New Zealand are in cruise control of the 1st Test as they ended a rain-marred Day 2 on 152/1. Skipper Kane Williamson led his side brilliantly with a classy 65*. He was supported by Tom Lantham (56*) from the other end, as the duo frustrated the famed Indian spin ploy throughout the day. Earlier, some gutsy hitting from Ravindra Jadeja had added 27 vital runs to the overnight Indian score of 291/9.
Kane Williamson, Tom Latham personify New Zealand’s resistance
Memories of a resounding Test series victory against South Africa at home last year might have cheered Indian fans up when the team total went past 300 in the morning today. And the Indian bowlers might have expected the Kiwi batsmen to struggle on the dusty Green Park track. However, contrary to such ideas, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham put paid to India’s hopes of putting sustained pressure on the visitor’s batting line up.
Martin Guptill(21) departed early, trapped leg before wicket by Umesh Yadav. But, Day 2 turned out to be a wholly Kiwi affair from thereon. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, considered to be lethal on surfaces such as the one in Kanpur, found it hard to break through the duo’s defence. In the 31 overs that these spinners bowled between them, there were just 2 maidens registered and 90 runs conceded. The seamers, Yadav and Shami, could not find much assistance from the surface either.
India desperately need to breakthrough early on Day 3 if they are to entertain chances of keeping the visitors down to a modest 1st innings total. If not, memories of the drubbing handed by England in 2012 at home may resurface soon enough!