India 122/5 (Rahane 38*, Pant 10*, Jamieson 3/38) at Stumps on Day 1
Kyle Jamieson has done it again. After a superb ODI debut barely two weeks ago where Jamieson bagged the man-of-the-match award, he seems on the path to replicate his success on Test debut as well here in Wellington on February 21. Replacing Trent Boult in the attack, the 6 feet 8 inch tall fast bowler snaffled Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in back-to-back overs to leave the Indian team rattling at 40 for 3. Later, he dismissed Hanuma Vihari to leave India at 101 for 5 in the second session.
Jamieson inflicted damage with his accuracy. He first peppered Pujara around his off-stump before inducing an outside edge to the wicket-keeper, BJ Watling. In his next over, he got the prized scalp of Indian skipper, Kohli who played a loose drive way outside off-stump handing a routine catch to Ross Taylor at first slip. Post lunch, he added Vihari to his list, again by exploiting the off-stump channel.
Before Kohli and Pujara, India had already lost their opener, Prithvi Shaw. Playing his first Test since October 2018, the 20-year was castled by Tim Southee for 16 in the fifth over of the innings. Known for his brash strokeplay on occasions, the right-hander committed to an on-drive - too early for an opening batsman - to a full-length ball that moved away late and just enough to hit the off-stump.
Shaw looked in great touch during his brief stay at the crease. A cut shot while riding the bounce on the first ball of the third over of the innings was a testimony to his positive mindset. However, his technique as an opener has come into the radar again after a loose shot led to his dismissal.
Pujara and Mayank Agarwal stayed together for 11 overs before Jamieson broke the partnership. While Boult struggled to find his rhythm, Southee looked in decent control but it was the debutant Jamieson whose immaculate control built further pressure on the Indian team. As a result, at the point of Kohli's dismissal, India's run-rate was also as low as 2.3 runs per over. However, Agarwal and Rahane augmented it to 2.8 during their resurrecting act amidst which the duo have added 39 runs for the fourth wicket off 61 deliveries before lunch. Agarwal looked the most assured batsman on the crease with a false-shot percentage of 16.4, the least amongst the batsmen who faced at least 10 balls in the first session.
However, he failed to continue after lunch and was caught by Jamieson at deep fine-leg in an attempt to pull a rising delivery from Boult for 34. The second session proved to be a treacherous one for India as the visitors could accumulate only 43 runs in 27 overs at the cost of two wickets.
Rahane, who scored 19 runs off 34 deliveries in the first session, added only 19 more to his total facing 88 deliveries after lunch. His false-shot percentage in the second session was only 1.1 percent which speaks about the control with which the Kiwi bowlers bowled.
Persistent rain did not allow any play post tea and play was subsequently called off.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bowl first owing to the overcast conditions. Kohli said he would have done the same but is happy to put runs on the board.
While New Zealand handed a debut to Jamieson, India opted for Pant as their wicket-keeper, hence going for his batting talent instead of the finesse of Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps. R Ashwin won over Ravindra Jadeja for the spot of the lone spinner in the XI.