I wanted to bat freely - Luke Ronchi
New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi expressed his happiness at making his Test debut in the second game against England wherein he scored 88 runs in just 70 balls in a rain curtailed first day at Headingley.
Ronchi had hit three sixes and 13 fours in his knock which gave New Zealand the much needed momentum after a disastrous start.
Speaking about his debut, Ronchi revealed that he was trying to just play his natural game instead of worrying about the conditions which were quite favourable to the bowlers.
I’ve dreamt of playing Test cricket for as long as I've known the game,” said Ronchi.
“I was more than happy to wait (for his test debut), and if it never happened, it never happened.
“But I guess I’ve just been given a chance and had a decent first day.
“It was me trying my best to not worry about what the ball was doing and just see ball, hit ball.”
Ronchi put a 120-run stand with Tom Latham for the sixth wicket which helped New Zealand post almost 300 runs in just 65 overs that were possible because of the rain.
The 34 year old admitted that he was just looking to enjoy his debut to the fullest looking at it as if it was going to be his only Test match.
At one stage, Ronchi had a chance to score the fastest test hundred as a debutant which would have taken him past Shikhar Dhawan’s 85 ball record, but he fell to the short ball trap set by Stuart Broad.
“Having Tommy (Tom Latham) at the other end, who had been in there a while, I was just trying to help him and put up a partnership,” reckoned Ronchi.
“I'm 34 in my first Test, so I was trying to go out and just enjoy the whole experience.
“I might never play another Test so I'd hate to go out there and feel nervous and not play naturally.
“I was certainly trying to enjoy it as much as I possibly could and just enjoy the ride.
“It'd be, in my mind, an injustice to go out and play my one Test and not do what I want to do and not play freely.
“I can’t complain, I got 88 and am more than happy with that.”
After a delayed start due to rain, New Zealand came back well from the initial jolt to recover and post 297 runs in the first day.
Ronchi hailed this effort by his team and said: “To make (nearly) 300 on day one in 65 overs is a pretty good effort, especially after being two for two.”
New Zealand must win this Test if they are to square the series after having conceded a 0-1 lead to the hosts in the first Test at Lord’s.
© Cricket World 2015