New Zealand earns hard fought draw in the first test against India
New Zealand saved the Kanpur test by the lightest of margins
A five day test match in India ending in a draw is a very unfamiliar result, isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what happened when India took on New Zealand in the first test at Kanpur. New Zealand needed 284 runs in the final innings to win the game but that is nearly impossible to score on a fifth day pitch in India. However, at one point, it looked like New Zealand could even win this match but they didn’t accelerate their batting and that the winning margin gradually moved away from them.
They looked pretty good in the morning session when night watchman Somerville gave Indian bowlers a very hard time in the middle. He was finally dismissed by Umesh Yadav as Shubman Gill took a brilliant catch in the deep. The short ball did the trick for India. Kane Williamson then came to the pitch and he once again proved that he is a man of steel. Ashwin first dismissed Latham for 52 and then it took some time but Jadeja picked Ross Taylor’s wicket and Kiwis were completely on their back foot. Just in the next over Axar picked Nicholls wicket and India were gunning towards the victory but had Williamson in the middle.
Dismissing Williamson was very important and team India knew that. Captain Ajinkya Rahane tried everything but Williamson managed to stay in the game but finally, Jadeja dismissed the Kiwi captain for 24. The bowl kept low and Williamson was dejected with his wicket as the captain didn’t even bother to review it.
He however will be proud of how his boys played though. When any other foreign team literally gives up in front of Indian bowlers in India, Kiwis showed extreme grit in the middle. Blundell was dismissed by Ashwin while Jadeja took Jamieson’s wicket and India was cruising towards their victory and Southee’s wicket was just the icing on the cake. India needed just one wicket in 10 over’s and with two bowlers batting in the middle, the fans were confident about the victory.
However, with each ball passing, the smiles in the face of the fans were getting reduced and in the end, all they are left with is a bittersweet moment. Two players from Indian origin are the reason why India didn’t win the match. Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra stayed not-out and saved New Zealand from the defeat.
What a brilliant match, isn’t it? You got to love test cricket. The Indian team is phenomenal as without 6 of their first team players, team India dominated the game and could have won the match as well. In the post match interview, Kane Williamson said, “We showed lots of big heart. India is a great side, they were dominant in the first test match but we hung in there. It was great for test cricket”.
Shreyas Iyer was handed the Man of the Match trophy for his brilliant batting in both the innings. Captain Rahane was very pleased with him but he now has to think about his competition with Iyer for a spot in the test team. When Virat comes back for the next test, who’s likely to get dropped? Will the out-of-form Rahane get another chance or Mayank Agarwal will face the axe? There are a lot of questions to be answered before the important South Africa tour.
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