Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Live Cricket Score - New Zealand vs India, 1st Test - Day 4. Axar Patel helped India to bounce back
Axar Patel helped India to bounce back
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Shreyas Iyer's game?
Shreyas Iyer continued to shine brightly in the Kanpur Test as he followed up his hundred in the first innings with a defining fifty in the second dig to help India gain a sizeable lead of 216.
At the commencement of the second session, the match still seemed to be in a balance with India ahead by 133. However, Iyer and R Ashwin played with purpose and discipline to negate the early threat of Tim Southee. The hallmark of the partnership was every single time the New Zealand bowlers dished out an ordinary delivery, the duo took advantage of it. The point can be further illustrated by how Ashwin crunched the pull when Southee bowled a half-tracker in the 36th over.
Just when the pair seemed set to take India to a position of strength, Kyle Jamieson breathed life into New Zealand's effort by forcing Ashwin to inside edge one onto the stumps. Jamieson's ability to extract disconcerting bounce again came to the fore. With India ahead by 152 and four wickets left in the shed, Wriddhiman Saha joined forces with Iyer to share another crucial association. By then, India also was looking to play with more freedom, capsulised by how Iyer used the depth of the crease to deftly late cut Ajaz Patel.
Ajaz's partner-in-crime in this Test – Will Somerville – seemed to be in the middle of a good spell as he extracted enough overspin. Just that Saha danced down the deck and collected a boundary and then clubbed a six off Somerville. New Zealand, though, would rue the fact that the boundary hit by Saha could have been a wicket as the fielder stationed at midwicket fluffed a tough chance. In a hard-fought Test that missed opportunity could turn out to be the difference between the two sides. Iyer also upped the ante by cracking a volley of lofts against Ajaz and soon reached his fifty. At the stroke of Tea, Iyer gloved one off Southee but by then he had taken his side to safer waters.
Iyer, Saha put India in front
Iyer and Saha have now added another vital stand. Iyer is on his way to putting up a defining show in his maiden Test. Hundred in the first dig and now a crucial hand. Saha meanwhile took a couple of chances against Somerville and collected a four and a six. One of them went through the hands of the fielder at midwicket. Tough chance but in a hard-fought Test, it could turn out to be the difference.
Iyer also reached his fifty.
Jamieson to the fore
Once again Jamieson's ability to get that bit of extra bounce has helped New Zealand to break a threatening stand. Ashwin, who looked in good touch, has chopped one onto the stumps. India are six down.
Saha, who has been troubled by a neck issue, has come out to bat.
The lead grows
India's lower-middle-order has a tendency to add crucial runs. Iyer and Ashwin are doing just that. With drives, pulls and cuts, Ashwin in particular has been very busy at the crease. The duo has already added more than 50 runs and the lead is past 150.
Iyer, Ashwin look to add crucial runs
Southee continued to play on the minds of the batters in that one-square window outside the off-stump. The point can be encapsulated by how he went wide of the crease and employed the short ball against Ashwin and followed it up with the dangled carrot in the corridor of uncertainty, only for Ashwin's outside edge bisecting the gap between the slips and gully. In between, Iyer and Ashwin collected a few boundaries to keep the scorecard moving. India would hope for Iyer and the lower order batters to add crucial runs and push the lead as much as they can. Meanwhile, New Zealand need early breakthroughs in the second session, as a target of 200-220 could be tough to chase on a wearing pitch.
India slide further
Mayank Agarwal is caught at second slip and Sothee is rewarded in a top class spell. He makes it even better in the same over trapping Jadeja LBW for a duck. India are 51/5 now, with a lead of just 100.
Spot of bother
Rahane, the skipper, too is back in the hut. Ajaz Patel bowled the slider and Rahane perhaps played down the wrong line to be trapped in front. The umpire rightly didn't have much of a hesitation in raising the finger. Meanwhile, Rahane's poor form in Test cricket continues.
41 for 3 and India in a spot of bother.
Johns. @CricCrazyJohns Struggle for Rahane continues, captain goes for 4 and India 41 for 3 – things getting worse for Rahane. 04:48 AM • Nov 11, 2021
Pujara back in the hut
Just as I say Pujara has gloved one down leg! Not exactly the best short delivery Jamieson would bowl in his career, but New Zealand would grab the wicket with both hands. That little bit of extra bounce from Jamieson did the trick. They needed an early breakthrough and Jamieson has provided one.
Pujara shows some intent
Pujara has played with a fair bit of intent so far, scoring runs off loose deliveries. New Zealand, meanwhile, have bowled a bit too straight. The plan is to zoom it on the stumps with the ball keeping low. However, the execution from especially Jamieson hasn't been great so far. Having said that the tall Jamieson did show his skills in these conditions by getting one to rear up on Pujara. But the thick edge once again died down.
“If you see a Day 4 pitch in India, it generally shows a lot more wear and tear. This one doesn't as much because it's cooler (weather). The cracks haven't opened as much as they would otherwise, but they certainly have. They are much wider. We saw yesterday, particularly from the Indian spinners through the course of the day. It got progressively worse. There was more spin and there were balls keeping low” – pitch report from Ajit Agarkar and Deep Dasgupta.
Four Test matches and five-fors. For Axar Patel, the longest format is an easy game it seems. Of course, there would be bigger challenges on the way, but for now he is leaving opposition teams gasping for breath by spinning a web around the batters.
With New Zealand's score reading 151 for 0 in the morning session of Day 3, India needed one of the bowlers to run through the cream of the batting unit. Enter, Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner bowled quicker through the air, extracted more bounce, showcased good control, coupled with the randomness he created sowed the seeds of doubt in the batter's mind.
The spinner finished with a five-for while Ashwin took three as New Zealand were cleaned up for 296. Young and Latham were the mainstays of New Zealand's batting effort, but the middle and lower order batters struggled to start against spin on a track that is increasingly keeping low.
On a side note, Day 3 also saw a bit of controversy. Ashwin used a diagonal run-up from round the wicket, where his follow-through went across the umpire's line of sight and the non-striker. It resulted in a bit of heated discussion between the umpire(s), Ashwin and India's captain Rahane.
Despite losing Gill at the fag end of the day, India now have a vital lead of 63 with nine wickets still in hand. Can the tall Jamieson and Southee use the uneven bounce to their advantage? Will the Indian batters play with positive intent in the second dig?