India Enjoy Victory in 500th Test Match as New Zealand Suffer Batting Collapse

September 27 15:24 2016

New Delhi, Tuesday, September 27 – Chances of witnessing great cricket was likely when the first Test between India and New Zealand entered into the final stages a day ago at Green Park in Kanpur. Indian squad was beautifully led by the young skipper Virat Kohli. His teammates Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, the wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami did not disappoint as it was the time to make the 500th Test memorable.

At the same time, Kiwis under the captaincy of Kane Williamson eyed to gain foothold at any cost to nullify probability of facing defeat. Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Williamson and Ross Taylor were dismissed on Day 4. Wickets of Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Mark Craig, BJ Watling, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner were needed to perform pocket win. Being crucial parts of the team, good show was expected from these players. A few partnerships were required to stop India from nearing the feat.

Showcase of the same was reflected when New Zealand wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi began to bat in sheer style and with immense comfort during early hours play on Monday. His excellence made him soon reach at the score of 80 in 120 balls. Mitchell Santner did his bit too, giving him desired support by hitting the ball into the gaps whenever possible. Ronchi’s innings included nine 4s and a six. As a matter of fact, good work by this batting pair let New Zealand shrug off the pressure and let the opponents bear the brunt.  However, Virat made a decision and trusted on the bowling capability of Jadeja, who did well in the series through bat as well. A delivery by him broke the dangerous partnership between Ronchi and Santner, sending the former back to the dressing room. The wicket was huge from the perspective of team India as winning might have been a missed had the two batmen not been dismissed at a right time.

After the dismissal of Ronchi, Kiwis now wanted next-man in to mark a strong appearance. Santner and Watling were aware of the fact that any further wicket lost will allow Indians sniff much possible victory. Objective was to be on the pitch for as long as probable but soon Watling was stunned by Shami when batting at the score of 18. People got to see some good reverse swing at this point of time that pushed the visiting squad close to the defeat. Shami gave India a much awaited breakthrough, which changed the entire story for the New Zealand cricket team. The type of performance required to put stress on India was not seen afterwards as the new batsman on the crease, Mark Craig, was out by Shami the moment he opened his account. Santner amazing show came to an end in a little while when Ashwin was back in action. Rohit Sharma was quick in taking the catch and spread a broad smile on the faces of Indian team and fans. He scored 71 runs off 179 balls, with the help of two sixes and seven boundaries.

Ish Sodhi was next to get surprised by Ashwin. Despite the fact his innings of 17 runs off 38 balls comprised two fours and a six, he could not make his stint last for a period of time that could have vanished the treat of defeat from the Kiwis. Last wicket was lost by Neil Wagner, who was given legs before wicket by Ashwin on a naught. It was the moment of great pleasure for Indian side that performed brilliantly in all the departments of cricket. Trent Boult was not out at a score of 2. New Zealand side suffered batting collapse. India started the Test series with a remarkable win by 197 runs on the Kiwis. There were enormous chances for Kiwis to be in the game and at least end series in a draw. But thanks to brilliant showcase of Indian bowling on Monday, the tourists failed to be successful in their objective. The victory is special for Indian cricket team as it came on the home ground in the midst of full support from crowd. Expectations were sky high from them as India were playing their 500th Test.

Likelihood of weather to turn a problem was up as well after a few drops of rain were observed during early morning. Had climate been poor, India might have lost the chance of being on the victorious side if the match couldn’t be completed. Kiwis being one of the tough contenders made India hunt for success in two sessions. Competitiveness is supposed to increase in the remaining Test matches. Jadeja was awarded Man of the Match for his splendid show.

Not to forget that Kohli-led India marked come back robustly in opposition to the Kiwis. The match on final day started on a good note as the middle-order batman made sure to pocket runs whenever its probability was huge. Winning the toss and making best use of the decision to bat first let India put best foot forward. Scoring 318 runs in first innings and declaring second innings at a score of 377 helped them keep Kiwis stay under the pump. A good total on the scoreboard was the key to success for India as the bowling side had enough score to defend and not get bothered by the fours and sixes by the opponents.

The New Zealand team pocketed 262 runs for the loss of 10 wickets in their first innings but was all out at 236 runs while making effort to chase down the target set by India. In view of the fact that they have got a taste of excellent batting, bowling and fielding by Kohli’s boys, they will be more aware during upcoming matches. Provided that the teams are not going to have enough time to rest and practice for the next Test, which starts September 30, the hosts and guests are supposed to make best use of the time they have in hand and mark an impressive entry in the game post arrival on the crease. If truth be told then the pitch conditions in the scheduled match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata will give chance to the entire bowling lineup, both spinners and fast bowlers to put best foot forward. Batmen will also have opportunity to shine. Hopes are indeed up from India who are full of young players, who house the potential to change the outcome of the game at a point where winning was not a simple task.

A blend of experienced and inexperienced players in both India and New Zealand will give audience to cheer and shout in sheer enthusiasm throughout the play. In case the hosting nation carries on to bowl in the style for what they have gained appreciation, it would be a big threat to the contenders. One point Kiwis must be clear in mind by now is that putting humongous runs on the scoreboard is going to be extremely difficult for them. Odds of making mistakes are high as well from India as most of the players being new in the team. However, they must be praised for their outstanding play recently. Contribution of considerable runs from top & middle orders and tail-enders in the team’s total will be of immense importance. But in case if wickets are lost, it should be understood that newcomers are on the path of learning and trying to lift the pressure up. The upcoming competition is the best opportunity for both bowlers and batsmen to sharpen their tools.

Second Test is a do or die game for the Williamson-led squad. Hundred percent efforts by the teammates will be a key thing in order to stand out and keep their hopes alive in the longest format during their tour of India. The biggest strength of the Indian side that has emerged in the past few months is their attack as a unit. It is certainly going to be awe-inspiring to see which team makes best use of the occasion and which fails to make it a smash hit. To catch the action live, fans are waiting for as India and New Zealand gear up for another big show that begins September-end. It is the great opportunity for the travelers to get better in the contest. India will make attempt to put them under pressure for another time and give no space to them in experiencing the ease while playing shots. Focus of the host will be to demonstrate outstanding blitz on the field that’s vital all the time. With just a few days left for the match to begin, excitement is going to be enormous.