Ravis baffle Kiwis as India wins the Kanpur Test



By  Kersi  Meher-Homji

India celebrated her 500th  Test match by beating New Zealand by 197 runs at Kanpur yesterday. It was India’s 130thTest win since they played their first Test way back in 1932.

It was a convincing victory as Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja baffled the Kiwi bats in both innings with their wonderful control and turn of the ball.

The pitch did help them but it also assisted the New Zealand spinners. The pitch was by no means unplayable as ten batsmen (six from India and four from NZ) scored more than 50 runs each.

Winning the toss India scored 318 runs, Murali Vijay 65 and Cheteshwar Pujara 62 adding 112 runs for the second wicket. Ashwin (40) and Jadeja (42 not out) also shone out with the bat.

The Kiwis started promisingly and were 1-159 at one stage, Tom Latham (58) and skipper Kane Williamson (75) adding 124 fluent runs. But later on the Ravis bamboozled the rest as they lost their last five wickets for seven runs and were spun out for 262, trailing India by 56 runs.

Ravi Jadeja captured 5-73 and Ravi Ashwin 4-93.

Vijay (76) and Pujara (78) showed that there was nothing sinister about the pitch as they added 124 for the second wicket. With Ajinkya Rahane (40), Rohit Sharma (68 not out) and Jadeja (50 not out) batting with ease, India declared at 5 for 377.

This set NZ a near impossible 434 runs to win, a target never achieved in the 139 years of Test cricket.

They started pathetically losing their opening batsmen for three runs and their first four wickets fell for 56, thanks to the Ravi magic. Just when everything seemed lost for them Luke Ronchi (80) and baby-faced Mitchell Santner (71) added 102 for the fifth wicket.

But medium-pacer Mohammad Shami and the spinning Ravis dismissed their last four wickets for 42 and India was triumphant by 197 runs. Off-spinner Ashwin took 6-132 for a 10-wicket haul. It was his 19th  5 wickets per innings. More credit to him as he bowled in the second innings with a callus in the middle finger of his bowling hand.

Ashwin became the second quickest to take 200 wickets in Test history, inonly 37 Tests. Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett had done so in 36 Tests way back in 1935.

But the Man of the Match was left-arm spinner Jadeja for his all-round excellence. He scored 42 and 50 runs without getting dismissed and took 5-73 and 1-58. At the presentation he said, “Very happy. Just preparing to do my work with the bat as well.”

The second Test starts in Kolkata on Friday.


Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=7500