India vs New Zealand: Scott Styris reveals why Indian pacers struggled on a pitch where Kiwi fast bowlers succeeded
India’s toothless performance in the first Test against New Zealand came as a surprise for many as Virat Kohli and his men went down by 10 wickets within 4 days at Wellington. Over the past two years, whenever India has played outside the sub-continent there has been strong competition. India lost Test series in South Africa and England, before a landmark win in Australia, but the team competed tooth and nail in all those series. This was a testament of the team’s overall growth under Virat Kohli’s captaincy and the coming of age of the pace bowling attack.
The pace battery of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami was once again the reason why a lot was expected from this team in Wellington, a venue where India has failed historically. The batsmen struggled and it was expected as batting first on this track on an overcast first morning was always going to be challenging. But the inability of the Indian pacers to dent the Kiwis and their absolute apathy while trying to get rid of the tail was bewildering to see. Apart from Ishant Sharma, the other two Indian pacemen struggled for rhythm and lacked the edge.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson played a defining knock to put his team in the lead and the match was taken away from the tourists completely with the trio of Colin de Grandhomee, Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult scoring heavily down the order in the first innings.
Former New Zealand Scott Styris summed it up well on the Match Point show aired on host broadcaster Star Sports.
“There is a difference in style of the Indian bowlers and the New Zealand bowlers. The New Zealand bowlers look to swing the ball more and as you saw they got swing in the second innings also.
“Indian bowlers were looking for seam movement off the pitch and there was none to be had. That is the reason the likes of Kane Williamson could hit through the line of the ball. He was not troubled a lot right up till the point when he was dismissed. Even when Ross Taylor was batting it didn’t look like there were too many demons in the pitch.
“Virat Kohli though said that he was very happy with the character his bowlers showed in coming back into the match,” Styris opined on the show.
India take on New Zealand in the second Test match in Christchurch from February 29 and change in tactic is needed in order to make a comeback in the series.