India vs New Zealand, 1st Test, Day 1 - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam/Manushree Chaumal
Over 90 || Score 329/4
The match stealer’s on day one were definitely Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum. At one pint when New Zealand were 30/3, these two played a resurrecting innings for the team. With a century each to their credit, they stitched a brilliant partnership of 221 runs to handle the Kiwi rein efficiently. The Indian side, on the other hand were not up to the mark. They bowled and fielded poorly.
Over 80 || Score 288/4
Corey Anderson joined McCullum after Williamson's exit. Barring a run-out miss by Zaheer Khan, the last ten overs have not been of much significance for the Indians. The Kiwis continue playing well. Rather it looks like Corey Anderson too is settled in well.
Over 70 || Score 254/4
Dhawan missed his second chance of the day, dropped McCullum in the 61st over. And finally, a heave of sigh for the Indians. Zaheer ended the 221 runs partnership between Williamson and McCullum in the 68th over. Williamson is out. He thin edged the ball straight to the Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Good riddance for Indians. What a knock by the Kiwi!
Williamson c Dhoni b Khan 113 (172b, 10x4, 2x6)
Over 60 || Score 233/3
The Kiwi hammering continued over the last ten overs. Both, McCullum and Wiliamson have brought up their centuries, in style. The partnership is way past 200 runs. The bowlers have yet not had a chance to break this cementing partnership and the way this duo is progressing is already proving lethal for the number two ranked Indians.
McCullum: 102* (139b, 16x4, 1x6)
Williamson: 102* (141b, 10x4, 2x6)
The second session, lasting 27 overs produced 125 runs for the valiant and purposeful Kiwis. For the Indians, there was nothing be celebrated about in the period, but surely lot to pondered on.
Except one dropped chance, there wasn't any glimpse of ball winning the contest. One frightening aspect of the session, for the Indians, is the numbers of easy runs they have conceded, including those boundaries.
Over 50 || Score 177/3
New Zealand have done an incredible session to reach 177 at the end of the 50th over after that initial stuttering. They were at one point 30 for 3, scoring two runs an over. Now with Williamson-McCullum partnership settled, are scoring over four an over. Incredible fight back.
Whatever MS Dhoni has tried post lunch, did not work. The relative ease with which the Kiwis are treating these bowlers are a living testimony to poor and depraved attack.
The third wicket partnership is now worth 147 runs, with both the batsmen getting closer to 100s, and surely taking the game from the Indians.
Over 45 || Score 160/3
The narrative has now shifted to this partnership, with both the batsmen toying with bowlers.
That's probably what we call running for covers. Very soon, this session could well become a nightmare in the broad day light for the Indians. It seems, there is no way for Dhoni to break this partnership which has blossomed and blossomed with each passing over.
Hook, pull, drive, cut... you name it, its all here. The beauty of bat connecting the ball and the subsequent leather-hunt. Such a sight.
Woefully, for the Indians, they are doing the retrieving part.
Over 40 || Score 126/3
Kane Stuart Williamson has scored yet another career fifty and helped resurrect a faltering New Zealand. The 23-year-old is certainly setting his eyes on his fifth Test hundred.
His partnership with McCullum has already produced 96 runs from 23 overs at an run-rate of over four. In this rate and form, the Kiwis will surely will take the initiative from the Indians.
On the hand, after a dramatic opening session, Indians are finding it to consolidate the advantage. To compound the matters further, the Kiwi duo are seemingly enjoying the Indian pace attack. In fact, the attack now looks like pedestrian.
Over 35 || Score 115/3
McCullum has increased the tempo in the last five overs, scoring 33 runs from 30 balls. With both the batsmen approaching their respective fifties, Indians might have anticipated some caution, restraint from the Kiwis, but on the contrary, bowlers found themselves in the cleaner.
Experienced Zaheer, who has been in the first session, has conceded 36 from his 10 overs, nearly in the rate of four an over.
The way Williamson is batting, it seems like, it looks like there is no demon in the Eden Park pitch.
Over 30 || Score 82/3
Post lunch, the Kiwi batsmen have increased the tempo as the hosts inch closer to 100 run mark. Williamson has made 36 runs without taking too many risks, while his senior-pro, Brendon is contributing his mite with an unbeaten 20. The Kiwi skipper has so far able to curb his explosive instincts.
While for the Indians, they continue to probe with intent. Skipper Dhoni has opted to continue with the pacers, probably considering the prevailing conditions and available assistance from the pitch.
Keeping aside a missed chance, there has not been much action after the lunch break. In Shami's 10th over, Williamson edged a tight-line delivery, but Murali Vijay contrived not to hold onto it.
After only 24-overs play, umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Richard Kettleborough of England decided to have lunch break.
In today's first session, India dominated the session with three wickets in the bag. It was a splendid display from the Indians considering how they have lost the just concluded ODI series.
Among the Indian bowlers, Ishant Sharma's performance stood out. The Delhi pacer has returned with two wickets, and thus created a personal milestone – crossed 150 Test wicket mark.
In the process, he became the 11th Indian to achieved the feat. His partner – Zaheer Khan is the most successful of the current lot, with 302 scalps.
In between, Kane Williamson is consolidating his innings with a fluent 22 off 44 balls with three hits to the boundary.
Over 20 || Score 40/3
Having gained confidence with three cheap wickets in the pocket, Indians are trying to dictate the terms in Auckland. After 20 overs of play, the Indians are certainly enjoying the outing.
Even for a Test match, two runs an over, that too in this small ground, is very slow.
Now, with the arrival of their captain – Brendon McCullum, the hosts will look to build a partnership and steady the innings. A score around 270 will be considered decent, with their own hungry bowlers, who have excelled during the recent ODI series.
Over 17.1 || Score 30/3
Another one for Ishant Sharma
Dangerous Ross Taylor out. Kiwis are tottering.
The former Kiwi skipper too left in a hurry. With Taylor's wicket, Ishant has crossed the 150 mark in Tests.
Taylor, playing a full length delivery, failed to control the stroke and ended up offering a relatively easier catch to Jadeja, at mid-off.
Suddenly, with some quick wickets, it seems, Indians are in the zone.
Ross Taylor c Ravindra Jadeja b Ishant Sharma 3 (15b)
Over 15 || Score 28/2
So the story so far from Auckland is – a good toss win for India as the hosts have lost both the openers cheaply – one from a bad shot selection and another failing to judge the line of the delivery, in a bowler friendly pitch.
Thus arrived the find of the series, Kane Williamson in the centre. Giving the 23-year-old right-hand batsman company is, probably, one of New Zealand's most underrated Test batsman – Ross Taylor.
Over 12.1 || Score 23/2
Probably that was the change of bowling end. But a right one. After one over break, Zaheer was brought back to the attack. And this time, no worrying for dropped-catch as the India's leading bowler caught Fulton inside the crease, hitting an straight delivery on the back foot.
Two vital wickets for India in a space of three overs.
Peter Fulton lbw b Khan 13 (35b)
Over 10 || Score 19/1
A master-stroke of a change from the Indian skipper. Just when the Kiwi openers were looking to settle, brought in Ishant Sharma, in for Zaheer, in the ninth over.
And a wicket in the fifth ball.
Rutherford, having played some poor shots, felled by a rising delivery off Ishant. So, some cheers for the lanky Delhi lad after enduring criticisms off late.
Taking a beautiful diving catch at gully was Ajinkya Rahane.
Hamish Rutherford c Ajinkya Rahane b Ishant Sharma 6 (30b)
Over 5 || Score 12/0
Finally the players took field after a delayed start.
For a change, Dhoni deployed Mohammed Shami for the opening over, with Zaheer Khan as his opening pair for the bowling team.
After a quite start to the innings, Shikhar Dhawan dropped Peter Fulton off Zaheer's first bowl at slip, from a thick edge. Then the Kiwi opener milked two boundaries in the over, making the left-arm bowler a bit unhappy. Bad judgement call from Dhawan, even to attempt for it, as the ball was heading for Rohit Sharma.
With Fulton, Hamish Rutherford is trying to negotiate the new ball in Eden Park. The left-hand batsman, despite striking the ball beautifully, better then his right-handed partner, finally opened his account after 13 balls.
Here are the teams:
New Zealand: PG Fulton, HD Rutherford, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor, BB McCullum (capt.), CJ Anderson, BJ Watling (wk), IS Sodhi, TG Southee, N Wagner, TA Boult
India: M Vijay, S Dhawan, CA Pujara, V Kohli, RG Sharma, AM Rahane, MS Dhoni (capt., wk), RA Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Z Khan, I Sharma
After a slight delay due to bad light, MS Dhoni has won the toss and India will bowl first under a cloudy sky.
Experienced Zaheer Khan will spearhead India's bowling attack, while in the supporting cast, we have Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja as the specialist bowlers. India should exploit the conditions well.
The toss, once again, favoured the visiting skipper. Dhoni has won all of six in this tour.
Auckland: After a disappointing ODI series, a higher ranked Indian team will look to salvage some pride, as they take on the Black Caps in the first Test at Auckland. India`s tour Down Under has so far been plagued by indifferent form from their top order batsmen. In addition to that, the relatively young bowling unit has also failed to adapt to the alien conditions. Considering these factors, MS Dhoni would surely want to make a fresh start in the longer format of the game after being thrashed in the limited overs. The onus would be once again on Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara – two batsmen who got India out of precarious situations against South African pace attack, by stitching several crucial partnerships in the Tests.
On the other hand, Brendon McCullum`s side would like to continue their dominance over the visitors. Both the star performers of the ODI series - Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor - are expected to deliver in the Test series too. Besides the established names in the team, the Kiwis will look for an inspired performance from the newbie, Indian-born Ish Sodhi, who is set to make his Test debut. The strength of the Kiwis would once again be their pace attack, which caused the maximum damage for the Indian team in the five-match ODI series.