New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Will Young had given their team an edge over India after the play of Day 2. However, Indian spinners came back strong on Day 3 to restrict New Zealand for 296-10. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel who had a rough day on Day 2 staged an epic fightback by taking his 5th five-wicket haul in his 4th Test match.
Spinners fight back as Axar takes another fifer
The morning session went well for the visitors as the openers continued to dominate with the willow. It was the first delivery of the 66th over that saw Will Young return to the dressing room for a brilliant knock of 89 runs off 218 balls.
Star spinner Ashwin was the man who broke the partnership after his ball took a faint edge off Young’s bat into the gloves of substitute wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat.
Kane Williamson got out cheaply for 18 runs off 64 deliveries after a seaming delivery from Umesh Yadav found his pads in front of the stumps. The match turned on its head after Axar Patel struck thrice in a span of 9 overs in the form of seasoned campaigner Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, and the well-set Tom Latham.
Latham (95 off 282 deliveries) missed out on a well-deserved hundred and his wicket hurt New Zealand’s chances to level with India’s first innings total. New Zealand’s lower middle order failed to combat India’s spin attack. The Kiwis could only reach a total of 296 runs in 142.3 overs after a slow delivery from Ashwin that crashed onto the stumps dismissing Somerville.
Day 4 – All eyes now on the Men with the bat
India had a lead of 49 runs and therefore surely backed their chances to put up a decent total for the Blackcaps to chase. Day 4 and 5 will be a tough task for any batter to bat on the Kanpur track which will deteriorate further as the match continues.
India batted for 5 overs before bad light forced the umpires to call it a day. India however lost an early wicket in the form of Shubman Gill (1 runs off 3 balls) who became the 50th prey to Kyle Jamieson in Tests. Jamieson surpassed veteran speedster Shane Bond and became the fastest New Zealand bowler to take 50 wickets in only 9 Tests.
At Day 3 stumps, India lead by 63 runs with opener Mayank Agarwal (4 runs off 13 balls) and Cheteshwar Pujara (9 runs off 14 deliveries) on the pitch.
India 345 and 14/1 in five overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 9 not out, Kyle Jamieson 1/8) against New Zealand 296 in 142.3 overs (Tom Latham 95, Will Young 89, Axar Patel 5/62, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/82
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