India vs New Zealand, 1st Test
For India, all eyes on who makes way for Kohli. Rahane was tightlipped on that topic and said the management will decide. Ashwin, Jadeja, Axar had to toil really hard, but they will love bowling at the Wankhede as the spinners will get a lot more purchase with turn and bounce than Kanpur. Should be another cracking game of Test cricket for the avid fans. We sign off from you on that note. Join us on the journey on Friday!
The New Zealand camp is very happy that they have held on to draw the game. This side does have great batting depth and even the No. 10, 11 showed great technique to play spin. They do have quality openers in Latham and Young, who both have shown brilliant application and they have experience in the middle-order too. How brilliant were Southee and Jamieson on this slow pitch. If they were so good here, imagine how badly they will want the clock to tick to December 3 and bowl on that very sportive Wankhede pitch. The pitch usually offers movement with the new ball and has great carry too. Batters once set can dig deep too. Just can't wait for the game to start. New Zealand may even be tempted to play Wagner over a spinner.
Shreyas Iyer | Player of the Match : It's a great feeling, but will been the icing on the cake if we had won the game. You can see that the pitch is still intact. We bowled really well. Mindset was to play sessions and play as many balls as possible. People say I am a flamboyant player, don't curb my instincts, but I was just finding to play as many balls. Enjoyed batting with Ashwin and Saha. Happy with the overall performance of the team. The pressure is always there. They got off to a great start. Once we got a sniff and got quick wickets, we made best use of the situation.
Ajinkya Rahane : Not really. I tried my best. Very good game of cricket, they played really well. We came back really well after the first session. We wanted to get that partnership going. We were finding to bowl 5-6 overs in the end, but we needed that partnership to carry on. I don't think we could have done anything different. The chat with the umps was about the light. As a fielding team, you want to bowl more overs, as a batting unit you don't want to bat in that situation. The chat was about the light, but umpires made the call and I thought they were right. I thought on this wicket the spinners had to bowl long spells. It was all about rotating the bowlers and they bowled really well. I am really happy for Shreyas. He had to wait a long match time for his Test debut. He batted really well. The way he works, his record in FC cricket is really good. Virat is coming back for the next game. We'll have to wait and see till the Mumbai game. I am not going to make any comments but the management will make a call.
Kane Williamson : It has been touch and go around this match time throughout the game. Terrific game overall. All 3 results were still at play. We showed a lot of heart to bat into the day. Some fantastic experiences for Rachin, Ajaz and Somerville. It was also nice to have a crowd here to see this game. The 2 fast bowlers that did play were outstanding. Bowling long overs was an unbelievable effort. We know this Indian side is a very strong one. Experience overall in this game was good to have. There are things to touch on. Getting the overs under the belt was good to have. We have to prepare for a unusual kind of pitch in Mumbai
Ashwin (2/2): (On overtaking Harbhajan Singh's tally) These are milestones that are constantly kept on tab, it's wonderful. Ever since Rahul bhai has taken over, he's kept saying that how many ever wickets you take, how many ever runs you make in 10 years time, you won't remember them. It's the memories that matters so I want to have some special memories going ahead in the next 3-4 years. Anytime pitches are being spoken about and I am asked a question, it turns into a controversy. So, I'll try and keep a tab on that. Getting down to the last session, last mandatory over, I think it's played its part, some wonderful Test cricket. The young boy, Ravindra, batted beautifully, showed great composure, Ajaz Patel with his defence. It just tells you a story. Everybody hangs in there, everybody can defend well these days, so it's not as easy as it used to be once upon a match time getting these tail-enders out. Great day of Test cricket, I hope people who watched it enjoyed it.
Ashwin (1/2): We were actually keeping things under control. We were bowling in good areas and we knew if we had the match time to go on and put some pressure on them, we could get the job done but light was always going to come in the last session. There has been bad light in every single day of this Test match so we did expect it, so no complains. Couldn't get the job done but we stuck together well. The beauty of Test cricket is that you need to want it. It's really hard, it's not one of those formats where you turn up, have a good day, have a good four-over bowl or have a good 20-overs bat. There is a lot of pain, there is a lot of hard work, there's a lot of tenacity you need to bring into play. certainly I am someone who wants to play this format and I enjoy it.
Ashwin bowled his heart out, trying various angles, lines and releases. You could see from his body language that there was nothing left in the tank. Irrespective of the result, that's what you want to see from an athlete.
What a game. Serious test for both teams. Really testing pitch for batters and bowlers. The bowlers usually have the upper hand on Day 5 but wasn't the case. India pushed really hard for the victory but the light didn't allow the 12-13 minutes of play left in the day. Rachin Ravindra has done a brilliant job holding fort for his side on debut. So the day started so well for the visitors with Latham and Somerville playing xi out a wicketless morning session. Both looked so assured in its defence and the slowness of the surface meant the Indian spinners weren't getting the bite that they usually will on a Day 5 pitch. But batting wasn't easy as the rest of the New Zealand batters found out once Umesh opened the door first ball after lunch by bouncing Somerville out. Only Williamson and Ravindra got to double figures from then on as Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar spun a web. India did start the final session by getting quick wickets, but if you had a good defence, the pitch played well enough for you to negotiate the bowling.
16:22 Local Time, 10:52 GMT, 16:22 IST: Players get together with the umpire. The ump has just told the light isn't good enough to carry on. If the light doesn't improve in the next 5 odd minutes, the game is over. Stumps was supposed to be at 16:34. But looks like the teams have settled for the draw with the no possibility of light improving. Rahane and Kane shake hands. Game drawn!
NZ: 165-9 after 98 overs
97.6 Jadeja to Ajaz Patel, no run, gets a stride ahead and defence
Rahane runs to Jadeja to slow things down. Looks like this will be the final ball of the game
97.5 Jadeja to Ajaz Patel, no run, back over the wicket for this dart, kept out
97.4 Jadeja to Ajaz Patel, no run, flighted delivery just outside off stump, Ajaz Patel solid in defence
They ask Jadeja to try round the wicket
97.3 Jadeja to Ajaz Patel, no run, turning back in, Ajaz Patel defends
97.2 Jadeja to Ajaz Patel, no run, oh retains low and also turns, just catches the under edge of the bat and rolls past short leg
97.1 Jadeja to Ajaz Patel, no run, flighted delivery on the off stump, Ajaz Patel defends off the front foot
Ravindra Jadeja [27.0-9-40-4] is back into the attack
We will have that lightmetre check again. Looks like umpire Nitin Menon has just told only one more over possible. Jadeja smiles. India get ready as the crowd gets behind its team