2nd Test: New Zealand vs India
New Zealand and India are ready to do battle again at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, with the hosts already ahead in the two-match Test series.
After India had won the T20s, 5-0, and New Zealand roared back to win the ODI’s, 3-0, the 1st Test at Wellington was a big triumph for the Kiwis who were outstanding throughout – winning by an inning.
Another big performance in the 2nd Test: New Zealand vs India could see Kane Williamson’s team wrap up the series 2-0. And that would mark a huge turnaround after they were totally outplayed in a 3-0 Test defeat to Australia in December and January.
While India tops the world rankings, New Zealand could improve on their fourth position with another victory, and the Black Caps certainly has the momentum.
Kiwi bowling attack is back on song
The Black Caps bowling team didn’t fare well in the T20s, but they recovered in the ODIs and now look back to their best in the five-day format.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee have been one of the most consistent opening partnerships in the world over the past decade, and they ripped through the India batting line-up to claim the 10-wicket win.
Boult took 4-39 and Southee took 5-61 to take this match haul to 9-110, which sent a powerful message to the selectors after he was dropped for the final test against the Aussies.
Kyle Jamieson complemented the Kiwi’s main two bowlers as well as scoring 44 with the bat, and he’s handed the selectors a nice problem with paceman Neil Wagner set to return.
Williamson, who scored 89 to give New Zealand a commanding first-innings lead, was delighted with his team’s performance.
“It was an outstanding effort over the space of four days. We know how strong this Indian team is all around the world,” said Williamson.
He especially praised the concentration of his bowlers to put the ball into the right areas in the first innings before wrapping up the match in the second.
Kohli not happy
India were short of runs throughout the game by failing to reach 200 in either innings, so it’s no surprise that their captain and best batsman was in contrasting mood to his opposite number.
Virat Kohli admitted his side was outplayed in all departments.
“We didn’t show enough competitiveness. The simple truth is we did not play good enough cricket,” said Kohli.
His disappointment in the number one side, which had won its previous seven Tests, was there for all to see, and he’ll expect a lot more in Christchurch.
Mayank Agarwal was the only batsman to make a half-century, while Ishant Sharma was the standout bowler taking five wickets. But Ravi Ashwin failed to make an impact with either bat or ball and he could make way for Ravinder Jadeja.
The hosts could draw level in the recent head to head New Zealand vs India results if they win at Christchurch.
Since 2016, India has won 16 to the Black Caps’ 15 across all formats of the game. But of course, New Zealand has the momentum, winning the last four.
And of course, levelling it up at 16-16 is a secondary aim to that of winning the series.
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