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India vs New Zealand 2021: Wriddhiman Saha, Shreyas Iyer Fifties Rescue India in Kanpur

Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha batting against NZ on Day 4 in Kanpur.

Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha batting against NZ on Day 4 in Kanpur.

India’s resurrection actually started with Ravichandran Ashwin taking up the initiative. He walked in and started attacking Ajaz Patel.

Wriddhiman Saha led India’s lower-order resistance as the hosts managed to reduce New Zealand to 4/1 by the time Stumps was called on the penultimate day of the Kanpur Test, chasing 284 runs. It was a massive turnaround for the hosts who were once stuttering at 51/5. From that point on, Ajinkya Rahane and his men staged an epic turnaround through two half-centuries. Shreyas Iyer slammed another fifty, this time in massively different circumstances, and ended up scoring  65 off 125 deliveries. India’s resurrection actually started with Ravichandran Ashwin taking up the initiative.

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He walked in and started attacking Ajaz Patel. He shared a 52-run stand with Iyer where the first-inning centurion played the second fiddle. Once he departed, Saha took over. The wicket-keeper had injured his neck and yet he batted, adjusting his stance which looked really odd on TV. After Iyer was dismissed off Tim Southee, Saha along with Axar Patel (28 off 67) took the fight to the opposition.

It was expected that India might bat aggressively and invite the Kiwis to have a bat in the last hour. But that didn’t happen with Rahane declaring just 15 minutes before close of play. Luckily, they struck and managed to dismiss Will Young, who batted defiantly in the first innings. The batters had a brief discussion and decided to take it upstairs for a DRS after Umpire had given Young out LBW off Ashwin, but the stipulated time interval was over by then, and Indian players rushed to the umpire to make their objections very clear.

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Eventually the DRS call was termed illegitimate. Young had to walk; nonetheless, TV replays showed he was not out! The kiwis still need 280 with nine wickets in hand on a pitch which is getting slow by the minute.

Earlier Team India batters failed again as New Zealand bowlers managed to trigger a mini-collapse at the start of Day 4’s play to put their team on the top of the game. Unlike the Indian pacers, the visitors’ fast bowlers asked some very tough questions to the batters which forced them to make some errors. Centurion from the first innings, Shreyas Iyer once again leads the fightback for India as he was unbeaten on 20 at Lunch alongside Ravichandran Ashwin 18.

Also Read | IND vs NZ, 1st Test: Srikar Bharat Makes the Most of his Surprise Opportunity

Resuming their innings from 14/1, India lost the big wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara early as Kyle Jamieson continued to trouble the Indian batters with his disciplined bowling. Pujara, who was looking to score at a healthy rate, was dismissed on 22. The talismanic batter also registered an unwanted record with another batting failure. He equalled Ajit Wadekar’s tally of most consecutive innings without a 100 at number 3 position for India - 39.

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first published:November 28, 2021, 17:00 IST