1st Test: India lose thriller in Auckland, NZ take 1-0 lead
The losing streak continued for India as they lost the first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland by 40 runs with a day to spare. The hosts have taken an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two match series.india Updated: Feb 09, 2014 15:52 IST
New Zealand beat India in the Auckland Test by 40 runs with a day to spare, taking 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
On an action-packed Day 4, the last session saw some bizarre tactics on the part of the visitors. They went into tea at 270/5. Rohit departed the first ball after tea, paying for his lack of footwork.
He tentatively prodded at a Tim Southee delivery just outside the off stump, becoming the fifth Indian batsman in the innings to edge it to Watling behind the stumps.
Ravindra Jadeja, who joined MS Dhoni next, showed no interest in consolidating the innings. Instead, the two went hammer and tongs at the opposition bowling. It looked good as long as it lasted.
The duo played unfettered cricket, charging down the pitch to the pacers and hitting them all over the park. They also ran the fielders ragged with their sprints between the wickets, stitching up a 54-run partnership.
But after hitting a massive six, Jadeja (26) sent one straight down the throat of Sodhi at mid on, sending India back to the brink.
Zaheer Khan came to the crease. He got to his 17 with a few mighty slashes. But he too couldn't keep his head and remain at the crease long enough to give Dhoni a fighting chance at the other end.
He fell to Wagner, trying to make room for himself to cut, but ended up giving a catch to Ross Taylor at slip.
Dhoni (39) fought on with Ishant Sharma at the other end. He didn't let the tail ender take the strike at all, taking singles at the end of the overs and refusing otherwise.
When he was dismissed after playing a slow bouncer by Wagner on to his stumps, the fight was over for India. Ishant hit a valiant four but was caught behind soon after.
In the earlier session, Trent Boult struck with the new ball straight away, sending Ajinkya Rahane to the dressing room for 18. It was a bit of a bad luck for Rahane, as there was a rather thick inside edge but the Kiwi fielders were not complaining.
The man who really got the Black Caps back into the game was pacer Neil Wagner, who got both Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. A 126-run partnership between Dhawan (115) and Virat Kohli (67) had put India in the driver's seat.
The opener's second Test century was very different from the first one, which he got at a pace of more than run a ball. Here, he was patient and solid, playing the anchor's role as Kohli took the attack to the opposition.
He got to his century with a six and a four off Ish Sodhi. In a moment that provided a few smiles all around, Dhawan thought he has reached his ton with the six. He took off his helmet and began celebrating.
The smile faded from his face when Kohli came up to tell him that he was in fact on 99. The next ball he hit Sodhi for a four and then went through the celebrations once again.
Kohli too looked in fine nick, but then Neil Wagner came good for the hosts. He first got rid of Kohli, who got too aggressive and nicked a short and wide delivery to the keeper.
Dhawan's dismissal was brilliant. A vicious bouncer came straight for his head, and he could not get out of its way in time and edged to the keeper.
In the first session, India lost one wicket while adding 117 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara was the only man out before lunch, caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling off the bowling of Tim Southee after adding one run to his overnight score of 22.
Earlier in the match, the hosts were bundled out for 105 in their second innings but still had a massive lead of 406.
Commentary of India Innings:
First Published: Feb 09, 2014 06:28 IST