IND vs NZ Day 2 | Young, Latham defy India after Shreyas completes century

India's Shreyas Iyer receives standing ovation as he is back in the pavilion after being dismissed by New Zealand's Tim Southee during the day two of their first Test in Kanpur on Nov. 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

Some coincidences are without precedence. The one noticed here during Friday’s play could well be one of a kind.

Consider this: Shreyas Iyer was batting on 75 and Ravindra Jadeja, on 50 when the action resumed on the second day of the India-New Zealand Test. At stumps, Will Young was batting on 75 and Tom Latham, on 50. What more, the first Test for Shreyas is also the first Test, in India, for Young.

Between the two moments at the opposite ends of the day’s play, New Zealand frustrated India like no other visiting team in recent times.

It restricted the host to 345 and then made the total appear strikingly inadequate by scoring 129 runs without loss. In short, it performed like a true World Test champion and made India look a distant second best.

Special innings

The domination of the Kiwi openers also pushed into the background a special 105 from Shreyas on debut. Ten days short of turning 27, the Mumbai batter added 30 runs this morning with six boundaries before becoming one of Tim Southee’s five victims.

When India resumed at 258 for four, Southee bowled 11 overs on the trot to go with the one bowled on Thursday evening. During this impressive spell, he scalped Jadeja, on his overnight 50, Wriddiman Saha, Shreyas and Axar Patel in the space of 37 deliveries to finish with five for 69.

After lunch, Ajaz Patel quickly took the remaining two wickets, including that of an impressive R. Ashwin (38, 56b, 5x4) to leave the Indian think-tank wondering whether 345 was adequate on this placid pitch.

Most impressive

Young was the most impressive batsman on view today. A top-order-batter-turned-opener, Young made it to this playing XI only because Devon Conway missed the Tour due to injury. Having scored an impressive 82 in his previous Test at Birmingham against England, Young missed the WTC final against India.

On this day, Young showed his comfort against the spinners. Though Ajinkya Rahane used 16 overs of pace and 41 of spin to break the stand, Young was equal to the challenge. Showing the right mix of defence and offence with good use of this feet, Young not only hit 12 boundaries but rotated the strike well.

At the other end, Latham’s wicketkeeping experience came to the fore as he appeared to have read the pitch well. The left-hander swept with the ease of a veteran, more against the left-arm spinners — Jadeja and Axar — and hit just four boundaries in all. In the absence of any noticeable assistance from the pitch, the bowlers did rather well to keep the flow of runs in check.

On what turned out to be an ordinary day’s work for the on-field umpires Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma, referrals to the TV umpire saved Latham three times and Young once. Three leg-before appeals were upheld after failing to see the ball hitting the inside-edges of the bat.

They got off to a good start obviously, but it’s important for us to not leak runs because the cracks are opening up and it should get trickier tomorrow, Shreyas Iyer said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 10:40:40 PM |

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