Ind vs NZ | Cricket

Ind vs NZ 1st Test, Day 4 | Shreyas, Ashwin and Saha help India turn the tables on the Kiwis

Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha run between the wickets during fourth day of the first cricket test match between India and New Zealand, at Green Park stadium in Kanpur, on November 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In a remarkable display of resilience, India eluded New Zealand’s grip and moved into a position from where it has a day to tighten the noose and win the first Test.

On Sunday, when India’s fortunes swung from a desperate fight for survival at 51 for five to the luxury of declaring the innings at 234 for seven, New Zealand found itself in a serious spot of bother.

At four for one, New Zealand needs another 280 with nine wickets in hand. With run-making looking increasingly challenging at the Green Park pitch, it is ‘Advantage India’.

Paying the price

As though the task of chasing 284 was not tough enough, New Zealand opener Will Young paid the price for the delay in asking for review of a dubious leg-before verdict by Virender Sharma. Replays revealed the delivery from R. Ashwin would have missed the leg-stump by some distance.

Although one could sympathise with Young for the delay in decision-making, the episode stretched the sequence of poor judgements seen from the on-field umpires, Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma, in this match.

Significantly, nothing could take away from India’s resolve that led to an amazing resurrection. In the process, Shreyas Iyer became the first Indian debutant to follow a century with a half-century.

No less important was the role of R. Ashwin who walked in at 51 for five and straightaway met fire with fire. After Ashwin’s exit, Wriddhiman Saha made light of his sprained neck to stand tall. Once Shreyas fell at the stroke of tea, Axar Patel came good with the bat.

In fact, the Shreyas-Ashwin pair provided more than mere first aid to a bleeding India. Ashwin batted with the confidence of a man determined to take the battle to the enemy camp. He did not let a single loose ball go unpunished and sent the ball past the boundary five times. In this association of 52 runs, Ashwin’s 33 stood out!

Healthy cover

Thereafter, the 64-run Shreyas-Saha partnership was not only instrumental in providing the team a healthy cover but also in dampening New Zealand’s spirits. Thereafter, the unbroken 67-run association between Saha and Axar forced the Kiwis into a defensive mode and, with it, brightened India’s prospects of coming out triumphant.

Much before this gallant fightback, New Zealand had its moments under the winter sun. After Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane failed again, the duo of Mayank Agarwal and Ravindra Jadeja departed in a Tim Southee over to make it four dismissals in the space of 19 runs spread over 8.3 overs.

What followed was a tale of India’s resolute fightback.


Scoreboard at the end of day 4:

India 1st Innings: 345

New Zealand 1st Innings: 296

India 2nd Innings: (Overnight 14-1 in 5 overs) Mayank Agarwal c Latham b Southee 17; Shubman Gill b Jamieson 1; Cheteshwar Pujara c Tom Blundell b Jamieson 22; Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Ajaz Patel 4; Shreyas Iyer c Tom Blundell b Southee 65; Ravindra Jadeja lbw b Southee 0; Ravichandran Ashwin c Tom Blundell b Southee 32; Wriddhiman Saha not out 61; Axar Patel not out 28

Extras: (B-3, LB-1) 4

Total: 234/7 in 81 overs

Fall of wickets: 2-1, 32-2, 41-3, 51-4, 51-5, 103-6 167-7.

Bowling: Tim Southee 22-2-75-3, Kyle Jamieson 17-6-40-3, Ajaz Patel 17-3-60-1, Rachin Ravindra 9-3-17-0, William Somerville 16-2-38-0.

New Zealand 2nd innings: Tom Latham batting 2; Will Young lbw b Ashwin 2; William Somerville batting 0

Total: 2/1 in 4 overs

Fall of wicket: 3-1

Bowling: Ravichandran Ashwin 2-0-3-1, Axar Patel 2-1-1-0.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 11:14:49 AM |

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