New Zealand 129 for 0 (Young 75 *, Latham 50 *) track India 345 (Iyer 105, Gill 52, Jadeja 50, Southee 5-69, Jamieson 3-91) with 216 runs
Tim Southee delivered one of the big test matches of a visiting solid bowler in India to pull New Zealand back in the Kanpur Test before Will Young and Tom Latham put on a resolute and unbroken 129 to ensure all four results still was in play after two exciting days.
After being out of 345 shortly after lunch, India tried from every conceivable angle in 57 overs, but their five bowlers could not separate New Zealand’s opening pair. While the ball occasionally grabbed and turned square, and more often kept low, the slowness of the surface allowed the batteries to adapt and survive.
Despite all their frustrations over the last two sessions, India’s five-man attack was in control throughout – especially in the post-tea session, where they conceded only 57 runs in 31 overs – ensuring the scoring rate was kept down. and New Zealand went to pieces that are still behind with more than 200 races.
However, Young and Latham showed the rest of New Zealand’s line-up a template for survival. Knowing that the pitch would not rush them, they let the ball come to them, met it just below their eye as far as possible, and did not go looking for scoring opportunities outside their comfort zones. Against the spinners, Latham waited for the line to shift outside the stump so he could sweep while minimizing the risk of lbw. That shot was his primary scoring opportunity apart from flick and nudges on the legs.
Young, meanwhile, reached his fifties with a shower of drives against the spinners before tea. But he was content to remain pointless for long periods in the final session as R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel began to find their rhythm and the ideal tempo and nail positions for this surface.
As the day drew to a close, all three spinners began to beat the bat more often. Ashwin thought he had gotten Latham behind in the penultimate overtime of the day and the referee agreed, only for a review to indicate that it was bat brush pad rather than an edge. It was Latham’s third successful review; he had twice been convicted lbw outside the inner edge before the tee, once against Umesh Yadav and once against Jadeja.
The first half of the day belonged to Southee. After grooming a groin strain that took him off the field for parts of the first day’s play, he recovered sufficiently – or threw himself through residual pain – to pick up four wickets in an unbroken spell of 11 overs the second morning to complete sin 13. femmer. -wicket haul in test cricket and his second in India.
Starting the day at 258 for 4 with two half centurions on the fold, India were knocked out to add just 87 runs. The majority of these races came from Shreya Iyer, who became the 16th India date to score a century on debut, and Ashwin, who made a counter-attack of 38 at No. 8.
Kyle Jamieson was New Zealand’s most influential performer on day one, but he started day two completely out of rhythm, and Iyer, who resumed at 75, beat him in four fours in his first three overs in the morning to rush into the 90 ‘. erne. He brought his hundred up in Jamieson’s next over, with a cut for two backwards.
By that time, however, Southee had already made a crucial cut. He started the day with four balls out of Jadeja’s off-stump, delivered from around the wicket, and left-handed shoulder arms to them all. He followed it with one that swung sharply into the stumps, and Jadeja, who was stuck in his fold, played down the wrong line and was hit on the back cushion, with a referee order on the height that saved him after New Zealand had reviewed the initial not- out decision.
Southee, however, did not have to wait long to get hold of her husband. A similar pass in his next over gave a similar, lead-legged response, and this time the ball rattled into the stumps via the inside edge.
Wickets kept coming. A pair of full outswingers who were not quite full enough to drive the valued Wriddhiman Saha and Iyer out; the first, delivered from the edge of the fold, pulled an off-drive down the wrong line, and the second, delivered closer to the stumps and swung away to distort the shape of the dough, causing him to happen with the ball to cover the tip.
Then, in his eighth over in the morning, Southee switched swingers to the left-handed Axar with encrypted nail balls straightening out of the lane. Axar played and missed on the first encrypted nail ball, and hung the bat out and put the second to the goalkeeper. India was 313 for 8.
At the time, Ashwin was already on 20 of 22 balls when he came in and took on Southee’s outswingers and hit him in three fours through offside. Southee kept going in three overs more in the pursuit of ending the inning, but Ashwin drove the strike and refused singles to keep Umesh away from the strike as much as possible.
Ashwin could have been rejected in 16 when he stepped out to Ajaz Patel and missed an attempt at a ceiling stroke where the ball shot through low. However, the ball narrowly missed the stump and bounced off Tom Blundell’s cushion before he had time to react. It could have been the first wicket that fell to a spinner in this test match, but as on day one – when he missed reviewing a lbw decision against Shubman Gill – luck was not entirely with Ajaz.
However, it turned around after lunch as he spun one out of the footprints and past the outside edge to bowl Ashwin, causing one to slide through with his arm to catch Ishant Sharma’s lead in front.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo