It turned out to be a historic day of Test cricket on Saturday that witnessed New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel becoming the only third bowler to pick 10 wickets in an innings. The Mumbai-born left-arm spinner joined Indian great Anil Kumble and England’s Jim Laker in a select club after bowling out Virat Kohli-led India to a total of 325.
Opener Mayank Agarwal top-scored for the home team with a fine 150, hitting 17 boundaries and four sixes during his long stay in the middle. Axar Patel contributed 52 runs down the order as India crossed 300 before Ajaz wrapped up the innings to finish with incredible figures of 10/119 in 47.5 overs.
Patel was hugely praised by one and all. But what happened next, was a complete nightmare for the visitors. In reply to India’s 325, New Zealand were bundled out for 62. It’s the lowest total by an overseas side on Indian soil. The Black Caps batted 14.4 overs, less than what their premier spinner took to get all the Indian players out.
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Mohammed Siraj began the juggernaut and scalped three wickets in quick succession to dismantle the Kiwi top-order. He took down Will Young (4) and stand-in captain Tom Latham (10) in his first over while got rid of veteran batter Ross Taylor (1) in his next.
It was now the spinners’ turn to bamboozle the rest of the New Zealand batting unit. The wrecker-in-chief was Ravichandran Ashwin who made the most of the Wankhede track, that earlier helped Ajaz to script history. The Indian off-spinner cleaned up Henry Nichols (7) to open his account and went on to dismiss Tom Blundell (8), Tim Southee (0) and William Somerville (0) to return with a 4-wicket haul.
Axar Patel registered the figures of 2 for 14 and Jayant Yadav picked a wicket. Pacer Umesh Yadav was the only India bowler who returned wicketless.
With New Zealand getting bowled out for 62, India decided not to impose the follow on but to come and bat in the second innings. But the most surprising part was Cheteshwar Pujara opening with Mayank Agarwal.
The duo started off well and unlike the previous innings, Pujara looked more confident and aggressive in his approach. The right-hand batter scored an unbeaten 29 at stumps on the second day of the Mumbai Test and was accompanied by Mayank who was not out for 38. India posted 69 without any loss at the end of Saturday’s play and now lead New Zealand by 332 runs in the second innings.
(With Agency Inputs)