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NZ vs IND: New Zealand beats India by seven wickets, sweep series

The rout was complete. The Indians had nowhere to hide at the Hagley Oval. Outplayed in both skill and strategy by the New Zealanders, the Indians seemed to be looking for the earliest flight to catch home.

Clinical approach

New Zealand, clinical with its end-game skills and winning the key moments of the game, won the second Test by a whopping seven wickets and swept the series 2-0 on Monday, only the third day of the Test.

The exciting Kyle Jamieson was Man-of-the-Match and ace of swing Tim Southee Player-of-the-Series.

India added only 34 runs for its last four wickets in the morning — the late-order fightback remaining an illusion — and a target of 132 was hardly going to stretch New Zealand.

Kane Williamson’s men also picked up 120 points from the series. New Zealand, in all, has 180 points while India stays on 360.

Also read: Kohli irked after New Zealand journalist asks about his celebration of Williamson’s dismissal | Didn’t play to our potential, admits Kohli

 

Save Jasprit Bumrah after lunch, when he fired out Kane Williamson with a mean lifter which the Kiwi captain fended into the cordon, and then sent down the pacy off-cutter that accounted for the attractive Tom Blundell (55), the Indian attack did not appear threatening.

The fluent left-hander, Tom Latham (52) was the only other wicket to fall, well caught by a leaping Rishabh Pant as he attempted to pull Umesh Yadav.

Fine start

New Zealand’s opening pair of Latham and Blundell played with a right blend of offence and defence under a cloud cover, with a stiff wind blowing across the ground. The duo’s 103-run opening partnership settled the issue.

Blundell crouches in his stance but if the ball is pitched short, he can quickly stand tall and drive the sphere to the cover fence. A fine back-foot player, he was airborne as he punched Umesh through point and rose on his toes to strike Mohammed Shami between point and cover.

The opener with a rather high backlift also on-drove Shami — who bowled despite a “batting impact injury” — and gloriously cover-drove Bumrah to the fence.

At the other end, Latham collected runs with typical efficiency. He timed Bumrah to the cover fence, the ball meeting the sweet spot in the willow.

After lunch, Latham pulled and hooked short-pitched offerings from Umesh. The Kiwi innings was galloping along.

Latham is a compact organised player whose footwork and strokeplay are dictated by the length of the ball.

His back-lift is measured and there are occasions when his boundaries are just an extension of a defensive push.

In the morning, the Indians had to build partnerships, see through the first hour. They didn’t.

Trent Boult, who had bowled magnificently in this innings with his left-armer’s angle and precision in his swing, and Tim Southee teamed up again.

Wickets continued to tumble. Hanuma Vihari was a tad unlucky, though, attempting to work Southee fine only to see ’keeper B-J. Watling fling himself to his left and come up with the ball.

Then Pant perished to a tame push as Boult angled one across the left-hander. Picked more for the X-factor in his batting than ’keeping in the eleven, India needed Pant to go after the bowling instead of coming up with ‘nothing’ shots.

Shami, at least freed his arms. He was held at deep square-leg off Southee.

Jadeja fires

It was left to Ravindra Jadeja, that wonderful athlete, to launch into the bowling. He did just that.

A natural striker of the ball, the left-hander waded into Boult striking a full-length delivery straight over the bowler’s head for a six.

He then struck the left-armer cleanly past mid-on to the ropes.

But then, things have not been going right for India in the series. And sure enough, a mix-up with Jadeja saw Bumrah being run out.

The Indians had run out of gas too.

Brief Scores:

India 1st innings: 242 and 124 all out in 46 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 24; Trent Boult 4/28, Tim Southee 3/36)

New Zealand: 235 all out and 132 in 3 in 36 overs (Tom Latham 52, Tom Blundell 55)

Also read: Jamieson — hungry for more

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 9:09:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/christchurch-nz-vs-ind-second-test-day-3/article30960763.ece

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