India five wickets away from victory

Team India continued their dominance over the visitors as the ‘Men in Blue’ were just five wickets away from a victory and yet another series win. After denying follow-on to New Zealand, India posted 276 runs on the board and left a mammoth 541 to chase for the blackcaps.

After posting a hundred runs partnership for the first wicket, India lost half-centurion Mayank Agrawal. The centurion in the first innings scored a half-century in the second. Besides him, no one from the rest of the team could hit a similar milestone. However, the entire batting order chipped in with valuable contributions.

Source – Hindustantimes.com

Shubhman Gill performed well, despite his forceful demotion to number three. Indian skipper Virat Kohli departed after leading an inside edge into the stumps off Rachit Ravindra. Yet another failure against spin bowling.

With India having a comfortable lead, the lower middle order was left with slogging and maximizing the scoring rate before the last session. Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha, and Axar Patel helped the cause with their cameos.

New Zealand, who were coming off an embarrassing display of batsmanship from the first innings, tried to hold on until the end of the day’s play. The skipper Tom Latham, could not add to the team’s resistance, as he was sent back early by R. Ashwin. 

Daryl Mitchell who replaced Kane Willaimson from the first Test played well for his 60. The fall of Will Young was just another nail in the coffin, as experienced Ross Taylor also departed immediately without troubling the scorers much.

Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell tried not to succumb to the pressure, as they both played spin well. The duo tried to nullify Indian bowling with an aggressive approach. The act couldn’t go on forever, as the left-arm orthodox Patel got Mitchell after getting hit for a six.

With five wickets down, India would want to end the proceedings as early as possible on the morning of day 4. Team India haven’t lost a test series at home since 2012/13. This series win will continue the winning streak until next time. 

Source – Indian Express

Both the teams will have some questions to answer after this series. Form of Ross Taylor and Sommerville, and the inconsistency from top order for New Zealand. T=he dry ‘century less run skipper Kohli would be running at the back of his mind. With the coming South Africa series, there is also a possibility of a new deputy being seen in Tests, considering the dip in Ajinkya Rahane’s form.

Featured Image source – Cricbuzz

Anuj Rayate

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