Day 1 of the India vs New Zealand Test saw an even contest between the top-quality sides. Indian Captain Ajinkya Rahane opted to bat on the Green Park pitch which looked to offer turn to the spinners.
Shreyas Iyer after much debate on his selection in the Test Squad, made his debut and became the 303rd cricketer to don the Indian Test cap. New Zealand, on the other side, saw the return of Kane Williamson in the team after he was rested in the T20 series.
Shubman Gill hits fifty, Pujara-Rahane woes continue
Shubman Gill accompanied Mayank Aggarwal to open the batting. India were sluggish at the start. They lost Agarwal early(13 runs off 28 balls) who succumbed to Jamieson by edging a ball to Tom Blundell. Gill was lucky as he took a successful DRS on being adjudged LBW in the third over.
Gill was cautious against the pacers but when the spinners came into play, he looked in divine touch. Hitting 5 fours and a maximum, he scored his fourth Test fifty in style. His innings came to an end after a big inside edge crashed on his stumps off a good length delivery from Jamieson.
Pujara who is under a lot of pressure owing to his poor form disappointed once again after Tim Southee sent him back in the dressing room for a score of only 26 runs off 88 deliveries. Captain Rahane, who is in a similar puddle like Pujara, looked quite promising in his innings of 35 runs in 63 deliveries. But he failed to make it big adding to his own worries.
Jamieson shines while Spinners misfire
Kylie Jamieson, the hero of the WTC final against India, was playing his first Test Series in Asia. Taking 3 crucial wickets, he yet again proved lethal bowling to his favorite opposition.
With India struggling at 145-4, the team needed a solid performance from the middle order. Debutant Shreyas Iyer and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja did not disappoint Coach Rahul Dravid. The duo comfortably put an unbeaten century stand keeping the NZ spinners at bay. Iyer (75 runs* off 136 balls) hit his maiden fifty on his Test debut.
He looks well set and optimistic to score a century on Day 2. He batted aggressively playing shots and barely gave a chance to the Kiwi bowlers to get the better of him. His counterpart Jadeja (50 runs* off 100 balls) has been at his prime with the bat for the last few years and batted according to his reputation once again.
Despite favourable conditions, the Kiwi spinners Patel-Ravindra-Somerville failed to make the most of it. The Iyer – Jadeja partnership saved the team from a batting collapse and now look to post a mammoth total on Day 2.
Bad light forced the umpires to declare stumps before expected time. Williamson will now bank on his pacers to come up fresh the next day and scalp early breakthroughs with the second new ball.
India 1st innings: 258 for 4 in 84 overs (Shubman Gill 52, Shreyas Iyer 75 *, Ravindra Jadeja 50*; Kyle Jamieson 3/47, Tim Southee 1/43).
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