Review: India vs New Zealand, 1st test

The historic 500th match of India cricket team was full of drama. From Kiwi domination on first 2 days to comeback of Indian team via Ravindra Jadeja's heroics in 95th over of first inning, the match had plenty of ups and downs. Let's have a look at a little review of the match.

India 318/10 (Vijay 65, Pujara 62, Jadeja 42, Boult 3/67) and 377/5 declared (Pujara 78, Vijay 76, Rohit 68, Santner 2/79) defeated New Zealand 262/10 (Williamson 75, Latham 58, Ronchi 38, Jadeja 5/73) and 236/10 (Ronchi 80, Santner 71, Williamson 25, Ashwin 6/132) by 197 runs.

Day 1

One of the longest test seasons for Indian cricket team started on 22nd September at Greenpark Stadium Kanpur. Kanpur was making its comeback as test venue. Kiwis were looking to win the toss and bat first because just like any other venue in India, it's a tough job to play in 4th inning here. Luck was not with them as toss fell in Virat's favour and he had no hesitation to bat first. KL Rahul dispatched the second ball of the day, a full toss from Boult between mid on & mid off for four. He followed it up with another crunchy drive through cover for four. Although Boult got some swing, he failed to land it in right areas initially. Rahul perished in 10th over while he was trying to push at an arm bowl from Santner which deviated a bit and was superbly caught by Watling. Cheteshwar Pujara joined in Vijay at 42-1 and they added 112 runs together and held the inning firmly until Lunch. Pujara was quicker during his inning and he overtook Vijay during his inning before he played an uppish drive back to Santner in 48th over and once he got out, India lost the plot of a big score. Kohli pulled Wagner straight to Sodhi at deep square leg soon after and Vijay followed him 7 overs later. Ajinkya Rahane got out after a decent start in 63rd over which left India in spot of bother. They lost four wickets within 55 runs. Rohit Sharma (35) and Ravichandran Ashwin (40) tried to stabilize the inning with a partnership of 52 runs but Rohit lost patience and lobbed a catch to Sodhi at mid on of Santner's bowling and another collapse followed India. Boult swung a couple of balls across Saha and then brought on back into him which he was not expecting and was bowled through the gate. In his next over he got rid of Ashwin via a ball with some extra bounce and Shami received similar treatment as Saha. Umesh Yadav joined in when 17 balls were left in the day and along with Ravindra Jadeja, he negotiated them without further damage. India finished day one with 291 runs and 9 wickets on board.

Day 2

The overnight not out batsmen Ravindra Jadeja (16) and Umesh Yadav (8) started watchfully next morning. While Jadeja was doing the run scoring job, Yadav tried to negotiate the bowlers without giving away wicket. Jadeja smashed Santner for four over mid off in very first over and dispatched another in his next over. He made full use of anything too short or too full and added 41 runs along with Yadav. Jadeja did bulk of scoring in this partnership which took India past 300 which was not expected at the end of first day. These 41 runs by last wicket had a great impact on the match later. New Zealand's inning started in a similar fashion as that of India. Martin Guptill tried to take on the bowlers while Tom Latham tried to stay calm and composed. Guptill departed in 10th over when Umesh yadav swung back a full ball which struck onto Guptill's pad and he was dead in front. From there, Latham and Williamson did what Pujara and Vijay did for India. They kept their cool, waited for poor balls and never missed an opportunity when a bad ball was bowled. New Zealand finished the first session on 71/1. Indian pacers got some reverse swing in the second session but they failed to get a wicket. Bothe Latham and Williamson were lucky in between. Jadeja got an edge of Latham's bat which carried well to KL Rahul on forward square leg but the ball brushed his straps of helmet and Latham survived. Again in 43rd over Jadeja possibly got an under edge of Williamson's bat but umpire denied it. There were some balls which turned sharply while some held its line but Indian bowlers were unable to get a breakthrough till tea. It started raining just when tea was called and soon the ground was under covers. Although rain went off within an hour but there was enough water accumulated on covers that umpires had to call off the last session.

Day 3

The third day started 15 minutes earlier to cover the overs lost on previous day. India started the day with spinner straightaway. Ashwin got rid of Latham in 5th over of the day and Taylor (0) followed Latham in very next over of Jadeja. Ronchi survived when a ball turned sharply and took the edge of his bat but flew past slip in 55th over but Williamson was not as lucky in next over when a ball from Ashwin turned miles to which Willamson went back and the ball castled onto his stumps. Ronchi and Santner added 49 for fifth wicket before Ronchi perished while sweeping a ball which was too full from Jadeja. Watling joined Latham just before lunch and made sure that New Zealand finished first session at 238 for 5. Santner and Watling tried to reconstruct the inning but Ashwin struck in 8th over after lunch and remove Santner for 32. The web of India spinners was too much for kiwi tail-enders as Jadeja struck thrice in his 34th over to bring New Zealand down to 9 for 258 from 6 for 257. Ashwin removed Watling in the next over to bundle out kiwis for 262. In an epic collapse, New Zealand lost their last four wickets for just 8 runs and India got a valuable lead of 56 runs. New Zealand started second inning with Santner and Boult. KL Rahul played some beautiful strokes as he didn't hesitated to run down the pitch and loft the spinners over infield but again he failed to convert his start into a big score. He tried to cut a ball from Sodhi in the last over of before tea and handed a catch to Taylor at slip. Tea was called immediately after his wicket. Vijay and Pujara started final session in aggressive mood as they accumulated seven boundaries within first three overs after tea. They added first 50 runs of their 133 runs partnership in just 53 balls. Murali Vijay reached his 50 just before drinks. Williamson tried part time spin of Martin Guptill but it had minimal effect on two well set batsmen. He brought Sodhi from around the wicket from where he got some turn but still he was ineffective. India's lead went past 200 in 41st over when Vijay flicked slider from Santner to long on. Pujara completed his fifty on the third ball of the last over of the day and India finished the day with a lead of 215 runs and 9 wickets to spare.

Day 4

The stands which were empty on first three days were full of peoples on 4th day. New Zealand started the day with two spinners which was not a surprise looking at the fact that wicket started to break down and dust was visible even from stands. New Zealand finally got a break through in 9th over of the day when a delivery from Santner kept its line instead of turning. Vijay was plumb in front. Pujara and Kohli carried India to drinks without any further damage. Craig dismissed Kohli in third over after drinks for 18 and Pujara followed him soon. Craig completed 50 wickets in test cricket with the dismissal of Kohli. India finished the first session of fourth day at 252/4. Rohit and Rahane started second session cautiously and added 49 for fifth wicket before Rahane was caught superbly by Taylor at slip of Santner. Ravindra Jadeja joined in Rohit Sharma who was fighting for his place in the team. Rohit and Jadeja added some quick runs specially Jadeja played some audacious shots in his innings of 50 runs. He got those runs of just 58 balls and added 100 runs with Rohit Sharma in just 99 balls. India declared at 377/5 just after Jadeja's fifty and gave New Zealand a session to play. Ashwin removed both the Kiwi openers in fourth over and they were struggling at 3 for 2. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, their two most experienced batsmen tried to stabilize the inning but Ashwin came back in 18th over and removed Williamson to complete his 200 wickets in just his 37th match. He became second fastest bowler to do so. Williamson was earlier dropped by Yadav of Ashwin's ball in 14th over. He was denied another wicket in 20th over when Ronchi tried to drive it over the covers but failed to do so but Vijay put it down. Taylor committed a childish mistake soon after as he failed to ground his bat and was run out which left them reeling at 56 for 4. Ronchi (38) and Santner (8) negotiated rest of 15 overs somehow to take the match into the fifth day.

Day 5

Ashwin started the fifth day from over the wicket to Santner. Ronchi and Santner added further 65 runs in first session and made sure that there is no further damage till drinks break. Ronchi tried to heave Jadeja over mid on but miscued it and lobbed a simple catch at point to Ashwin just after break. The partnership of 100 was finally broken. There were big appeals, sharp turn missing the bat in entire first session. New Zealand lost further two wickets till lunch on day five. Shami got rid of Watling for 18 in 68th over and rattled the stumps of Craig in 70th. Sodhi and Santner somehow managed to drag the match past lunch but their chances of a draw was a distant dream by then. Ashwin spun a couple of balls past Santner in the first over after lunch. The balls were turning square. In the seventh over after lunch, Ashwin bowled a delivery way outside leg stumps which turned and took the edge of Santner's bat and his resistance ended. Commentators termed the ball as unplayable. From there it was all easy for India. Soon Ashwin removed Sodhi via a floater to complete his 19th fiver in test cricket and then he pinned down Wagner in front of the wickets to give India a huge victory by 197 runs. Ravindra Jadeja was named man of the match for his 92 runs and 6 wickets.

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