Team India’s tour of New Zealand is going downhill since the 3-0 ODI whitewash, and now adding salt to the wound, the hosts have snatched victory in the first Test with an easy 10-wicket chase win in the second innings today at the Basin Reserve cricket ground. Starting from 144 for 4, India’s middle to lower batting order gave up in front of a dominating Kiwi bowling attack, ending their run on a score of 191. In the second innings, it was a walk in the park for New Zealand as they had to score just 9 runs.
Indian batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari resumed the visitors’ innings, and a late effort was seen from India’s wicket keeper Rishabh Pant, but all fell victim to the astounding performance from New Zealand bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
Boult secured his 4th wicket of the Test by picking up Rahane at 29, while Southee secured his 10th 5-wicket haul in the red ball format.
Along with picking Mayank Agarwal yesterday, the 31 year old veteran pacer dismissed Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah in the end.
Pant only managed to score 25 runs with four boundaries, and the in-form Ishant Sharma had some input in the later overs with scoring 12 with two fours. However, the latter was sent to the pavilion against Colin de Grandhomme.
With just a minuscule target of 9 runs, the Black Caps had a prompt finish with just 10 balls, as openers Tom Latham (7) and Tom Blundell (2) wrapped up the innings.
The win marks a historical feat for New Zealand as their 100th Test cricket victory. On the other hand, this was India’s first defeat in the World Test Championship. However, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is not taking the defeat heavily.
“We know we haven’t played well but if people want to make a big deal out of it, make a mountain out of it, we can’t help it as we don’t think like that,” Kohli said in the post match interview.
Ranked 1st in the ICC Test batting rankings, Kohli scored 19 in India’s second innings. However, the 31 year old is keeping a positive mindset for the next games to come. “For some people, it might be the end of the world but it’s not. For us, it’s a game of cricket that we lost and we move on and keep our heads high,” he added.
The second Test, concluding India’s tour of New Zealand is scheduled on 29th February at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.