IND vs NZ, 1st Test, Kanpur: A quality cricket was seen in the first inning of the Kanpur Test. Although India aided by Shreyas and Jadeja’s partnership balanced the first day out, New Zealand on the start of Day 2 fight their way back to stop India at 345 runs.
The pitch would be remarked as one of the worst in recent times, just like Ahmedabad’s. Not much pace in the pitch with little to no bounce at all. Turning sharp on the first day, it was wise from the Indian point of view to play three spinners. I will give a 5 out of 10 to this particular pitch.
Coming back to the first Innings, Tim Southee was on a mission on Day 2. Bowling long spells and picking up five wickets with his precise and accurate line and length. Using the bowling area to his advantage by creating awkward angles.
As expected Mayank opened with Gill and started well until Kyle Jamieson got Mayank in the eighth over. Beautiful outswinger on the perfect length. Jamieson struck again in his 7th over sending the other opener to the dugout as well. This time an inswinger to clean Gill up. Solid innings from Shubman Gill(52) but a zapper from the New Zealand quick.
Trouble bells ringing for Pujara and Rahane as they again fail to convert their start. Although looking in touch on a wicket which was challenging but less troublesome than that of England, they should score big runs. Pujara departed not long after team 100. Tim Southee was able to get the outside edge and to the wicketkeeper, Tom Bundell.
Debutant Shreyas Iyer came to the crease to join the skipper in the middle. 39 run stand is what they could make together as the lack of bounce gives Kyle Jamieson his third wicket. Looking to cut the ball but only managed to find the inside edge to the stumps. India was in trouble at 145/4.
It was the next partnership between Shreyas Iyer(105) and Ravindra Jadeja(50) that took India far ahead of the visitors. They went on to end the day without any further damage. The Black Caps, however, changed the game at the start of Day 2, India were 258/4.
Jaddu was the first one to depart without adding to his overnight score of 50. Tim Southee started his quest from here. After Jadeja, Saha(1) was also dismissed at 288/6. A soft dismissal of Shreyas Iyer just after getting a debut hundred. Looking to drive on the up giving a simple catch to Will Young at cover.
India’s hope for 400 runs total was diminishing with the falling wickets. Still, they managed to go past 340 with the help of Ashwin’s cameo. Ajaz Patel who was ordinary on Day 1, finally got two wickets at the end. Should New Zealand had taken some chances Ajaz should have at least three.
Good spinners on paper for Kiwis but could not perform at the highest quality. And once again this should be stopped, of playing at a venue which is not tested. This wicket is not of international standard or even Ranji Trophy should not be played on this track.