New Zealand crumble against spin as India take control in Kanpur

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27 Nov 2021 | 11:02 AM
authorcricket.com staff

New Zealand crumble against spin as India take control in Kanpur

India took 10 wickets for 167 runs on Day 3 to edge ahead in the first Test in Kanpur

After a forgettable outing on Day 2, India stormed back on Day 3 as they took control of the game by bowling New Zealand out for 296 and taking a 49-run lead. The Kiwis entered the day with all 10 wickets intact, but a stunning showing from the duo of Axar Patel (5/62) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/82) helped the hosts bounce back and move ahead in the contest. 

Umesh strikes huge blow right before lunch to make it India’s session

After having it easy for large parts of Day 2, it was two hours of torment for the Kiwis on the morning of Day 3. The pitch started turning more, but most importantly Ravichandran Ashwin found his rhythm. Ashwin beat the inside and outside edge of both the right and left handers, that too on a consistent basis, and at one point looked like taking a wicket every single ball. Ashwin kept knocking on the door and eventually got his deserved breakthrough on the 10th over of the day, dismissing the dangerous Will Young caught-behind for 89. 

It should have been two, but a missed DRS referral saw India let Tom Latham off the hook. Bowling from around the wicket, Ashwin got one to drift in, turn sharply and strike Latham, but after the on-field umpire ruled it not out, the hosts did not refer. As it turned out, DRS showed that the ball would have crashed onto leg-stump. Three Reds. 

Williamson walked in at No.3 and started brightly, striking two quick boundaries off Jadeja, and he and Latham started building a fine partnership that looked ominous for India. 

However, just when the Kiwis looked like they would head to lunch without losing any more wickets, Umesh Yadav struck in the very last over of the first session. Bowling just his second over of the day, Umesh got one to peg back and strike Williamson on the pad. The ball kept low and Williamson, who was deep in the crease, found himself trapped. The Kiwis lost their second and the wicket of Williamson made it India’s session. 

Kiwis collapse as India take charge

All day long, there was an air of inevitability about a New Zealand collapse occurring. And in the post-lunch session, the scenario came to fruition as the Kiwis lost four wickets in a single session whilst scoring just 52 runs.

The collapse was triggered by the loss of Ross Taylor, who was set-up delightfully by Axar Patel. Axar kept angling the ball into Taylor, and then finally got one to turn away from the right-hander. The veteran nicked it to give India their third wicket, Axar his first. 

And this wicket ended up opening the floodgates.

Henry Nicholls lasted just 9 balls, before being trapped in front by Axar after he missed a sweep, and then Latham followed five overs later. Batting on 95, the southpaw advanced down the wicket as he’d been doing all day long, but the ball hit the footmarks and ricocheted off him and reached the keeper. An excellent bit of keeping from Bharat saw Latham perish. 

Rachin Ravindra, on debut, looked good during his 23-ball stay, but a sharp-turning delivery from Jadeja, who also got assistance from the foot-marks, got the better of the 22-year-old. 

Jamieson and Blundell stayed put at the end of the session, but New Zealand walked back to the dressing room with the score 249/6. All the good work done by the openers was essentially undone in 30 overs. 

India lose Gill after bowling New Zealand out under 300

After reducing New Zealand to 249/6 at tea, it was imperative for India to not let the tail wag. And to their credit, the hosts kept taking wickets at regular intervals and eventually bowled the visitors out for 296, taking a 49-run lead. 

The final four wickets were picked by Axar (2) and Ashwin (2), the two undisputed best bowlers on the day. Ashwin finished with three while Axar ended up picking the fifth five-wicket haul of his young Test career. 

But despite conceding a 49-run lead, New Zealand managed to finish the day on a high. With the light fading, they got 5 overs to bowl, and Kyle Jamieson made the most out of it as he castled Shubman Gill for 1 to provide an early breakthrough.

India lost no more wickets, and will walk out to bat on Day 4 at 14/1, 63 runs ahead of New Zealand. 

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India vs New ZealandNew Zealand tour of India, 2021IndiaNew ZealandAxar PatelRavichandran AshwinTom LathamKane WilliamsonHenry NichollsKyle Jamieson

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