one spell away from turning the game on its head and we have got people in the team who are capable of that," Finn told reporters. "In the last Test Broady [Stuart Broad] took his 'six-for' and the rest of the bowling attack have done that in the past where one crazy spell can turn the game. We would've liked to take more wickets after winning the toss and bowling first but the fact they're only 250 on a wicket that didn't offer us too much was a good effort."
The Test series between the two sides has been dogged by rain, resulting in two draws, but also pitches that have been batsmen friendly and not conducive to the England attack's strengths. After Fulton and Hamish Rutherford safely negotiated the opening hour the wicket flattened out and got easier for batting.
"Looking at the wicket this morning, it looked like there was a bit in it for the bowler," Finn said. "There was plenty of green grass on it but that just seemed to be holding the wicket together rather than offering us assistance. We did expect it to do more than it did but after realising that, we stuck to our plans well."
Finn said the team had felt frustrated with nicks flying wide or short of their fielders, which resulted in several boundaries behind the wicket. The trick, which would be key to taking wickets on the second day on Saturday, Finn said, would be to stick to their bowling plans and exert pressure on the New Zealand line-up.
"It's important that we try and wrestle the momentum from New Zealand because after a day like that, they do have it and we will come back and be as fresh as we can and we will give it our all in the first session to take wickets," Finn said. "But it's important we don't search for it ... it's important that we stick to our plans and hopefully that will bring some wickets."