A pulsating match at the Green Park in Kanpur, where a draw between the two top-ranked sides in the format displayed drama of the highest quality. A 52 ball last-wicket stand between the debutant Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel defied the Indian team a victory which they are used to on the deteriorating pitches. It is indeed a consolation that India (A) could hold world champions to a draw.
The hosts were reeling at 51 for 5 in the second innings and it looked all over but Man of the match Shreyas Iyer ably supported by the all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, the injured Wriddhiman Saha, and Axar Patel took India to the commanding situation and converted a loss into a draw.
Comparison of the attack
New Zealand pacers could get swing and movement of the pitch and that is why they bagged eight wickets in the first innings and six out of the seven wickets in the second innings. In contrast, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav were more of pedestrians as they lacked any movement or penetration and were able just to pick two wickets between them combining the two innings.
Indian spinners managed to trouble the visitors with the skills and could trouble New Zealand batters, but as the pitch held true for all five days, the Kiwi spinners lacked any kind of punch and their inexperience was very evident in their performance.
Head to head
Matches Played: 61, India: 21, New Zealand: 13, Draw: 27
At Wankhede, up till now, 25 matches have been played. India have won 11, opposition 7 and 7 matches have ended as a draw.
On most occasions, the team batting first has come on top. The pitch plays wonderfully on the second day and third day so if one capitalizes then the team batting second can notch up a huge total. Few instances we recollect, firstly when Pieterson scored a majestic 186 and helped the England side win by 10 wickets. Followed by Virat Kohli’s 235 against England batting second, which India won by an innings and 36 runs.
Spinners have been the main wicket-takers and Ashwin, Jadeja have picked up a bunch of wickets at Wankhede.
Drawing inspiration 👌— BCCI (@BCCI) November 30, 2021
Achieving milestones 🔝
Revealing some cricketing stories 👍@ShreyasIyer15 turns anchor as he interviews milestone man @ashwinravi99 post the first #INDvNZ Test.👌👌 - By @28anand
Full interview 📽️👇 #TeamIndia @Paytm https://t.co/CLEn3lNzLF pic.twitter.com/SaLv1Jhfeb
Match Toss Time: 09:00 Local (03:30 GMT)
Match Start Time: 09:30 Local (04:00 GMT)
The 33-year old pace, Ishant Sharma, did not look at his best and looked fatigued throughout the course of the game. Umesh Yadav is no longer the same bowler as the reverse swing has become difficult to achieve with the saliva rule persisting.
Prasidh Krishna and Mohammad Siraj should be brought back to exploit the bouncy pitch made of red clay.
In the batting department, Shreyas Iyer showed that he has more time than others, more array of shots, and temperament to replace Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane in the future. So he will be retained. There are no reports yet on the fitness of Saha and he may be replaced by KS Bharat if is unable to recover on time.
Mayank Agarwal struggled to make an impact and he is likely to be replaced by Suryakumar Yadav, who will be making his debut in the longest format.
Probable Playing Xl:
Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal/Suryakumar Yadav, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha/ KS Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammad Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
Neil Wagner will be brought back to the team to strengthen short pitch bowling in place of Sommerville, Mitchell Santner should replace Rachin Ravindra as he can exploit the bounce at Wankhede and he is handy with the bat too. Yes, it could be a harsh call on the youngster especially after his heroics in the first Test.
Probable Playing Xl:
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, Neil Wagner, Mitchell Santner/ Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel
The red clay is hard so pace bowlers can extract good bounce. Earlier the sea breeze helped in inducing swing but due to the construction of the new stand, the swing is a rarity. Pitch cracks on the fourth day and spinners play havoc.
The first innings average is 369, the second innings is 410, the third inning is 169 and the fourth innings is 133. So one can assess the contrast in batting conditions and one needs the skill to combat on the 4th day or 5th day. So, once again, we feel the toss will play a crucial role.
Win the toss and bat, this will remain the strategy. If you are batting second then one needs to score around 500 as in 4th innings red clay breaks and ball bounces and close infielders have a field day.
If New Zealand bats first, then they will score around the 300 mark. Indian batters will be able to score around 400 as Ashwin has a century to his name at Wankhede and he will be feeling confident. The tail is more confident now after a series of bold performances with the bat. New Zealand will score around 250 and It may be a draw or a win for the hosts.
If India bats first then they will score around 350, which will be matched by New Zealand. In the 2nd innings, India will score around 250 and New Zealand might just fail to chase it down.
So 3rd December, wait for the toss, It is certain that a tight contest will take place and good cricket will be witnessed.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author's view and do not necessarily reflect the official match scores, proceedings, or position of the match in any way.