ICC World Test Championship
India New Zealand Test Played at Wellington, New Zealand February 21-25, 2020
New Zealand 1st Innings 348 All Out (KS Williamson 89, LRPL Taylor 44, KA Jamieson 44, C de Gandhomme 43 , TA Boult 38, I Sharma 5/68, R Awsin 3/99) and New Zealand in the 2nd Innings 9/0 beat India 1st Innings 165 All Out (AM Rahane 46, MA Agarwal 34, KA Jamieson 4/39, TG Southee 4/49) and 191 All Out in the Second Innings (MA Agarwal 58, AM Rahane 29, Rishab Pant 25, TG Southee 5/61, TA Boult 4/39) by 10 Wickets
Player of The Match: Tim Southee
The ICC top ranked Team India got comprehensively beaten by 10 wickets by well organized dynamic New Zealand in the first of the two matches ICC test championship series. Completely overwhelmed team India got shocked and awed by much superior all round performance of the Black Caps which it self was India washed in the 5 matches T20 series in their own back yard in not too distant past. Against very penetrative and fit for the purpose bowling attack and equally clinical fielding of the home side otherwise very strong Indian batting capitulated in both innings (165 and 191 ) showing lack of skill , technique and temperament . Top stars ViratKohli, Cheteswar Pujara failed to deliver. Bowling on the same surface none excepting Ishant Sharma looked at all competitive as home side producing 348 had enough to challenge India. The much highly rated Indian pace attack failed to prove their quality on a wicket where home pacers teased and tormented Indian batsmen. Bumrah and Shami had no influence at all whatsoever. However, some useful batting by Agarawal, Rahane and Punt could save them from humiliation of Innings defeat. But it was only just as New Zealand required only 9 runs for registering a very satisfying 10 wickets victory. With this loss India has lost four matches on the trot on the tour after getting comprehensively white washed by the Kiwis in the ODI series. With another test due to start at Hagley Oval, Chrischurch from 29 February India has to do lot of home works to avoid series humiliation. New Zealand with their tails up will definitely not let an Indian bounce back so easy.
The fate of the match was written all over at stumps on day three when India in their second innings were reduced to 144/4 batting against a deficit of 183 in the first innings. Shaw, Agarwal, Pujara and Kohli were already back in the pavilion. Rahane, Punt, Vihari and the rest had huge task. New Zealand bowlers tasting the blood were relentless in the brief morning session. Southee was moving the ball prodigiously aiming at the perfect channel. Indian batsmen had no clues. It did not take long for Southee wrapping up India late order and the tail after Boult removed Rahane very early. His 5/ 61 effectively buried India in Tasman sea. Boult with 4/39 was his perfect allay in India hunt.
Well someone would say it can happen to the best of the teams at some point or other. But the way Indian team is decimating in New Zealand tour must trigger concerns in Indian camp. Though they managed to whitewash home team in 5 matches T20 series it was however not comprehensive. New Zealand should have won at least two of them which ended in scores tied and home team losing in super overs. Neither Indian batting nor their bowling looked at all convincing in ODIs and the test. Virat Kohli looks completely out of touch. Dhawan and Rohit are not there .Pujara has failed in the test. Rahane and others can not the leaders in batting against quality attack on sporting wickets. Indian pace attack apart from Ishant looked very ordinary. Freak talent Bumrah has become predictable. Shami could not deliver. New Zealand batsmen appear to have worked out Indian bowling. Kohli’s captaincy also had few question marks. When chips are down these things happen. Wonder how Ravi Shastri would inspire. The launching world’s largest cricket stadium may not be enough rescuing Indian team from the current black hole. Let us hope India bounces back.
On the other hand New Zealand seemed to have taken lots of lessons from their T20 melting. Even in the absence of Niel Wagner and Mat Henry the bowling looks match winning. Boult is back at his best after injury. Old horse Southee is tweeting and the tall lanky rookie Jamieson already proved a great addition. Home batsmen lead by ever reliable and consistent Williamson, Taylor, Latham, Nicholson are good enough for presenting to their bowlers enough capital for trading. Feel happy for very sober and friendly New Zealanders.
BDST: 1122 HRS, FEB 24, 2020