Anderson: England must bat better
James Anderson had to channel his frustrations on Friday as Hamish Rutherford showed England how to bat on a flat pitch at the University Oval.
England's pace spearhead finally dismissed Rutherford, at his first attempt with the second new ball, but not before New Zealand's debutant opener had piled up a record 171 on day three of the first Test in Dunedin.
The best score against England by any batsman in his first Test innings put the tourists' hapless 167 all out into cruel but fair context as the Kiwis reached 402 for seven by stumps on Friday.
Anderson's temper was frayed several times on his way to hard-earned figures of four for 108 - no surprise really, after he had watched England's batsmen squander their wickets 24 hours earlier.
He and his fellow frontline seamer Steven Finn shared the highest stand of England's faulty innings, in fact, at numbers nine and 10.
Their hosts then replied with an opening stand of 158 between Rutherford and Peter Fulton to lay the foundation for a lead which stood at 235 with two days remaining.
"I batted on it and thought it was a pretty good deck," said Anderson.
"For me to get 20, it must be fairly flat.
"Most Test pitches are, and we know that.
"But we can't dwell too much on our first innings; we've got to think about ... batting much better in the second innings."
England know they will get their turn to do that soon enough, weather permitting in a match already badly-affected by rain after a washout on day one.
They can be marginally encouraged by an improved performance with the ball, in Anderson's estimation, after New Zealand had raced to 131 for none on Thursday.
"It was better... still not quite there, but I thought we bowled much better than we did yesterday, asked a lot more questions of them," he said.
"We bowled really well with the second new ball, and I thought Broady [Stuart Broad] bowled well all the way through and was unlucky not to pick up more wickets."
The key, after such a fragile showing with the bat, was for England's bowlers to keep their discipline.
"We tried to focus on staying patient, because it can be difficult as a bowling group when you're behind the eight ball, as we are in this game," Anderson said.
"You try and chase it a bit too much, and I think we probably did that yesterday - just slipped into that trap of getting a bit greedy at times, and trying to take wickets rather than just trying to hang in there on a good pitch and wait for them to make mistakes."
Anderson conceded three boundaries in four balls to Rutherford at the start of one spell this morning, but mostly kept his cool apart from when celebrating wickets.
"It was probably more a bit of frustration boiling up from yesterday," he said.
"We had chances go down, nicks going through the slips, so we could have had more rewards for how we bowled today.
"So it was probably just a mixture of the position of where we are in the game and how we bowled.
"Our job is to create chances, and when you do that and they're not taken then it can be frustrating. That does build up, and comes out in various ways with your emotions high."
Rutherford remained in control throughout an innings which contained 22 fours and three sixes - many of those boundaries crashed through the off-side.
The dream debut, on his home ground, capped a remarkable change in fortune for the 23-year-old son of former Kiwi Test batsman Ken.
"A year ago, I wasn't even playing for Otago," he said.
"So to debut like I have is very special."
Rutherford's big hundred was a world away too from his white-ball struggles last month against Finn and Anderson , who made such short work of him in his two one-day international innings.
An uncomplicated mental approach to batting, and cricket, probably helped him put those failures behind him.
The same attribute stopped him fretting too when his career was stalled not so long ago.
"I don't really tend to think about the pressure too much. I always try to keep things as simple as I possibly can," he said.
"There were a few dark times...things go through your head.
"But I started working in a coffee shop, and doing some bar work, and started to find more enjoyment out of playing cricket as opposed to looking at it solely as a job.
"Cricket's not the be-all and end-all. I'm not saving babies...so at the end of the day, if you 'nick off' you 'nick off'.
"That's my approach, I suppose."
Whether England can also pack up their troubles will depend on their resilience over the next two days.
Anderson acknowledges the best they can surely hope for is a draw.
"I guess so," he said.
"Without looking too far ahead, we've just got to make sure we bat much better in that second innings.
"We've got to make sure guys get in on this pitch."
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