INDIA -NEW ZEALAND FIRST TEST REVIEW 2021
BATATHON Vs BLOCKATHON
When the two on- field Umpires called off the play implying there was not sufficient light to continue the play with a few minutes of the play still left on the 5th and final day yesterday of the First Test between India & New zealand , the Kiwis broke India’s record of 14 consecutive tests win or loss at Home. Their last wicket pair of Rachin Ravindra & Ajay Patel held on for a few overs before the play was called off.
The World’s best two Test teams battled for supremacy and the Kiwis, the WTC Champion showed their competitiveness in this Test.
Again as in the first innings, the Kiwis top order put up a good show as Tom Latham and nightwatchman Somerville, who came at the fall of the first wicket defied the heavy odds and batted on till the lunch break on the final day without being separated.
After lunch, the New Zealand batters fell like ninepins as the Indian spinning trio led by Ravindra Jadeja, the ace spinner Ashwin ( who is now the 3rd leading wicket-taker in Tests for India) and Axar Patel did the damage though the pitch didn’t offer much purchase for the spinners..
In spite of all the wickets falling at the other end, it was the debutant Rachin Ravindra who held the fort at one end. He batted like a champion as his BLACKATHON saved the Test as the Kiwis were precariously placed at 126/9 before the Umpires called off play.
It was nothing unusual a Draw at Green Park stadium, Kanpur as out of the 23 Tests played here, there were as many as 13 Tests ( including yesterday’s test) were drawn, accounting for 56.5 % as drawn tests. But this was the closest Drawn Test in the recent past around the world.
It was the two debutants in this Test viz., Shreyas Iyer, who hit a maiden century in the first innings and half-century in the second innings, and Rachin Ravindra, who stood like a rock of Gibraltar and spoiled the Indian chances of a win.
Shreyas Iyer, who batted like a true champion in this treacherous pitch top-scoring in both innings helped India to almost a win with his BATATHON and Rachin Ravindra with his BLOCKATHON that saved the Test with his obdurate blocking.
It was curious to observe that out of 36 wickets falling in this Test only 4 catches were held by non-wicket keepers and as many as 10 LBWs were claimed by bowlers especially in the second innings of Kiwis when there were 6 LBW dismissals.
India took a firm lead of 49 runs in the first innings after Shreyas Iyer’s century and half-centuries from opener Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja as the veteran packer Tim Southee ran through the Indian batting line up with 5fer and Kiwis replied strongly with their openers put up 196 runs for the first wicket and both missed century dismissed in the 90s. And the chief wrecker was Axar Patel who claimed 5 wickets and Ashwin took 3 wickets restricting them below India’s score.
In the second essay, India did well again though the rate of scoring was slow and declared in the final hours of the 4th day leaving the Kiwis a target of 284 runs.
And both the teams head for Mumbai for the 2nd Test starting on 3rd December.