IND vs NZ, 1st Test 2021: India take on New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series in Kanpur – follow Wisden’s live blog for live updates, score, commentary, real-time analysis and where to watch details (TV and live streaming).
Right. That will be that from us for this game. Do join us in a few days as India and New Zealand look to win the series at Mumbai. Till then, this is me signing off. Goodbye, stay safe!
Phew! That was some game. The match went down to the last mandated over of the final session of the final day. And, still, we couldn’t separate the two sides. To be fair to India and New Zealand, both were at it throughout the game and barely offered the other an inch. The contest itself ebbed and flowed beautifully with the hosts and the visitors taking turns to play the role of the dominating side. There have been some exceptional displays in this Test, namely Shreyas’ sparkling debut, Southee’s remarkable bowling spells and Axar’s fifth five-for in Test cricket. Jadeja also provided a reminder towards the end of what he is all about. Yet, in the end, it couldn’t propel India to victory.
Ajaz gets through the over! And, New Zealand scrape through to a draw!
Ajaz gets through that over and the umpires are engaged in another lengthy chat with the players. The umpires have stopped the game for bad light. Seems like they have called it off.
Rachin survives Axar’s over. The light meters are out again. Jadeja handed the ball for what could be the final over in this extraordinary Test!
More DRS drama at Kanpur!
Ashwin bowls a carrom ball that straightens enough and raps Ajaz on the front pad in front of leg stump. India go upstairs. The pitching of the ball could be the only impediment. And, as expected, the ball has just pitched outside leg stump. There will be another over (at least) though.
The sun has just peeped out of the clouds it seems. And, we go on for another over. Oh my! This is some drama! Ashwin to bowl the 96th!
A long conversation between the Indians and the umpires. Seems like the light is at the most permissible limit. Could be a couple of overs at the most before the umpires call it off. Axar to bowl the 95th over.
Two more overs pass by without a wicket. The Indians are getting a little impatient and the light is getting dimmer. But we continue for now. A minimum of four overs left according to the schedule. There is enough time to complete those too. However, is there enough light?
India are hurtling through the overs. Rachin has tried to keep as much strike as possible but is perhaps at a stage where he might have to trust Ajaz a touch. A minimum of six overs remaining and India still are a wicket away from victory. The light meter is out again and the umpires deem it satisfactory. Ashwin to bowl the 93rd over.
Ajaz Patel is the last man at the crease. He is surrounded by fielders everywhere.
Jadeja hammers another nail into the NZ coffin
Jadeja gets another delivery to straighten just enough to beat Southee’s bat and clatter into the back pad. Jadeja does not even bother appealing and goes off on his celebration. Southee opts for the review because, well, why not. Smashing into the stumps, according to Hawk Eye. New Zealand on the brink now.
The light meter is out. And, the umpires are having a look. Umpire Nitin Menon is satisfied for now. But do keep an eye out for this narrative henceforth. Jadeja to continue and bowl the 90th over. India still need 2 wickets.
The Indian spinners are fizzing through their overs and the new ball is aiding them in their endeavors. There is a bit of bite from the surface and it looks very unlikely that the Kiwis will be able to survive until the close of play. A minimum of 10 overs remain but remember, light could yet have a say in this contest.
Jadeja and the second new ball does the trick
Another flat delivery that comes through with the arm. The newer ball means that Jamieson doesn’t have time to adjust and plays down the wrong line. The ball pops off the pad towards silly point and the umpire gives it out. No bat involved and it looked pretty adjacent on the LBW count. New Zealand 147/8 now.
The second new ball has been taken. Will that directly impact how the Kiwi batters approach their innings henceforth?
New Zealand have grit their way to 143/7 at the drinks break. If light permits, we should have another hour of play. As things stand, though, the light is looking a little dimmer than it did at this point yesterday. From an Indian perspective, you would hope that it improves to have another hour of play. The second new ball has also not been taken so far.
LBW decision overturned, yet again
Rachin made the mistake of hanging deep in his crease as the ball kept low and thudded into the back pad. The umpire gives it out but the impact is way outside off stump. Another ordinary decision by the umpire and another overturned decision. Rachin survives, though. And, that is the more important part if you are a Kiwi fan.
Ashwin has another
Another relatively unfortunate dismissal for the Kiwis but Ashwin will not care one bit. Blundell actually did very well to smother the turn but the ball bounces in the rough and spins back onto the stumps. Oh my! Ashwin was dismissed in similar fashion yesterday. Coincidence is something, isn’t it? New Zealand 138/7 now.
Blundell survives DRS call
Ashwin gets a ball to turn square from outside off stump and strikes Blundell’s pads. The umpire gives it not out but Ashwin, being his persuasive self, convinces Rahane for the DRS. Spun too much though, as the ball goes well past leg stump. Kiwis 138/6 after 77 overs. A minimum of 18 overs remain today.
Blundell and Rachin have handled themselves well so far. A few balls have spun viciously but they have defended the others with conviction. It would be interesting to see how long they can continue though, considering a wicket-taking delivery might be around the corner. After 74 overs, New Zealand are 135/6.
Rachin Ravindra, on debut, walks into a cauldron of pressure.
Jadeja gets rid of Williamson too; India on a roll
Jadeja has been able to extract assistance from the surface and it helps him get the better of Williamson too. The ball is not as short as Williamson expects and it keeps a touch low too. The ball raps him on the back pad and Jadeja is not even waiting for the umpire’s decision. What a moment this is in the game! New Zealand 128/6 and on the brink now.
Axar traps Nicholls LBW
Axar has been a menace for the Kiwi batters and he is at it again. Another delivery that does not turn a lot and beats the batter on the outside. Nicholls plays down the wrong line and is trapped plumb in front of middle and off stump. The easiest of decisions for the umpire. Not sure why Nicholls reviewed. New Zealand spiraling now; 126/5 after 64.1 overs.
Right. We are back. 14 sessions of Test cricket and both teams have barely given the other an inch. Now, we are moving towards its conclusion and on the way, have most probably been able to eliminate one result (NZ victory). For the visitors, this session is all about survival, whereas for India, this is about taking 6 wickets. Remember, the final session could also be affected by bad light, meaning that the hosts need some wickets at the start of the session.
Jadeja is the man again; New Zealand 125/4 at Tea!
Just as it seemed the game was meandering along, Jadeja gets a ball to straighten and raps Taylor bang in front. The umpire raises his finger and Taylor does not even contemplate a review. Oh my word! Jadeja has just about kept India in the hunt and this could be a very intriguing final session now. A New Zealand victory seems to be out of the question, unless something extraordinary happens. Do join us in a bit for the post-Tea session.
The visitors seem to have dropped anchor and seem intent on batting till Tea without losing any more wickets. You can’t doubt that approach, considering how things can change very quickly. But, you feel that the onus is now on India to make the play. 123/3 after 60 overs.
Oh my! Taylor has survived a stumping scare by the skin of his teeth. Bharat did very well to wait until Taylor lifted his back foot a touch. But, as it turns out, he did so a moment earlier than what would’ve been fatal for Taylor. New Zealand move along at 121/3 after 57 overs.
Ashwin breaks through
A rank short delivery outside off stump and it somehow gets the better of Latham. The ball stays low as Latham looks to cut and drags it on. Ashwin, though, would not care an iota. He has the breakthrough India were craving. Latham is disappointed with himself. Not because he has been dismissed but because he has left the door ajar for India. New Zealand 118/3 after 54.2 overs. Ashwin also goes past Harbhajan Singh to become India’s third highest-wicket taker in Test cricket.
Latham completes his half century – his second of the match and 22nd overall. What a batting performance this has been so far from the opener!
The Black Caps have ambled along to 108/2 after 50 overs and haven’t looked in any sort of bother lately. The odd ball has spun but that too has spun very sluggishly, meaning that the batters have had time to adjust. Ishant has also not been able to generate as much reverse swing, meaning that India seemingly have a mountain to climb post the drinks break.
As Williamson has gotten more established at the crease, he has looked to score a lot more freely. He has been severe on anything in his half and that might be a sign of how New Zealand want to approach the rest of the day. Latham, meanwhile, has been his usual self at the other end – calm and composed. The visitors are 107/2 after 48 overs.
Ashwin into the attack now. He would hope that he can get the better of Latham. Remember, he has dismissed him six times previously in Test cricket.
Latham has looked a little edgy since Axar began targeting the rough outside his off stump. He has played a few more strokes than usual, including a missed reverse sweep. That, however, could also be an indication that New Zealand are probably thinking about a victory. 99/2 after 43 overs.
Williamson easing into his work
Apart from the odd Umesh snorter, Williamson has largely looked untroubled. He has handled Axar decently and has also shown a bit of urgency to put the bowler off. The bigger test, though, could be against Umesh, who seems to have settled into a nice rhythm. After 41 overs, the Kiwis are 95/2.
Umesh posing a few questions
Apart from the wicket, Umesh has bowled excellently to induce a few false strokes. The ball seems to be reversing just a touch and if that is the case, Umesh could be a real handful. And, of course, a threat that the Kiwis will find tough to negotiate. New Zealand 85/2 after 38 overs.
Axar to bowl from the other end. Can he come up with something special now?
Williamson is the new man at the crease. Remember, Umesh dismissed him in the first innings.
Umesh breaks the game open, again!
Umesh had telegraphed his intentions to bowl short but Somerville still can’t do enough. The Kiwi goes for an ill-advised pull stroke and top edges it to fine leg, where Gill completes a sensational take diving forward. Just the wicket India wanted after the interval and the worst possible start for the visitors.
Latham and Somerville have walked out to the centre. Umesh to start off for India. He will bowl round the wicket to Somerville.
Right. At the cost of sounding like a broken record, this Test is…..wait for it….tantalizingly poised. Two results (draw and an Indian victory) seem more probable at the moment. However, if the Kiwis can put together another masterful batting session, they might be bringing a New Zealand victory into the equation as well. For the hosts, the brief is pretty clear. They need wickets and they need them very quickly. The longer the Kiwis bat without the fall of any wickets, the twitchier India will get. That then could open up run-scoring avenues for the visitors and put India under pressure.
New Zealand 79/1 at Lunch!
India have rattled in 31 overs in the morning session. Unfortunately, they don’t have anything to show for their efforts. Their bowlers have been steady without being penetrative and haven’t been aided by the pitch as much as they would’ve wanted. The visitors, on the other hand, would be thrilled with how they’ve defended and made the most of their scoring opportunities. The longer this pair sticks at the crease, the greater the chances of a Kiwi victory. Still a lot of cricket to be played though before those conversations occupy our minds. But you feel that the contest is again on an even keel now. Do join us in a bit for the second session.
Not a lot has happened in the past few minutes, apart from Latham and Somerville defending solidly. As the session has progressed, they have also found it easy to rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard moving. New Zealand 65/1 after 32 overs.
New Zealand have managed to keep the Indian spinners at bay. In fact, they are just a few minutes away from lunch now and would hope to reach the interval relatively unscathed. India have now turned to Ashwin to break the game open. Kiwis 63/1 after 30 overs.
Axar and Jadeja are breezing through their overs. However, they haven’t had anything to celebrate so far. Jadeja has extracted a bit more spin and bounce today, having gone past the bat on a few occasions. But nothing to suggest that this has become a minefield. NZ 59/1 after 26 overs.
Both Axar and Jadeja have been tight with their lines and lengths. Not many deliveries have misbehaved so far though, meaning that the left-arm spin twins might have to rely on their guile and variations in angle/pace to do the trick. The visitors are 54/1 after 23 overs.
Before the start of play today, a lot of people thought that New Zealand would drop anchor and just defend. However, they have ticked along nicely in the first hour of play. They have put together 44 runs in 15 overs and if things continue to improve for the Kiwis, they might even start harboring aspirations of a victory. Long way to go though. NZ 48/1 after 19 overs.
Jadeja into the attack now. He has a lot of rough outside Latham’s off stump to aim at.
Somerville has been growing in confidence lately. While there has been the odd play and miss (as you expect from a lower order batter), he has looked largely convincing otherwise. He has treated the crowd to a few back-foot punches past point too. India desperately need a wicket and they need it quickly. At the end of 16 overs, New Zealand are 36/1.
Ishant replaces Umesh for the 14th over. Don’t think the finger injury is troubling him too much at the moment.
Umesh has had a lively beginning to his spell today. He has gotten the ball to swing just a bit and has forced the batters to waft at a few deliveries. The Kiwi seamers have had a lot of joy in the morning session in this Test. In fact, the hosts would hope Umesh can produce something similar today.
Somerville looking solid
The night-watchman has held his own so far. Though Umesh has induced a couple of plays and misses, Somerville has looked solid at the crease and has been assured in defence. Ashwin, however, would still back himself to dismiss the batter. Kiwis 17/1 after 8 overs.
Umesh to start off from the other end.
Good start for Ashwin
The ball turned and bounced from outside the right-hander’s off stump. Those are very good signs for India, considering that kind of spin has been at a premium in this Test. Ashwin would also be glad that he found his rhythm straightaway.
Update: Oh dear! On the first ball of the day, Ishant seems to have jammed his finger into the ground. Looks like a dislocation too. If it is any solace for him and India, it is on his left hand (non-bowling hand).
Ashwin to start off proceedings for India.
We are moments away from the start of play on Day 5. Latham and Somerville will resume the innings for the Kiwis. By the way, New Zealand have batted more than 100 overs to save a Test in Asia four times previously. They might not have to bat as many today but can certainly draw inspiration from those outings.
The pitch still looks okay, according to Simon Doull. The key to him would revolve around how well the Kiwi batters play the spinners (kind of stating the obvious). Footwork could be the key to negating the spin threat. The middle of the pitch still feels decent. There are a few cracks but nothing alarming so far.
Hello and welcome back to our coverage. India are ahead at the start of Day 5 and considering the resources they have at their disposal, you feel this is their game to lose. They’ve already accounted for Young and if the ball continues spinning, the visitors might not have much of a prayer anyway. However, the Kiwis can call upon Latham and Williamson – two excellent players of spin. If either (ideally both) can get stuck in, New Zealand might get closer to drawing the game. On paper, a Kiwi victory is still possible. But it looks unlikely that New Zealand would risk everything until they’re sure the game is completely safe.
Right. That will be that from us for today. Do join us tomorrow morning as India look to coast to victory and New Zealand try to deny them that chance. Till then, this is me signing off. Goodbye, stay safe!
India have ended the day in the ascendancy. Though the final stages of their innings left a bit to be desired, they have done well to redeem it by sending Young back. With the ball already turning and keeping low, India would be upbeat about wrapping up a victory tomorrow. However, they will know the kind of grit the likes of Latham, Nicholls, Taylor and Williamson posses, meaning that this game might not be as much of a procession. But after four days of see-saw cricket, we can finally say with some conviction that India have surged ahead.
New Zealand end Day 4 at 4/1!
India had just enough time to account for one of the Kiwi openers. Though luck played a part, Young has only himself to blame for the DRS gaffe. Either way, the hosts would be thrilled with this little period, which hasn’t only dented the Black Caps, but has also left the door ajar for India to barge through tomorrow.
Somerville has been sent in as a night watchman.
Ashwin traps Young LBW
Ashwin has been bowling very well in his spell and he finally has his reward. A ball that pitches in the rough, turns into the batter and also keeps young. He is trapped right in front and the umpire raises his finger. Young hesitates for too long for the review and pays the price. Replays indicate that the ball would have spun way past leg stump. Not the greatest bit of umpiring, it must be said.
Spin from both ends. Axar to share the new ball with Ashwin.
No surprises as Latham and Young stride out to the centre. Ashwin will open the bowling for India. The light is fading, by the way.
India have declared at 234/7. They have set the Kiwis a target of 284 in the fourth innings. Not sure how long they will be able to bowl today but a declaration at least suggests the will to move the game forward. Over to you, Ashwin, Axar and Jadeja!
The second new ball is due but New Zealand haven’t taken it straightaway. As expected, the Kiwis are also taking their time and ensuring that the light fades enough for them to not come out to bat today. India 225/7 after 80 overs.
Right. Axar finally showing some intent by launching Ajaz over cow corner. India, though, should continue with this approach. On paper, there is still an hour remaining before close of play. But we have hardly gone that far throughout this Test. India 221/7 after 79 overs.
It will be interesting to see what tack India adopt now. They might have initially wanted to make the game safe but the runs have been at a trickle in the past half an hour. This approach could come back to haunt the hosts, especially if the Kiwis dig deep into their resilient reserves and keep the Indian spinners at bay.
The game has not moved much in the past few minutes. A grand total of five runs have been scored and at drinks, India have meandered along to 206/7 after 75 overs. Surely they will be instructed to be a little more aggressive post the drinks interval?
India are ambling along and the game has assumed a holding pattern. The Black Caps are willing to take as much time away from the game as possible. On the other hand, India haven’t looked very inclined to hunt for quick runs. Something might be about to give soon though. Hosts are 201/7 after 71 overs.
India haven’t attacked a lot since Tea, barring the first over after the interval. They have been content to keep the good balls out and haven’t been too adventurous. Time, though, is a luxury they might not have today, especially with light being a factor in the final hour of play. Ideally, the home side would want to get their lead up to 270-80 and then have around 40-45 minutes to bowl at the Kiwis. Hosts 188/7 after 66 overs.
India have started this session nicely and have already added nine runs, including a couple of boundaries. If they can get the lead over 250 runs, they might fancy their chances quite a bit in the fourth-innings. After 62 overs, India are 176/7.
Southee to continue after Tea. Axar is the new man at the crease.
Right. India seem to have stolen a march in this Test. Yet, they, of all teams, would know that this Kiwi side can be written off at their own peril. The hosts still have three wickets left in the shed and their lead can be built further, meaning that the start of the third session could be crucial. For New Zealand, they need to snap up the remaining batters for as less as possible and then hope that their batters can stand up to be counted.
Shreyas falls on the stroke of Tea
Shreyas had been looking to increase the tempo and he perishes in his pursuit. A short delivery that just doesn’t arrive as he gloves it to the keeper. New Zealand would’ve ideally wanted this wicket a little earlier but they would be glad anyway. 30-40 minutes of Shreyas could have taken the game well beyond the visitors. At tea, India are 167/7.
Jamieson to bowl the 60th over. It seems that the Kiwis will end this session with pace from both ends.
With the lead past 200, Shreyas is looking to switch through the gears. India have attained a position of slight comfort, you guess. Now, it is probably about manufacturing enough time to control the game henceforth. After 58 overs, India are 160/6.
Shreyas has brought up his half-century. With this, he becomes the only Indian male cricketer to have scored a hundred and a fifty on his Test debut. The lead is now at 200, by the way.
India have flicked a switch in the past few overs and have targeted the spinners. Like Saha, Shreyas has also gotten a six away and India seem ever closer to that elusive 200-run mark (lead wise). It might not be long before New Zealand look to go back to their seamers. Hosts 140/6 after 52 overs.
Finally, some intent from Saha. He rode his luck as well, especially with Nicholls dropping a relatively regulation catch at short mid wicket. Nevertheless, the brace of boundaries has taken India’s lead past 175 and they should start breathing a little easier if it continues.
New Zealand are looking to keep things tight. To an extent, they have been aided by India, who have gone into their shell just a little. Saha is looking stronger in defence but hasn’t found too many run-scoring opportunities. Shreyas, meanwhile, has been starved of strike a tad. India 120/6 after 47 overs. Time for Drinks too!
Saha has looked a little tentative but has found a way to survive so far. Shreyas has ticked along nicely at the other end and has been a major factor in India pushing their lead past the 160-run barrier. The hosts are now 115/6 and only 36 runs away from swelling their lead beyond 200. New Zealand need another wicket pretty quickly.
Jamieson breaks open the game, again
Just as it seemed Ashwin was carrying India to safety, Jamieson returns to throw a spanner in the hosts’ works. An innocuous delivery but one that Ashwin drags onto his stumps, illustrating that back foot punches aren’t a batter’s best friend at Kanpur. India 103/6 now and are 152 runs ahead. Still, at least 50 runs away from a par total, you feel!
India have begun the second session just like they ended the first. Ashwin and Shreyas have batted positively and have already added 15 runs. These runs could be crucial in the larger context. Not just because it helps India increase their lead but also because the Black Caps might start feeling the pinch of a relatively daunting fourth-innings total. India 100/5 after 36 overs.
Right. We are back. The game is hinging in the balance and a couple of missteps (or moments of brilliance) from either side could tilt it decisively. New Zealand need to skittle out this Indian innings as soon as possible. Meanwhile, India would hope that they can swell their lead to more than 200 – something that will then put New Zealand under pressure. Ashwin and Shreyas walk out post Lunch (as expected). The duo will be confronted by Rachin Ravindra first up.
India v New Zealand, 1st Test live: Day 1 coverage
Date: 25 November 2021
Venue: Green Park, Kanpur
Start time: 9.30 am (local time), Toss – 9 am (local time)
India v New Zealand, first Test live: Where to watch on TV and streaming
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India v New Zealand first Test, Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar
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