KANPUR: Left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed figures of 5-62 to help India grab a handy 49-run first-innings lead in the opening test against New Zealand on Saturday.
The home side suffered a setback, however, with Shubman Gill’s late dismissal as they finished day three on 14-1 at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium.
Kyle Jamieson bowled Gill for one and troubled Cheteshwar Pujara who remained unbeaten on nine.
Opener Mayank Agarwal was on four not out with India 63 ahead in the first match of the two-Test series.
“This is the kind of pitch where you can’t expect wickets all the time,” Patel said after registering his fifth five-wicket haul in seven innings.
“You have to be consistent with your line and length. The odd ball turned and occasionally it kept low. I think the wicket will slow down further.”
Earlier, after inducing several edges that fell agonisingly short of fielders, Ravichandran Ashwin ended India’s 66-over wait for a first wicket by ending a 151-run opening stand between Tom Latham and Will Young.
Young, having made a career-best 89, edged Ashwin and substitute wicketkeeper KS Bharat — replacing Wriddhiman Saha who was being treated for a stiff neck — grabbed a low catch.
Young was initially ruled not out, but India reviewed that decision, which had to be overturned after replays confirmed the edge.
The 29-year-old told journalists after play that batsmen have to use the conditions to “take calculated risks to keep the scoreboard ticking over”.
“I think each one has their own method of how they’re going to combat the conditions and also the Indian bowlers who are highly skilled in these conditions,” Young said.
Replying to India’s first-innings total of 345, New Zealand were cruising at 197-1 in the morning session with Latham approaching his hundred and skipper Kane Williamson in the middle.
Soon after India took the second new ball, however, seamer Umesh Yadav trapped Williamson lbw on the stroke of lunch.
Williamson, who made 18, reviewed the decision, but replays confirmed the ball would have hit the top of his middle stump.
Patel ran through the New Zealand middle order removing Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls and denying Latham his century.
Latham made 95 before stepping out against Patel, only to be stumped after a fine knock that included 10 fours.
Ravindra Jadeja dismissed debutant Rachin Ravindra and Ashwin (3-82) claimed the last two wickets as New Zealand were bowled out for 296.
INDIA (1st Innings) 345 all out (S. Iyer 105, Southee 5-69)
NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings; overnight 129-0):
T. Latham st sub (K.S. Bharat) b Patel 95
W. Young csub (K.S. Bharat) b Ashwin 89
K. Williamson lbw b Yadav 18
R. Taylor c sub (K.S. Bharat) b Patel 11
H. Nicholls lbw Patel 2
T. Blundell b Patel 13
R. Ravindra b Jadeja 13
K. Jamieson c Patel b Ashwin 23
T. Southeeb Patel 5
W. Somerville b Ashwin 6
A. Patel not out 5
EXTRAS (B-6, LB-4, NB- 5, W-1) 16
TOTAL (all out, 142.3 overs) 296
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-151 (Young), 2-197 (Williamson), 3-214 (Taylor), 4-218 (Nicholls), 5-227 (Latham), 6-241 (Rachin), 7-258 (Blundell), 8-270 (Southee), 9-284 (Jamieson).
BOWLING: Sharma 15-5-35-0 (4nb), Yadav 18-3-50-1, Ashwin 42.3-10-82-3 (1w), Jadeja 33-10-57-1 (1nb), Patel 34-6-62-5.
INDIA (2nd Innings):
M. Agarwalnot out 4
S. Gill b Jamieson 1
C. Pujaranot out 9
TOTAL (for one wicket, five overs) 14
YET TO BAT: A. Rahane, S. Iyer, R. Jadeja, W. Saha, R. Ashwin, A. Patel, U. Yadav, I. Sharma.
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-2 (Gill).
BOWLING (to-date): Southee 2-1-2-0, Jamieson 2-0-8-1, Patel 1-0-4-0.
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2021