IND vs NZ 2021, First Test: Such an exciting contest between India and New Zealand ends in a draw at Kanpur. On the verge to lose the game, New Zealand merely survives with only one wicket in hand.
Putting up a massive score of 345 in the first innings, India went on to take 49 runs lead bowling out the Kiwis for just 296. Both kiwi openers missed their century as they built a 151 run opening stand.
However, after Young’s wicket, it was a domino effect. The Men in Black collapsed where they were looking like taking a century lead themselves. The destruction was led by Axar Patel picking up his fifer. He just went through the New Zealand middle order like a bullet piercing the body. He was aided by the veteran Ravichandran Ashwin who picked up three wickets. It was he who started the fall of wickets in the 67th over.
Although India were comfortable with 49 runs lead, they still needed to give Kiwi’s a target. The visitors saw their chances and went to give the host early shock by bundling the top order for 51 runs.
The debutant was again impressed again in the second innings. His partnership with Ashwin and then Wriddhaman Saha balanced out Indian innings. A shocking decision to declare with just 234 onboard giving New Zealand a target of 284 runs for the victory.
Ravichandran Ashwin took the early wicket of Will Young in the third over, announcing India’s intent and determination to win. The day ended with Somerville, sent as nightwatchman, and Tom Latham on the crease.
It was a similar story in the second innings as well, when Indian bowlers failed to pick wickets in the morning session. However, when Umesh Yadav sent the overnight batter Somerville to the pavilion the game opened a bit. From then on, it was not only India but New Zealand too were eyeing a win.
The declaration at that point looked like an immature decision. Another partnership was erected between Kane Williamson and Tom Latham of 39 runs. The win at that point was fading away.
However, having a silent game with the ball, Ravindra Jadeja took the situation at hand and trapped the New Zealand skipper in front. Williamson looking to repeat the World Test Championship finals innings failed miserably.
It was then just a matter of time before the visitors would again start to collapse. Jadeja’s four wickets followed by Ashwin’s three gave Black Caps a hard time in the middle. A victory was there for team India to grab if and only if they would have been successful in taking the last wicket.
The stage was set for the host to go up 1-0 in the Test series after whitewashing 3-0 in the T20I’s. However, Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel performed magnificently well to claim the stage. They resisted with perfection to leave India without a victory and settle the affair at Kanpur for a draw.
Ravichandran Ashwin now has passed Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third most prolific wicket-taker in Test Cricket. His presence is felt on the field when he is bowling. Even if the pitch is not giving him much, he still finds something and delivers for India. SUPERB!
OUR TAKE!! India fizzled out against the pace attack of Jamieson and Southee handing them 14 of the 17 wickets fell. Well, it is not something to panic about but they have to be careful in the next match in Mumbai, which is a good wicket to bat on but helps a bit to the pace bowlers.
For New Zealand, middle-order failed in both innings. Had they survived even in any of the two innings, I think the game would have been in their favor. Apart from that, their spinners are not experienced enough. Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra are on their debut tour to India. While Somerville had played before but not that much.
I am guessing a fierce battle between the two sides in Mumbai starting on 3rd December 2021.