The first test match of the series between India and New Zealand was special because it was the 500th test match for the Indian team and India celebrated the occasion in style with a fantastic win over the Kiwis on the 5th and final day of the test. The Indians dominated most of the sessions in the test and were almost always on top thanks to the combined efforts of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.
The Kiwis fought hard throughout the test match with both ball and bat and pushed the Indians into the final day. They showed true grit and determination against the blazing Kanpur heat and a turning pitch but in the end a consistent Indian batting lineup and the resilience of the spin-twins proved a little too much for the Kiwis.
Ashwin proved in the West Indies that he is a genuine all-rounder by scoring yet another century and at Kanpur it was Jadeja’s turn to show that he can knock the ball around and get some much needed runs down the order. Between Ashwin and Jadeja they took a total of 16 wickets in the game. Jadeja also scored an unbeaten 42 in the first innings and a half century in the second to give him the man of the match award.
In a statement, Jadeja said “Very happy. Just preparing to do my role with the bat, give myself time and then I can play my shots. Duleep final helped me a lot, I was getting wickets in that game too, I was very confident. I’m used to bowling on such wickets, on turning tracks. That’s what I was focussed on. I was enjoying myself. The wicket was pretty slow in the first innings. I think we tried and mixed the pace, fast, slow”.
Ashwin ran through the Kiwis in the second innings taking six wickets and also brought up his 200th test wicket in the match. The Kiwis will take heart from their performance and will most likely retain the same combination for the second test match.
India should also stick with the same line-up, unless they decide to drop R Sharma and bring in A Mishra as the 5th bowler to ease the workload on Ashwin and Jadeja, considering India has a long home season. Captain Kohli will be looking to make a mark on the series as he failed in both innings in the first test. The second test match starts on the 30th of September at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.