Kiwi quicks leave India in tatters

Day 2: India are 130/4 in reply to New Zealand's 503; need 174 more to avoid following on.

Scorecard | Match pictures | Schedule

CHANGED LUCK: Rohit Sharma arrested India's slide with a fine, unbeaten 67.

AUCKLAND:
Another shambolic overseas show left India staring down the barrel after the top of their batting order was destroyed by New Zealand’s pace attack on the second day of the first Test, at Eden Park. Having allowed the hosts to pile on 503, a total centered around skipper Brendon McCullum’s swashbuckling 224, MS Dhoni’s team replied the only way they know on foreign shores: by caving in.

Left to contend with 39 overs across two sessions, India were in total disarray on 51/4 before Rohit Sharma, often maligned for his unflattering ‘away’ returns, resurrected them with an unbeaten 67, and had carried them to 130/4 when bad light brought a premature halt to play. The 79-run association between Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane (23 batting) left India needing 174 more to avert the follow on.

India’s beginnings had hinted at a three-day finish to the Test match. In the first over, bowled by Trent Boult, Shikhar Dhawan (0) looked purposefully to the leg-side even as the ball took the leading edge and went precisely where he didn’t want it to: the hands of gully. Three deliveries later, Cheteshwar Pujara (1) chose a most inopportune moment to push at a wide. This time it was wicket-keeper BJ Watling into whose gloves the ball came to rest.

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Brendon McCullumNo more than ten minutes had passed when disgust and frustration commingled on the face of Virat Kohli (4), as a scorching Tim Southee bouncer kissed his gloves en route to second slip. Murali Vijay’s resistance ended soon after tea when left-arm paceman Neil Wagner, operating from around the wicket, uprooted his off-stump despite the angle, and also broke a bail in the bargain.

It could have been worse. Rahane was streaky with his edges and survived a close ‘lbw’ call to Boult. But his Mumbai teammate Rohit was rather more authoritative, despatching Wagner for three fours in an over and almost divining the gaps through the off-side. Bad light necessitated the use of spinners by McCullum and Rohit made the most of it by depositing Kane Williamson’s off-spin over long-on. For India to survive, he and Rahane will have to resume in the same vein tomorrow morning, and avoid rashness and lethargy equally proactively.

McCULLUM’S DOUBLE

Earlier, McCullum was eight runs away from a double century, and his team seven wickets down, as Jadeja started the last over to lunch. A steady drizzle had also begun. But Mc Cullum was in no mood to wait around. He stepped out and smacked Jadeja over long-on to reach 198 and slog-swept aerially for another boundary to reach the magic figure, which also made him the highest Kiwi scorer at Eden Park.

What was more significant was that there had been no let up in the procurement of runs while the skipper had chased his landmark. After they resumed on 329/3, New Zealand added 144 in 24 overs in the morning session without resorting to anything special. India’s bowling was devoid of a plan: Zaheer Khan was either short and wide, or too full; Ishant was chugging in and hurling it down the leg-side as if oblivious of the off-side-heavy field. Corey Anderson (overnight 42) got to fifty by threading Ishant for four between slip and gully. A clip to fine-leg brought up the century stand.

 ISHANT’S SIX


LUCKY SIX: Ishant SharmaThe partnership had reached 133 when Ishant picked up the first of his four wickets on Friday, courtesy an umpiring howler. Steve Davis decided that a delivery from around the wicket, which was angled down and bouncing high, was good enough to hit Anderson’s stumps. Ishant’s next scalp was equally gratuitous: a wild Watling slash to third slip off a wide. It was an eventful last hour of the Kiwi innings: Ishant peppered Southee with bouncers and leaked runs.

Dhawan then added a missed run-out chance (Southee’s) to add to his two dropped catches on the first day. Ishant finally got his first five-for in three years when Ish Sodhi nicked him through to second slip. A sixth wicket too was added. McCullum, possibly desperate to overhaul his personal Test best of 225, launched the paceman high over long-on, where Jadeja did a hop out-hop in act at the fence to complete a stunning catch. The wicket wasn’t really engineered by the bowler. But that could be held true for five of the six that Ishant had to his name.

ALSO SEE: MATCH PICTURES


New Zealand celebrate winning the first international test cricket match against India at Eden Park in Auckland February 9, 2014. New Zealand won the match by 40 runs.
1 / 30
Reuters | Photo by NIGEL MARPLE / Reuters
Sun 9 Feb, 2014 10:23 AM IST

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »