Ross Taylor’s Men Need 376 Runs in Kolkata Test to Beat India

October 03 14:46 2016

sahaNew Delhi, Monday, October 3 – When Indian cricket team celebrated their 500th Test in grand style at Green Park recently, hopes increased from them when they landed in Kolkata. The Eden Gardens is hosting the crucial 2nd Test and not to forget that the ongoing match is the 250th Test match for the hosts on the home soil.

It turned a big game for both top sides. Here is to mention that a victory at this stage will not only seal the series for the Indian team, but will also get them back at number one position in Test, despite the fact that Virat Kohli-led side will have to win the final Test at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore as well. On the other hand, the Kiwis arrived in the sub-continent with probably their best possible squad, which was brought together in the hope to give India a taste of their own medicine. But they did not attain success in the first Test.

They are fighting courageously in the second Test, which is imperative to win in all aspects. A defeat at this point of time will mean losing the chance to fight for Test series trophy. Virat Kohli’s team this time included Wriddhiman Saha, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Ravichandran Ashwin.  It was certainly a brave decision to get Kumar find a place in the team, replacing Umesh Yadav. Some capable cricketers like Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Gautam Gambhir may hope for getting a place in the squad in the last Test.

Ross Taylor’s captaincy certainly gave New Zealand shine a little bit better, though it is never easy to lead a side when not expecting. The hopes are surging from Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Jeetan Patel, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, BJ Watling and Neil Wagner. At the same time, Ish Sodhi, James Neesham, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, and Tim Southee sat on bench, praying for the team’s success in Kolkata Test. India’s first innings came to an end at a score of 316. A mix of good and poor batting was noticed at the stage. Ajinkya Rahane impressed with his play, scoring 77 runs.

Saha batted in majestic fashion, scoring 54 runs in tough situation. He was able to spend time on the crease and opt for attacking mode to increase pressure of performing on the New Zealand bowlers. Shami’s 14 runs with the help of three boundaries clearly defined that objective of the hosts is to gain runs in speed. 18 extras by the opponents added to the runs. New Zealand top batting order collapsed in front of Indian bowling attack in 1st innings. Martin Guptill was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar at a score of 13 in 13 balls. Three boundaries from him showed he was keen to showcase his natural play. Tom Latham was lbw by Shami post getting a single. Henry Nicholls succumbed to Bhuvneshwar on 1 run.

Ross Taylor lost his wicket also to Bhuvneshwar but his contribution of 36 runs in 80 balls, along with five boundaries, together with 35 runs (5 x 4 and 6 x1) from Ronchi, who was dismissed by Jadeja, helped the Black Caps get some stability and think of getting past the total set by India. Bhuvneshwar was confident and sent Mitchell Santner back to the pavilion at a score of 11, which consisted of a couple of boundaries. BJ Watling got his leg before wicket in Shami’s over. 25 runs from him comprised three boundaries. Matt Henry was out for a duck as Bhuvneshwar was on fire. Jeetan Patel’s wicket went into the pocket of Ashwin and it was a major breakthrough. 47 runs from him was the highest individual total from the Black Caps in the first innings, which was studded with nine 4s.

Neil Wagner was lbw by Shami on 10 runs (6 x 1), while Trent Boult was not out at 6 runs, which came through a biggie. The visitors did not succeed to take advantage of the wicket, which although did not support batting in the true sense. However, a few Indian cricketers made use of the same, getting a good lead of 112 runs. When they came to bat for a second time, accumulation of 263 runs was done. Shikhar Dhawan showed some improvement than before and sent the ball into the fences for four times. He ran for a single too. An interesting delivery by Boult made him depart.

Murali Vijay’s wicket by Henry at a score of 7 (4 x 1) was a true shocker but wicket was playing different. Henry was the man to dismiss Vijay in India’s 1st innings as well. He also dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara, who couldn’t do much when the ball hit the pads. Only a four, which was through a boundary, was Pujara’s score this time. Virat Kohli – the Indian captain – who was making all efforts to play a good innings finally managed to play in style and show what he is capable of doing. He had to depart when a wonderful ball by Boult left him with no option but try to play a delivery that was nearly unplayable. The ball did not miss the stumps and Kohli was given lbw. He stumbled on that ball but was all in smile as the young player knew there wasn’t anything he could have done.  45 runs from Kohli included seven fours.

Ajinkya Rahane was stunned by Henry when lost wicket at a score of 1. Rohit Sharma was standing rock solid, giving India a kind of innings that was required to make lead get strong. Ravichandran Ashwin was lbw by Santner at a score of 5. Sharma later on missed the opportunity to pocket a ton by 18 runs but nine fours and two sixes from him gave audience a chance to get entertained. Ravindra Jadeja hit a six when arrived but effort to play in Test like a T20 match did not work when catch was taken by substitute Neesham in Santner’s over.  Eight wickets were lost yesterday and today’s batting was resumed by Saha and Kumar.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar lost his wicket to Wagner at 23 runs. A six from him and two boundaries showed his capability to go for bigger innings when needed. Mohammed Shami’s doubtful catch in the hands of Latham made him depart at 1 run. The replay showed the ball probably hit first the ground but decision went into the favor of bowling side as umpire on the field went with an out. Indian wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha was not out at 58 runs (4 x 6). He was unbeaten in both innings, making him stand out in a different way. 263 runs from India plus lead of 112 runs has given New Zealand chase a target of 376 runs. The target is attainable but Kiwis got to work on batting part as everything now depends on their performance. Tom Latham and Martin Guptill have certainly given their side a kind of start that was demand of time. Before lunch, Latham scored 31 runs in 52 balls, with the help of four 4s. Guptill is on the crease at 24 runs (4 x 3). They hope to weave a long partnership to make Kiwis stand on a strong side.