Home > Features >

Highlights of 1st Test between India and New Zealand

New Zealand players celebrate victory after taking the wicket of Ishant Sharma © Getty Images
New Zealand players celebrate victory after taking the wicket of Ishant Sharma © Getty Images

The captivating first Test between India and New Zealand once again displayed the longest format in good light. Abhijit Banare captures key points that changed the game.


1) The dropped catch that set up the 221-run stand between Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson

On a green top, under overcast conditions, having the opposition three down for just 30 runs, India held the aces. The in-form batsmen Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum were under pressure and the nervousness was visible. India could have easily grabbed the opportunity by sending back Williamson when Murali Vijay in the slips floored a regulation slip catch. Williamson was on 32 then and went on to share a 221-run stand with McCullum. The Kiwis piled on the runs and McCullum benefited from loose deliveries at regular intervals as they crossed 500. And Ishant Sharma bagged 150 Test wickets and a six-for but the Kiwis had already got enough on board.

Rohit Sharma © Getty Images
Rohit Sharma couldn’t convert his start into a big score in the first innings against New Zealand © Getty Images

2) India fall apart again


It was yet another below-par outing for the Indian batsmen in the first innings or let’s say they realised a touch too late that they had handed over the reins of the match to India on the second day itself. Unlike the Indian pacers, Tim Southee and company strangled India when they were down 15 for three. And with all due credit to the pacers, it was the batsmen who gave their wickets away with poor shots. Even on the third morning, both Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane got out to poor shots knowing the fact that patience was the order of the first hour play. Without looking at what ensued later in the day, conceding a 301-run lead is often throwing the match away.

Mohammed Shami (left) bowled incisively for India © Getty Images
Mohammed Shami (left) bowled incisively for India in the second innings against New Zealand © Getty Images

3) Indian bowlers exceed expectations

Perhaps MS Dhoni himself would have been surprised looking at the disciplined bowling in the second innings. Mohammed Shami who was unlucky not to get his wickets in the first innings, this time around got the rewards for his impeccable line and length. And it was from here, Ravindra ‘sir’ Jadeja made his difference by latching on to some brilliant catches. He had done it in the first innings as well, but removing Williamson early with a fine catch gave them the control. Even Ishant used his height and got the ball to rise awkwardly. The persistent pressure and some reckless shots saw New Zealand crash out to 105.

Shikhar Dhawan (batting in picture) notched up a well-measured hundred for India against New Zealand © Getty Images
Shikhar Dhawan (batting in picture) notched up a well-measured hundred for India against New Zealand © Getty Images

4) Shikhar Dhawan leads India’s run-chase

After the spirited bowling performance came the resilient batting. First Vijay and Dhawan got off to a solid start. Though Vijay was unlucky to be adjudged caught behind, Dhawan did remarkably well to suppress his aggressive instincts once he settled in. Being short of runs can lead to a batsman experimenting a lot. But Dhawan held himself together even on the crucial fourth morning. When Southee was testing the batsman, Dhawan did well along with Virat Kohli to give a realistic chance of chasing the score.

Ravindra Jadeja tried to slog his way out of trouble © Getty Images
Ravindra Jadeja tried to slog his way out of trouble in the second innings  © Getty Images

5) ‘Sir’ Jadeja and the drama unfolds

After Rohit departed, first ball after tea India were down 278 for six. Against the new ball, both MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja didn’t have the technique to survive the swing and come out on top against the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult. But Jadeja carved his own way of dealing with the new ball by forcing it to lose its shape by consistently slogging. The first ball he faced was slapped back for a boundary. In just 34 balls, the duo had added 54 runs and the see-saw battle continued. Jadeja lived by the sword and died by it. His dismissal was virtually the end for India but with Dhoni there, tight finishes are a regular affair. But it was too much to ask from him to depend on Ishant.

6) New Zealand pacers fire collectively

Southee leads the attack, Boult complements from the other end and Wagner strikes the big wickets to maintain the pressure. This has been a pattern. In both innings, Wagner struck key wickets. With new ball they delivered to a plan and didn’t give too many freebies. In the second innings, India were well on their way to a win, if Wagner hadn’t removed Kohli and Dhawan, before the arrival of the new ball. Wagner turned out to be the bowler who landed the knockout punch after India were softened by Southee and Boult.

Ajinkya Rahane (batting in picture) was out in controversial circumstances © Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane (batting in picture) was out in rather controversial circumstances © Getty Images

7) Want to blame the DRS and Umpires?

In case you are least interested in holding the Indian team responsible, there’s an option of ignoring all the above highlights and throw the dart straight to Richard Kettleborough and Steve Davis. Oh! Not the umpires but possibly the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as well. As for the New Zealand supporters, BJ Watling’s dismissal off Ishant’s bowling came off a no-ball. In hindsight one can say the Kiwis could have posted a few more runs, if he had been there. There were few other dismissals, like Shami’s leg-before appeal in the first innings against Peter Fulton, Vijay’s invisible edge in the second innings. But the two big dismissals on the second day proved to be crucial. Rahane who was playing confidently was given out leg-before despite getting an inside edge, in the nervous final moments, Dhoni seemed to have been bowled by Wagner whose landing foot appeared to have touched the outside of the crease, which according to rules is a no-ball.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 6, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 7, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Birmingham


Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 62 runs

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Birmingham

India won by 9 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts


India vs England, 4th ODI at Edgbaston


Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

India’s ODI series triumphs outside Asia — a statistical review

Ajinkya Rahane strengthens his case to open in ODIs; but will Rohit Sharma’s return push him back to No 4?

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI: Highlights

Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan complete comprehensive series win for India with 9-wicket win in 4th ODI

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

ICC World Cup 2015: Visitors will only need to apply for one visa

Shikhar Dhawan: ODI series win in England huge confidence booster ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

an Botham, Graeme Swann livid with England’s performance

Shikhar Dhawan credits Team India and Ravi Shastri for good show in 4th ODI against England at Edgbaston

MS Dhoni lauds team India after their ODI series victory against England

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tony Grieg, Vinoo Mankad and other cricketers who made it to the cricket lexicon

Johnny Won’t Hit Today – The tale of JWHT Douglas

14 greatest upsets in ODIs — Part 1

Faf du Plessis shows his grit with twin tons against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular Series

India’s ODI series triumphs outside Asia — a statistical review

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

628 Posts | 7 Fans

Thilan Samaraweera finds an unusual way to get stumped

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz launch: Price expected to start from Rs 7 lakh

India vs England: Ian Botham and Graeme Swann slams hosts for embarrassing ODI display

Living in an abusive relationship – when is it time to quit?

MS Dhoni says Indian batting has improved in ODIs

International programme in Animal Husbandry

HTC doubles free Google Drive storage from 50GB to 100GB in select smartphones for new and existing users

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan confident to eradicate kala-azar by 2015

Anushka Sharma or Kareena Kapoor Khan: Who makes a better bride?

Dharmendra’s Double Di Trouble a big success

NGOs pursue education for all

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here