Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

India must be kicking themselves for losing 1st Test against New Zealand

India lost the first Test against New Zealand by a narrow margin of 40 runs in Auckland © Getty Images
India lost the first Test against New Zealand by a narrow margin of 40 runs in Auckland © Getty Images

 

By Ajit Agarkar

 

If nothing, the first Test between New Zealand and India proved beyond reasonable doubt that the longest format of the game is alive and kicking. Naturally, it was disappointing to see India fall 40 runs short of a famous win. A little bit of caution here and some decent umpiring there would have helped MS Dhoni & co. make headlines. But instead, the fact that stares us in the face is this: India have now lost 10 of their last 11 Tests on foreign soil. Sad but true.

 

The turning point of the fourth day’s play at Eden Park was Virat Kohli‘s dismissal. Arguably the world’s premier batsman today, Kohli did not put a foot wrong all day. I wonder what prompted him to employ the pull shot to a ball bowled outside the off-stump. He should have gone for the cut or, even better, let it go. Instead, he ended up bottom-edging it to wicketkeeper Bradley-John Watling, who took a whopping six catches in the innings. Not only did Neil Wagner end the defining 126-run partnership between Kohli and centurion Shikhar Dhawan, he also went on to complete a match-winning haul of 4/62.

 

Wagner was on wheels. A lion-hearted bowler, the left-armer also dismissed Dhawan with the old ball before delivering the knockout punch by dismissing Zaheer Khan and Dhoni during a hostile spell of 10 overs with the second new ball. He was running in from everywhere: over and round the sticks and dishing out all sorts of deliveries. In the end, it was his aggressive approach that stopped India in their tracks.

 

At 248 for four, India were very much in it. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane had already added 20 runs when umpire Steve Davis committed a howler. I wonder how he failed to spot the inside-edge. But that’s how it is: you win some, you lose some. Rahane was out leg-before off Trent Boult. It was the first delivery with the second new ball. When play resumed after tea, India needed 137 runs with five wickets in hand. A beautiful out-swinger from Tim Southee did Rohit in.

 

What followed was a counter-attack of the highest order. Both Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja know they aren’t the best of technicians. And that’s why they took the attack to the Kiwis by playing extravagant shots. The ploy worked, but only just. That’s high-risk batting for you. Should they have ‘cooled down’ a bit? Well, there are no ifs and buts in cricket. One thing led to another and Jadeja, Khan and Dhoni fell in the space of nine overs. Ishant Sharma’s dismissal sealed the deal in New Zealand’s favour.

 

 

The biggest positive of the day was Dhawan. I am glad he answered his critics, even though no cricketer plays with that intention. The good thing was that he wanted to grind it out. That’s not his natural game. But the fact is that Dhawan changed his game to suit the team’s requirement. He could have easily swung his bat around. But he played according to the situation.

 

All in all, India must be kicking themselves for losing the Test. Sunday’s mini-collapse notwithstanding, I firmly believe it all went wrong on Days One and Two. India had no business to concede 503 in the first innings. And they certainly could have posted more than 202. You can’t really expect yourself to win a Test match after conceding a 301-run lead. India came close, but the mistakes they committed in the first innings caught up with them.

 

(Ajit Agarkar represented India in over 200 matches and took 349 wickets. The above column first appeared in DNA from where its reproduced with permission)

 

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014  at Sharjah

Scores delayed by 15 mins Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 8 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 16, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Australia Women won by 6 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Sri Lanka won by 6 wkts

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

England Women won by 9 wkts

Photos

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play cricket

Videos

Video Highlights: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders wickets

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Daredevils by 8 wickets

IPL Statistics and Records: IPL’s First

IPL 2014: Umpire Camera View creates latest buzz in tournament

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

Australia BCCI Delhi Daredevils India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders Lasith Malinga Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders Royal Challengers Bangalore Sachin Tendulkar Virat Kohli

Prem Kumar Dhumal denies extending land allocation favour to HPCA

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Daredevils by 8 wickets

Delhi Daredevils (DD) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), IPL 2014: Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh make merry

Delhi Daredevils (DD) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore in firm control over run-chase

Delhi Daredevils (DD) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), IPL 2014: Bangalore lose Parthiv

Former Australia PM Robert Menzies used cricket to win a case as a lawyer

Naoomal Jaoomal: The man who opened batting in India’s first ever Test

Sony launches ‘IPL Smart Earphone’ to filter crap commentary; calls endeavour CSR

IPL Statistics and Records: IPL’s First

IPL 2014: Umpire Camera View creates latest buzz in tournament

Fan of the Day

Sudatta Mukherjee

Sudatta Mukherjee

1 Posts | 0 Fans

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2014 Video Highlights

Google Glass could soon assist surgeons

Nokia Lumia 2520 sales suspended due to issue with faulty charger

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR), Live Cricket Score, IPL 2014: Match 4 at Abu Dhabi

Prem Kumar Dhumal denies extending land allocation favour to HPCA

IPL 2014: Delhi Daredevils (DD) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) match 2 at Sharjah

Paanch: What did Gauti, Gauri and her gang do to Roshni Kataria?

Watch Live Online Streaming: Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR), IPL 2014

John Abraham to play don again!

Also on cricketcountry.com