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Home / Cricket / India vs New Zealand: Why Indian batsmen could struggle more in 2nd Test

India vs New Zealand: Why Indian batsmen could struggle more in 2nd Test

IND vs NZ: If the conditions at Basin Reserve were hard for India, it is about to get more difficult for the visitors in the 2nd Test.

cricket Updated: Feb 28, 2020 20:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Delhi
India's Virat Kohli, second left, walks from the field after he was dismissed by New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson.
India's Virat Kohli, second left, walks from the field after he was dismissed by New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson.(AP)

The famed Indian batting line-up struggled big time in the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. The match finished in under three days as the likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Kyle Jamieson wreaked havoc over the Indian batsmen. It was only Mayank Agarwal, who could apply himself better in seaming conditions in the first test than the other batters. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara could not put a dent on the scoreboard in Wellington.

However, if the conditions at Basin Reserve were hard for India, it is about to get more difficult for the visitors in the 2nd Test. The Hagley Oval is conducive for the pacers as they average just 28 in six matches at the venue while the spinners have an average of 59.78. Another interesting fact is that the pacers have 8 five-wicket hauls at the venue while the spinners have none.

New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on Friday also said that he expects the green top at the Hagley Oval to be more conducive for his brand of swing bowling compared to the Basin Reserve track where they thrashed India by 10 wickets in the opening Test.

“...it’s probably better (than bowling at the Basin). The Basin generally turns into a very nice batting surface. There’s a lot of runs been scored there both in domestic and international cricket,” Boult said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the second Test here.

“Here’s a slightly different story,” Boult said referring to the Christchurch strip.

“You are not battling the wind first of all. The overheads are there and it’s generally a nice place to pitch the ball up and get it swinging around.

“So we do enjoy coming here as a bowling unit. Hopefully, we can continue that over the next couple of days,” he added.

Boult took four Indian wickets in the second innings including, Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli.

New Zealand’s record at Hagley Oval is impressive as they have won 4 matches out 6 in Christchurch. In fact, the Kiwis’ win percentage of 66.67 is the best among all home venues for them. The average first innings score is also just 286 runs.

The green top in Christchurch naturally excites any quick bowler and Boult is no exception.

“It’s pretty exciting. Traditionally, you come down here, you normally see a bit of grass. From my point of view, I will be happy to see it stays like that and the ball moving around,” he said. Boult also gave indications that Kyle Jamieson, after his match-winning all-round performance at the Basin, will be preferred over left-arm orthodox bowler Ajaz Patel.

“If we look at the record here from specifically New Zealand spinners, there haven’t been too many wickets taken by spinners.

“If that suggests there isn’t much turn or they haven’t bowled, I am not too sure, but generally it’s a good wicket that has good pace and carry,” he said. “I know it swings around here a bit and it is generally a good wicket, a good contest between the bat and ball. That’’ what we are going to expect.”

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