The 1st Test Match of the New Zealand tour of India witnessed the visitors in command at the end of Day 2’s play. When Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja walked on to bat in the morning session, Team India would have aimed to post a decisive total and put the Kiwis under pressure.
Resuming from a score of 258-4, India lost an early wicket in the form of Jadeja who departed without adding a run to his tally(50 runs off 112 balls). Debutant Iyer proved his mettle as a bold Test batter and scored his maiden ton.
He is now part of the prestigious league of cricketers like Lala Amarnath, Gundappa Viswanath, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly & Rohit Sharma who scored a century in their Test match debut.
Shreyas Iyer roars in Kanpur, hits a ton on debut
Shreyas Iyer hit 105 runs off just 171 deliveries with 13 fours and 2 sixes before getting caught by Young to Tim Southee.
Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers for Williamson as he went on to exploit the Indian lower order. Finishing with the exceptional figures of (27.4-6-69-5), Southee took the thirteenth 5 wicket haul in his Test career.
He is the only overseas seamer to have achieved a fifer in Kanpur since January 1980. Southee sent the likes of Jadeja-Saha-Iyer-Axar to the dressing room on a pitch that barely assisted him. Ajaz Patel picked up Ashwin(38) and Ishant Sharma(0) in his two consecutive overs to restrict the hosts to a total of 345-10.
After the 1st innings concluded. it looked like Team India had put up a decent score in Green Park. Considering the quality of spin attack India, it seemed like a tough hurdle for the Blackcaps.
Kiwi openers neutralize India’s spin threat, off to a flyer
However, the New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Will Young showed their calm in the middle. They built an unbeaten century run stand on Day 2. It was the first century run-partnership by a foreign side in India since December 2016. The Latham-Young pair made excellent use of their feet to tackle the spin of Indian spinners.
Axar Patel (10-1-26-0) looked a pale shallow of himself with the ball. He hardly caused the Kiwi openers any discomfort. Ashwin (17-5-38-0) created a few chances in the post-Tea session. But none of them resulted in a breakthrough. He would surely back himself and would look to come back strong on Day 3.
Jadeja (14-4-28-0) too looked ineffective with the ball on the Green Park pitch. The two openers looked confident from the start and never really seemed intimidated by the spin trio. Giving respect to good deliveries and making great use of the sweep shot helped them throughout the day.
The Indian pacers got limited opportunities and could not swing the ball much at the start. Rahane will surely bank heavily on Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma when the red SG ball will start to reverse.
At Stumps Day 2, Tom Latham (50* of 165 balls) and Will Young (75* of 180 deliveries) will focus to maintain a similar approach the next day. Their aim must be to build a colossal 2nd Innings total. With the huge batting lineup to follow, New Zealand confidently sits right on top of the game.
India in a long time, are facing a tough challenge playing on their home turf. They will surely expect the Kanpur track to crack up a little more, paving the way for Ashwin-Jadeja-Axar to restrict the Kiwis for a reasonable score. The contest of the No.1 Vs No.2 in Test is set to witness a tight tussle on Day 3.
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