Wellington:New Zealand were at the receiving end of fiver Zaheer Khan's devastating spell of seam bowling but their middle order batsman Ross Taylor has no qualms in praising the Indian, saying the strike bowler used his shortened run-up to lethal impact.
Zaheer on Saturday bowled mostly with a shortened run-up but ran through the Kiwi top order with figures of five for 65 to help India take a 182-run first innings lead on the second day of the third Test and Taylor was all praise for the visiting strike bowler.
"Zaheer had an extra yard up, but looking up at his speed it was quite normal. But he bent his back and hurried the batsmen up. He bowled extremely well and deserved this fiver," said Taylor who top-scored with a stodgy 42 in the home team's 197 all out.
The right-handed middle order batsman said the home team was "shattered" with the visitors' performance today but said they have not lost hope of turning the tables against India with a strong response in the remaining days.
"We are shattered. We have only batted 65 overs. It is very disappointing in not giving our bowlers enough rest. We just did not apply ourselves as well as we should have throughout the innings," he said.
Asked what captain Daniel Vettori said before the New Zealand reply to India's first innings, Taylor said, "Vettori has been very quiet himself. He hasn't said much. He asked for application from the batsmen in Napier and he got it. Today, he didn't (get the application). It is obviously disappointing as a team."
Taylor also felt the wicket wasn't as bad as the scores made it out to be.
"The wicket is not that bad. There is a little bit more spongy bounce than at Napier. It nipped around a little bit, but with the wind it probably did not swing around as much as it did on the first day."
Though some commentators expressed doubts about his dismissal, declared caught down the leg side off Harbhajan Singh, Taylor said it was a correct decision.
"I was pretty sure I was out. I felt a little nick. It was disappointing to get out at that point in time, strangled down the leg side."