About the Match
It was the 500th test match for India and they come out with flying colours, registering an emphatic 197-run win against New Zealand to take a 1-0 series lead; the two teams will now face off in the 2nd Test match at Kolkata starting from 30th September. The hosts dominated throughout and despite with some fight back from the visitors that delayed the victory, the men in blue conquered with the ball. The Kiwis now have an uphill climb to draw level but they will try to put their best foot forward; India, on the other hand, will leave no stone unturned to win the upcoming match and series.
Man of the hour, Ashwin rocked the Kiwi batting line-up denying them any chance to recover and getting them all-out for 236 in reply to India’s target of 434. The match-winning spinner put up a disciplined spell in both innings taking 4 wickets in the first and wrapping up with 6 in the second. Jadeja’s superb 5-wicket haul in the first innings caused havoc on the Kiwi middle order while Mohammad Shami’s 2-18 in 8 overs contributed well towards winning the match.
In the batting department, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put up a superb 112-run stand for the 2nd wicket in the first innings and they repeated the feat by posting 133-run stand in the 2nd innings; both batsmen are in good form and along with others like Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Jadeja, they can try to stabilize the innings under crunch situations. Ashwin has done well with the bat too and if players like Ajinkya Rahane, Saha and others down the line can play useful knocks, then India can yet again keep the upper hand on the runs scoring.
While the spin magician Ashwin became the 2nd fastest to reach 200 test wickets, others like Jadeja, Shami and Yadav can be vital assets here to stifle the opponents and help them win again.
Williamson’s 75 off 137 in the first innings was truly heroic as he tried to steer the team to a safe position after losing Guptill in the early overs; Tom Latham contributed well with his half-century but they couldn’t revive the innings against the dreadful Indian spin attack. In the 2nd innings, Ronchi fought hard with a superb 80 from 120 deliveries to try and give a fitting reply to the hosts; Santner proved to be a hurdle in India’s celebrations as he posted a well-made 71 but with hardly any support from the lower order, New Zealand suffered defeat by 197 runs.
The ground conditions were suitable for spinner Santner to thrive and he picked up 5 wickets in total giving away just about 3 runs per over in an average; Sodhi also contributed well with 3 wickets while speedsters Boult and Wagner found success in the first innings claiming 5 wickets between them. With Craig out due to injury, Jeetan Patel will feature in the squad and he has been in terrific form, being the leading wicket-taker in the recent English County Championship with 69 scalps.
The Kiwi batting line-up has a good mix of experienced players and versatile all-rounders; with a good game plan, they can try to outwit the hosts over the coming weekend.
India has set the bar high for the visitors and with an in-form spin attack, they definitely are clear favourites to demolish the opposition and win the 2nd test match too