The first hour of play on day four of the second Vodafone Test in Hobart will be vital, according to Brad Haddin
The first hour of play on day four of the second Vodafone Test in Hobart will be vital in determining the result, according to Australian vice-captain Brad Haddin.
Australia was well-placed at stumps on Sunday, an unbeaten 72-run stand between openers Dave Warner (47) and Phil Hughes (20) putting the home side well on the way to its victory target of 241.
"I thought both openers did a fantastic job," Haddin said.
"It's been hard work batting at the top of the order with that new ball and I thought they applied themselves well. They hit the ball they needed to hit but they also left the ball well which was important."
Both Warner and Hughes took the crease under mounting pressure with a failure for either player putting their chances of playing in Melbourne on Boxing Day in jeopardy.
But despite a nervy opening, both prospered as the innings progressed and did their bit to ensure Australia dominated the day from start to finish.
"Day three is always a massive day in a Test match and the way we presented ourselves today was first class after being a bit flat going into the last session yesterday," Haddin said.
"What we did with the ball was top shelf and we spoke about the first 10-to-15 overs out there batting."
"It's tough work and the guys out there did a fantastic job."
Haddin also praised the work of spearhead paceman Peter Siddle, the Victorian making the first breakthrough of the day with his third delivery and producing a distinguished spell of fast bowling that set the scene for seven Kiwi wickets to fall before lunch.
"I thought Peter Siddle today was world class. The areas he bowled in the first session, without much luck, were spot on and the other two complemented him very well," Haddin said.
"It was important today to build pressure early, shut the scoreboard down a bit, put some maidens on the board and put the pressure on New Zealand."
New Zealand will undoubtedly aim to return serve on Monday morning but Haddin believes his team-mates have the ability to grind through a tough opening and flourish as the day progresses.
"It's always important, the first hour on any day. I think the wicket has started to play a lot better and we have to make sure we're on like we were to start today," he said.
"It's going to be tough that first hour but we've got to make sure we're good enough to get through it and get the game moving forward."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 11 December, 2011 8:15PM AEST