Ind vs NZ, 1st Test, as it happened: NZ win thriller by 40 runs

Tariq Engineer, Feb, 10 2014

1005 IST: Captains' comments

Dhoni: Second innings bowling was fantastic. Second innings quite a few of our batsmen batted well. Shikhar got a 100. But we lost wickets at crucial times. Overall good cricket. [The Test] didn’t go for 5 days but all the 4 days were very exciting

One of the best that I have seen our bowlers bow, especially on a good wicket. They didn’t leak too many runs and that is the reason we bowled them out cheaply. They will have to continue with that line and length.

What was important was to go in today for a good start. Try to break it into small sessions. Play 15 or 20 minutes sessions, then graduate to drinks than maybe tea or lunch break. Few unlucky breaks for us. Vijay getting out. Ajinkya’s decision was a tough one at a very crucial time. A 30 or 35-run partnership would have been good for us. In the end, we lost by 40 runs.

McCullum: Definitely some nervous times. Put us under immense amount of pressure but we continued too show a lot of belief., Wagner’s spell epitomised everything that is going well for this team. Great Test match to be part of.

India's bowling was tremendous and put us under immense pressure. would have loved to have had a few more runs in the bank when they started building partnerships.

You live and die by the decisions you made and thankfully we live. Have to back your instincts. We still managed to hang in there.

0955 IST: OUT! Another Wagner bouncer does the job

This is one of those slower bouncers and Dhoni does for the pull but is early into the short and the inside edge darts onto his pads and then onto the stumps. They check the backfoot to see if it touches the side of the crease and it is okay by maybe a milimetre.

OUT! New Zealand have won the game by 40 runs

Another bouncer and Ishant goes for the hook. The ball takes the shoulder of the bat and Watling takes his sixth catch of the innings. India's valiant fight is over. They are all out for 366. Full credit to New Zealand who battled on the last day, especially Neil Wagner, who finished with 4 for 62. End of a very good Test match.

0938 IST: OUT! Wagner strikes again

He is doing yeoman work for NZ today. Again short and delivered from wide of the crease into the body. Zaheer can only fend at it and is well taken at first slip for 17. India 349/8. NZ need 2 more wickets for victory. India need 58 runs with Dhoni still at the crease.

0930 IST: India 346/7 after 93 overs (Dhoni 28, Zaheer 16)

Time for drinks. Dhoni has faced just 10 deliveries over the last 8 overs and change as Zaheer has hogged the strike. So much so that Dhoni turns down a clear single with Zaheer three quarters of the way down the track just so he can keep strike. He promptly takes a single off the third ball of the last over though, so not sure what that was about.

0915 IST: India 338/7 after 90 overs (Dhoni 26, Zaheer 11)

Dhoni and Zaheer have continued to throw their bat around with Zak hitting one almighty six over point as he stood still and threw everything at the ball. India need 69 to win with 24 overs left to bowl today. Can Dhoni somehow pull off a stunner at Eden Park?

0900 IST: OUT! Jadeja throws it away

Two balls after hitting Boult for a stupendous straight SIX to bring up the 50-partnership, Jadeja tries one shot too many and chips the ball straight to mid-on. Got carried away, did Sir RJ, and fell for 26 from 21 balls. New Zealand into the tail now with India 324/7.

Jadeja and Dhoni added 54 from 33 balls. It was a typical India ODI chase while it lasted. All up to Dhoni now. Problem is he averages just 22 from his last 24 innings away from home with just 4 fifties, the last of which came almost 2 years ago.

0850 IST: India 303/6 after 85 overs

Dhoni and Jadeja are playing like this is a one-day game. 33 runs have been scored in the four overs since play resumed after the break. Dhoni has 22 from 18, while Jadeja has 14 from 11. They appear to have decided that attack is their best option in this situation and with McCullum option for aggressive field placing, there are plenty of gaps.

0832 IST: OUT! Rohit falls first ball after tea

Southee bowls the perfect outswinger and Rohit can only poke it to the keeper. That's Watling's 5th catch of the innings. New Zealand have turned the match around again and will fancy wrapping this up today with only four wickets to get.

0810 IST: OUT! The new ball accounts for Rahane

Boult takes the new ball and gets his first delivery to swing sharply into Rahane. Loud shout for lbw and Steve Davis immediately raies his finger. Rahane is shocked and no wonder. He got a big inside edge that the umpire somehow missed. India's stubborness with the DRS could cost them the match.

Rahane falls for a very fluent 18 from 21 balls and he will feel very aggrieved by that decision. India 270/5 at tea. They need another 137 runs to win the game. India lost three wickets in that session. New Zealand need another 5 wickets to win the game. The odds favor the home side.

0745 IST: OUT!The bouncer does for Dhawan

This was a brute of a delivery from Wagner. Delivered from wide of the crease and zeroed in on the center of Dhawan's chest. He shaped to play initially, then decided to get out of the way as it got big on him. There was a sound as the ball went past and the umpire did not hesitate to raise his finger.

Dhawan out for 115. India 248/4 chasing 407. Ajinkya Rahane is the new batsmen. India need a further 159 to win with six wickets in hand. Also, the new ball is due in five overs. New Zealand will fancy their chances now.

0730 IST: India 238/3 after 72 overs (Dhawan 111, Sharma 11)

Just 9 runs have come from the last 6 overs. Dhawan has gone into a bit of a shell since Kohli's dismissal while Rohit has been getting to grips with the pitch. Part of it is also down to some good bowling from Southee and Boult.

Dhawan has left a considerable number of deliveries today, especially outside the offstump. He has chosen to sway out of the bouncers as well for the most part. Been remarkably disciplined and has prospered as a result.

0705 IST: India 229/3 after 66 overs (Dhawan 110, Sharma 4)

The target is now 178 with 7 wickets in hand. It is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Here's a pic of Dhawan celebrating his 100 for real. This has been a much needed innings for him.



0655 IST: India 225/3 (Dhawan 108, Sharma 2)

Things have slowed down considerably since Kohli got out. Southee has come back on and run-scoring has suddenly become difficult. This has been the pattern of the pitch, though. Once a player gets set, there are plenty of runs to be had, as Dhawan has proved in this innings and Williamson and McCullum did in NZ's first innings.

0643 IST: OUT! Kohli throws it away.

This one was short and wide from Wagner and Kohli really should have left it alone. But given how quickly India have been scoring, he can't resist a swing at it. Tries to pull it from a couple feet outside off and the under-edge is well taken by Watling.

Kohli out for 67. He and Dhawan put on 126 for the third wicket. India 222/3 chasing 407. Much will depend on Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan now.

0635 IST: Dhawan gets his hundred

A moment of comedy has Dhawan thinks he has reached his hundred after he shimmies down the track and hammers Sodhi over long-on for SIX!. He is celebrating when Kohli points to the scoreboard and Dhawan is forced to gather himself again.

Does it matter? No. He simply square cuts Sodhi's next delivery to the point boundary and this time there is no stopping the celebrations.

India 209/2. Their target is just 198 runs away now.

0614 IST: We are back after lunch and Sodhi gets us underway. Kohli picks up four runs from the over as Sodhi struggles to get his length right.

0530 IST: At lunch on day four: India 180/2 (Dhawan 81, Kohli 55)

Dhawan takes his team into the break by cutting Williamson to the point boundary. New Zealand were on top in the first hour; India on top now as these two have added 84 runs in quick time.

The target is no 227, which does not sound all that daunting with 8 wickets in hand. Still, India do not bat deep and one wicket could flip the switch all over again.

0525 IST: Fifty for Kohli

Brings it up in style too as he drives Williamson through the covers against the spin. Doesn't look like it will go all the way at first but the timing is superb and it beats the chasing fielder to the rope.

Taken Kohli 80 balls to get to fifty, his 9th in Tests. He started slowly but the runs are flowing freely now.

0505 IST: India 150/2 after 48 overs, with Dhawan on 66 and Kohli on 41.

India's 150 comes up in a flurry of boundaries from Kohli, who has taken an early liking to the legspin of Ish Sodhi. Corey Anderson has also been wayward, allowing India to relieve the pressure. The 50-partnership has also come up. Kohli has contribued 41 out of 54, Dhawan just 9.

0445 IST: India 129/2 after 43 overs, with Dhawan on 64 and Kohli on 22.

McCullum has two men in catching position at short mid-off for Kohli, who still can't resist the drive to a half-volley from Wagner. The ball flew between the two fielders at speed and raced away to the boundary but the trap almost closed. Kohli is cross with himself. He know he was his luck and actually practices leaving the ball.

He clearly wants to win this, does Kohli.

0430 IST: India 121/2 after 39 overs, with Dhawan on 61 and Kohli on 17.

A flurry of boundaries in the last couple of overs, including two in the last over before drinks are taken. Kohli and Dhawan have weathered a tough spell from Southee and Boult and the target is down to 286 now.

0405 IST: OUT! Pujara doesn't last long

A rare twin failure for Pujara in a Test but this is a beauty from Southee. He goes wide of the crease and Pujara is forced to play because of the angle. Bounce and away movement find the edge and that is a big wicket for New Zealand.

Pujara is out for 23, India 96/2.

0335 IST: Fifty for Dhawan

His first since his blistering debut last year. He could have been run-out too as he went for the single. His bat caught in the ground as he put in the slide and he topples into the crease. The throw doesn't hit though and Dhawan can celebrate.

0330 IST
: Hello and welcome to our coverage of the fourth day of the first Test at Eden Park. India did all the running in the final two sessions yesterday but New Zealand are still on top. They need 9 wickets to win the game, India need 320 runs. Can this young Indian side produce a but of history by becoming the first Test side to chase over 400 runs to win in the fourth innings twice?

End of Day Three updates

1105 IST: close on day 3: India 87/1 with Dhawan on 49 and Pujara on 22

Dhawan played an absolutely delightful straight drive off Sodhi to move to 48. Took a couple of steps and met the ball with the absolute middle of the bat. Was the shot of the session so far.

Dhawan and Pujara have added 51 together now, which is the largest partnership on day three. They have reduced the target India need to 320, which does not sound as daunting as 407. In all 17 wickets fell today for 274 runs after 329 runs were scored on day one for the loss of just four wickets.

Both sides have everything to play for on day four. Thanks for riding along with us today and join us then for what could be the exciting conclusion to this match.

1045 IST: India 69/1 after 20 overs, with Dhawan on 42 and Pujara on 12

Sodhi has been introduced and he is getting turn already. McCullum has two men in catching positions on the legside for Dhawan, who is disdainful of their presence, and clips the legspinner through midwicket for three. Takes him into the 40s for the first time since his Test debut.

India have whittled their target down to 338. They are slowly stealing the upper hand from New Zealand, who will not doubt be desperate to get it back.

1035 IST: India 46/1 after 16 overs, with Dhawan on 32 and Pujara on 10

Dhawan brought up India's 50 by cutting Wagner through the vacant point region. The shot would have pleased Dhawan even more than normal because Wagner hit him on the helmet earlier in the over. Pujara also cracks Anderson down the ground for his first boundary.

India looking comfortable at this point and whittling away at that target. This game still tilts towards NZ - 407 is a big target - but the emotion surrounding this game is different now. After the panic first two sessions, India have surprising brought some stability to proceedings.

1015 IST: India 46/1 after 12 overs, with Dhawan on 26 and Pujara on 6

Scoring has slowed down since Vijay's exit. Pujara has been watching in making 6 from 19 deliveries, no doubt wanting to make sure he doesn't make the same sort of mistake he made in the first innings.

This is also a big knock for Dhawan, who doesn't lack confidence but has lacked Test runs since his debut.

India have also seen off Southee and Boult and Wagner and Anderson have just been brought on.

0955 IST: OUT! Southee gets the breakthrough

It was down legside and Vijay shapes to play the flick. He perhaps leans over too much and there is a sound as it goes past him. The Kiwis appeal loudly when Watling pouches the ball and the umpire rules in their favour. Vijay looks unhappy. Replays and Snicko are inconclusive.

Doesn't matter. Pujara is the new batsmen. India are 36/1 after 8 overs. They need another 371 to win.


0945 IST: India 35/0 after 7 overs, with Dhawan on 21 and Vijay on 13

Southee and and Boult have been too straight with the new ball and India has been batting with surprising freedom. Dhawan has tidied up since his flashy start and Vijay has been his typical dogged self.

This match has taken on a whole different feel now. New Zealand on their heels.

0920 IST: India 16/0 after 3 overs

Shikhar Dhawan is doing his best to get out. He has been dropped at short cover, had a thick inside edge whistle past the stumps, tried to get run-out and played and missed. At the end of it all, he has 11 runs from 10 deliveries.

By the way, if India win the Test, it would be the third-highest run chase in the history of the game.

0905 IST: New Zealand all out for 105

Ishant picks up wicket of Wagner, who tried to hook him out of the ground but mistimed it completely. The last wicket pair added 25 runs, which is almost 20 percent of New Zealand's total.

16 wickets have already fallen today for 178 runs. That has left India needing 407 to win the Test with over two days to go, so time is not a factor. We are likely to see more wickets fall today, though. This pitch likes seam bowlers who pitch the ball up and that's what Southee and Boult like to do.


0900 IST: Dhoni lets NZ get to 100

First he dropped an inside edge after Wagner charged Jadeja and had an almighty hoick. Then, two balls, later, Dhoni was nowhere near the ball when Jadeja beat Boult. The ball ran away for four byes to bring up New Zealand's 100 and take the lead past 400. Dhoni not having a good game.

0852 IST: Dhoni brings on Rohit Sharma

No idea what Dhoni is up to. With NZ nine down, he has taken off Shami and brought on Rohit Sharma. Even the commentators are baffled.

0838 IST: OUT! Ishant strikes twice in the same over

Ish Sodhi is out for a duck. Edges Ishant to first slip. India holding their catches today. New Zealand 80/9 as the carnage continues. The lead is now 381.

0835 IST: OUT! Ishant bowls Watling

Welcome back after the break. India have wasted no time, striking in the first over after tea. Ishant gets the ball to seam in from just short of a good length and the ball stays a touch low. The ball takes the inside edge and cannons onto the stumps. End of Watling's resistance. He made 11 from 72 balls. New Zealand 78/8.

0810 IST: OUT! Jadeja strikes with the ball

Dhoni put a man at short-ish midwicket. Southee promptly flicked Jadeja straight down his throat. New Zealand collapsing in epic fashion here.

Southee falls for 14. New Zealand are 78/7 at tea, out of which Ross Taylor made 41. Still, NZ lead by 379, so India have a lot of batting ahead of them no matter what happens here.

0750 IST: OUT! Zaheer strikes

The wicket should go to Rahane though. Zaheer angles it across Taylor, who cuts hard. The ball flies off the edge and Rahane gets down low to take a sharp catch at 4th slip/wide gully. India' catching has been spectacular in this innings, aside from the dolly Vijay put down.

Taylor goes for a battling 41. New Zealand 63/6 after 30 overs. Their lead is 364 at this stage.


0745 IST: New Zealand 60/5 after 29 overs

Not much of anything happening. Watling has laboured to make 7 from 53 balls, which tells you just how hard New Zealand are finding it at the moment. At the other end, Taylor has 41 from 71.

0730 IST: New Zealand 53/5 after 24 overs

Ross Taylor bring's up New Zealand's 50 with a hook for SIX off Ishant. 10 runs came off the last Ishant over, in part because he tried to bounce Taylor once too often.

At the other end, Jadeja not getting much turn out of this pitch yet but Taylor and Watling have been very circumspect playing him. His three overs have gone for just two runs. India need wickets though. That's the only way to get back into this match.

0715 IST: New Zealand 38/5 after 21 overs

New Zealand finding runs very hard to come by at the moment. Ishant and Jadeja bowling now, so it will be interesting to see if the pressure lifts or not. Ishant hasn't been able to bowl the fuller length that Shami was bowling and has therefore tested the batsmen far less. Things could get more interesting if Jadeja finds some turn though.

Dhoni is still attacking with plenty of men in catching positions, which is good to see.

0700 IST: New Zealand 32/5 after 18 overs

Sunny makes the point that India's slip cordon needs to come up a step or two since the ball keeps landing short of them. Since Dhoni likes to take the ball around his ankles. he stands a bit further back than a typical keeper would stand. This pushes the slip cordon back a bit too.

For all of Dhoni's great leadership qualities, he does have some odd inclinations too.

0635 IST: OUT! Shami on fire

Anderson is bowled by a beauty that jags back off the seam, takes the inside edge and hits the top of leg stump. Beaten by pace, he was, and is out for 2.

Shami bowling a much fuller length in this inning and he is reaping the rewards. He has 3/18 so far and New Zealand in some trouble at 25/5.

Dhoni has five slips in place for Shami now. He has been finding the edge practically every over, but most of them have dropped short. India clearly learning from the home side.



0612 IST: New Zealand 18/4 after 9 overs

We are back and New Zealand have avoided losing any wickets in the first over after lunch, which was bowled by Shami. While it has been a stunning fightback from India with the ball, if Corey Anderson and Ross Taylor can put together a solid partnership, it will likely take the game away from India for good.

0534 IST: New Zealand 15/4 at lunch

Dropped! McCullum dropped by Vijay in the slips on zero. India's catching problems continue.

But it doesn't matter. Taylor and McCullum try to take a second run that did not exist. Jadeja, in the thick of it gain, fires the ball in from square leg and Ishant does very well to gather the ball on the half-volley and knock down the stumps. Suicidal stuff from New Zealand's captain, who is out for 1.

87 runs were scored in the first session for the loss of 10 wickets, so it has been non-stop action. New Zealand lead India by 316, which is not insubstantial. Join us again in about 35 minutes for the second session of play.

0524 IST: OUT! Jadeja takes a blinder

Williamson flicks a full Zaheer Khan delivery towards mid-on, where Jadeja was lurking. He leaps to his right and somehow gets a hand under the ball just as it was about to hit the ground. Another moment of magic from India's best fielder. Williamson gone for 3. NZ are 11/3 in their second innings. They lead India by 312.

0514 IST: OUT! Shami has two wickets.

New Zealand's openers have failed again. Fulton is gone for 5, caught by Jadeja. New Zeland are 9/2. Brendon McCullum must be wondering what might have been if he had put India into bat again.

0502 IST: OUT! Shami strikes in his first over.

Hamish Rutherford played outside the line to one that pitched on legstump and straightened and hit him on the back pad. Replays showed it would have hit legstump if his pad had not got in the way.

New Zealand are 1/1 and that's just the start India wanted.

0446 IST: India all out for 202

Shami is the last wicket to fall. Wagner gets him to jab at a short ball and Shami guides it to slip. Eight of India's 10 wickets to fall were caught behind the stumps. With New Zealand choosing not to enforce the follow-on, you hope the Indian camp took notes.


0437 IST: India 189/9 after 58.2 overs

Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma fall in quick succession. Neither looked like sticking around for long, choosing to throw their bat around instead of looking to provide some sort of support to Ravindra Jadeja. It has been another shambolic batting performance from India on this tour.

0410 IST: OUT! Wagner removes Dhoni

This was only a matter of time. Dhoni had nicked one a couple of overs ago but Watling moved the wrong way and the ball sailed between him and first slip. Given a second chance when Wagner pitched it up and angled it across Dhoni, Watling made no mistake. Dhoni simply does not have the technique to play swing bowling at this level. He goes for 10 and are India 167/7.

The biggest difference between India and New Zealand is that the New Zealand bowlers have consistently pitched the ball up and got the batsmen coming forward. India's bowlers seems allergic to doing that.

0400 IST: India 151/6 after 51 overs

Dhoni and Jadeja have survived so far but it hasn't been pretty. They have played an missed, edged deliveries and scooped balls in the air. But they are still there and have brought up the 150 for India. There is a feeling that the next wicket could fall at any moment. However, NZ depends to a large degree on Southee and Boult and if Dhoni and Jadeja can see them off, the pressure will ease.

0335 IST: OUT! Rohit is bowled

Rohit pushes at one delivered from wide of the crease by Boult. He leaves a gap between bat and pad and that is enough for the ball to sneak through via the inside edge. Rohit falls for 72. India 138/6 and have lost both overnight batsmen. CAn MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja reproduce their ODI form?


0327 IST: OUT! Rahane nicks on to slip

Southee got Rahane to come forward and push at one that he could have left alone. Easy catch to Ross Taylor in the slips. New Zealand have the start they wanted. India 138/5 after Rahane falls for 26.

0315 IST: Welcome to our coverage of the third day of the first Test at Eden Park. India will be desperately hoping that Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane not only survive, but thrive and drag them back into the match. The first hour could go a long way to determining the tone of the day.If these two can get set again, there are runs on offer. If they don't, India could will be in for a long day.

End of day two updates

1010 IST: Bad light stops play

Everyone has reluctantly trooped off with India 130/4. Rohit is on 67 and Rahane on 23. New Zealand currently lead by 373 runs. There is also talk of rain, according to the TV commentators, and the groundscrew is already ready with the covers.

This was a better Indian performance with the ball but the bat was another story as New Zealand pressed their advantage on the second day. India still trail by 373 runs with their top four batsmen back in the dressing room. Rohit and Rahane steadied the ship with a 79-run partnership, but they it will take a whole lot more before India reach a position of safety in this game.

1002 IST: India 125/4 after 38 overs

The pitch appears to have eased out again. Rohit and Rahane have now added 67 together and are slowly starting to build momentum. Rohit also has the ability to score quickly, just like Brendon McCullum, so if he gets going, New Zealand might actually have something to worry about.

For now, NZ have two spinners operating. It is Sodhi from one end and Kane Williamson from the other. Rohit is therefore happy to chip down the track and clobber Williamson over midwicket for SIX!.

0940 IST: Rohit gets his half-century

Rohit brings up his fifty with a single India needed Rohit to bat well today and he has answered the call to this point. India will be hoping the two Mumbai batsmen at the crease will be able to recreate some magic from times gone by when it was hard to tell an India XI from a Mumbai XI.

In other news, Sodhi has been his second spell (first one lasted one over). He is getting some turn already but has yet to find the right line or length to these two batsmen.


0920 IST: India 96/4 after 29 overs

Rohit Sharma has knuckled down and is playing his best innings of this tour and the tour of South Africa. There have been a few plays-and-misses but mostly he has been solid in defence while being quick to pounce on anything loose. There was one stunning backfoot drive through the covers in particular that stood out. Having made 1 run from 15 balls, he has now made 46 from 69.

Rahane has not been as solid in making 11 but he is still there and under these circumstances, that matters most.


0905 IST: India 79/4 after 25 overs

Rohit and Rahane have added 28 in quick time thanks to a few loose deliveries. As the last recognised batsmen - Dhoni does not count in overseas conditions - India need them to bat for a long time if they are going to save the follow-on, leave aside the match. This is a hole nobody expected India would find themselves before the match began.

The main difference between the two sides is that New Zealand are bowling to plan. Hopefully someone in the Indian dressing room is paying attention, though you have to think if they have not been interested to this point, they are not going to be interested now.

0840 IST: OUT! Wagner has bowled Vijay

The left-hander began the post-tea session by bowling wide of the crease from around the wicket. He got one delivery to straighten and Vijay played just inside it because of the angle and was stunned when he heard his bails dislodged. The ball hit the top of off, which is what you want as fast bowler. Vijay wasn't quite sure how that one got through.

It doesn't matter. He is out for 26 and India 51/4.

0812 IST: At tea India are 45/3 after 18 overs

Vijay and Rohit have weathered the new-ball storm and India's innings is starting to show some similarity with New Zealand's. Anderson and Wagner have not had the same control as Southee and Boult and the odd loose delivery is allowing Rohit and Vijay to pick up runs.

Ish Sodhi did get some turn in the one over he bowled before tea, and on that evidence, could have significant part to play as this games goes on.

0800 IST: India 34/3 after 15 overs

Vijay looking very much in control of here. The loss of his more heralded partners has not ruffled his composure and he is slowly starting to assert himself on the bowlers. NZ still very much on top, but Vijay is finding the odd boundary now and putting some pressure back on the bowlers.

The opening bowlers - Boult and Southee - have also been taking off and that might help India as well.

0745 IST: India 20/3 after 11 overs

The good new is India has not lost any more wickets but it is a struggle for survival at this point. Rohit has managed 1 run from 15 balls while Vijay has 12 from 33. McCullum has four slips, a gully and a short leg in place for his two fast bowlers. New Zealand all over their visitors like a white on rice at the moment.

Batting looked so easy when New Zealand were at the crease. Sunny reckons it is because the side batting second is often mentally fatigued after a long spell in the field. Says there is no other explanation for Pujara's poor shot except a brain fade.

0725 IST: OUT! Kohli has to go

He doesn't want to but he has to. Southee bowled a beautiful bouncer that Kohli had to play at and it took the glove and looped towards the slips, where Fulton leapt to take a good catch.

Kohli made just four and India now 10/3 and starting at a short Test match.


0720 IST: Kohli gets off the mark with a spanking straight drive. Took him 9 balls to do it. Much will ride on his shoulders now.

0708 IST: OUT! Pujara gone for 1

Boult bowls a wide half-volley and Pujara, uncharacteristically, cannot resist throwing his bat at it without any foot movement. The bat its the ground, the ball takes the edge and suddenly India 3 for 2 and wobbling big time.



0700 IST: Dhawan falls for a duck

Trent Boult has a wicket with his second ball. Squares up Dhawan, who tried to clip the ball to leg but got a leading edge straight to third slip. Dhawan's spectacular start to his career seems like a lifetime ago now.


0650 IST: New Zealand 503 all out

McCullum has been on the charge since the ninth wicket fell and it looks like he has smashed Ishant for another six but Jadeja does brilliantly to take the catch, then toss the ball up in the air as he fell over the boundary rope, then get back on to the field of play to complete the catch.

Took a moment of brilliance to end a brilliant innings. McCullum's 224 came from 307 balls and contained 29 fours and five sixes. Ishant finished with 6 for 134 and actually deserved it.


0640 IST: McCullum pulls Ishant for SIX to bring up New Zealand's 500. For a moment it looked like Rahane had a shot at a catch on the boundary but the ball just carried over his outstretched hands as he leapt to take the catch.


0635 IST: OUT! Jadeja gets a wicket

Wagner pushed forward to one that went straight on and Kohli took an excellent catch low down to his left at slip. It went quickly and it was just a few inches off the ground but Kohli reacted instantly to take the chance. Brilliant bit of fielding.

Wanger was out for a duck and New Zealand now 495/9.

0630 IST: OUT! Ishant has five wickets

Ishant gets one to move away a touch off the seam and take the edge of Sodhi's bat. Rohit Sharma juggles it a bit but holds on to the catch at second slip. Due reward for Ishant pitching the ball up this morning. He has been clearly the best of the Indian bowlers today.

0620 IST: And we are back and Ish Sodhi continues to find batting easy. He has raced to 22 from 23 balls. 500 seems an almost certainly now for New Zealand.

0530 IST: New Zealand 473/7 after 114 overs.

Absolutely no turn for Jadeja as McCullum charges him and blasts him over the straight boundary for SIX to move to 198. He finishes off the over by sweeping Jadeja to the square leg boundary to get to his double hundred. Superb knock from the Kiwi captain.

India's bowlers conceded 144 runs from 24 overs this morning, with 114 of them coming in boundaries. Still, they managed to take three wickets, which is some consolation.


0530 IST: New Zealand 463/7 after 113 overs.

The introduction of Ravindra Jadeja and spin seems to have eased the pressure on New Zealand. Meanwhile Ish Sodhi is showing he can bat a bit with a couple of sparkling boundaries, including an on-drive off Shami.

0510 IST: OUT! Shami has his first wicket

This was on the card. Southee had moving across his stumps in anticipation of the short ball so Shami bowled it full and fast and knocked over legstump. India have been expensive this morning but they have also taken wickets. That's a fair trade-off and due reward for the fuller length they have bowled this morning.

Southee out for 28. New Zealand 434/7.

0500 IST: New Zealand 418/6 after 107 overs

Ishant and India bowling much better now. They actually have plans to attack the batsmen. Shami had a man out on the hook for Southee and peppered him with the short ball while McCullum almost chipped one back to a short mid-on that was in place for that very reason.

Ishant is also pitching the ball up closer to the batsmen and when they do bowl the bouncer, it is not that waist-high hit me stuff. It was at the body at shoulder or head height, forcing the batsmen - mostly Southee - to take evasive action.

The question is, what took so long?

Just as I type that, Southee hooks Ishant for SIX! It is, to use an absolute cliche, all happening at Eden Park.

0440 IST: OUT! Ishant now has four wickets

Ishant shows how much he cares for my criticism by striking first ball after the drinks break. It was fuller and drew Watling into the drive. This time the edge was safely pouched by Shikhar Dhawan at third slip.

0435 IST: Ishant shows the lack of thinking that has been a feature of his bowling by producing an excellent delivery outside off that McCullum did well to leave, but then served up another slow, waist-high bouncer that got slapped to the fence.

Zaheer faring no better as McCullum sends the ball screaming to the boundary with as perfect a straight drive as you will see. He must be wishing he could bat against India every day of his life.

After 103 overs, New Zealand are 398/5 with McCullum on 175 and BJ Watling on 1 and it is time for drinks. 71 runs have come in the first hour of play today.

0420 IST: OUT! Ishant has his third wicket.

Ishant is bowling around the wicket and gets one to come back into Anderson. Hits him on the kneeroll on the backfoot and the umpire is quick to raise the finger. Brendon McCullum shakes his head and the replays show why - the ball was clearly going down legside.

That's about the only thing that has gone India's way today. McCullum and Anderson added of 133 at a run rate of 4.22. New Zealand now 384/5.

0410 IST: Billy Bowden comes out to change the ball and the crowd starts chanting "Billy, Billy."

New Zealand have made 42 runs from the first eight overs today and Zaheer has already given away 118 runs from his 27 overs. You can almost hear Indian fans everywhere beginning to tear their hair out because that would be less painful than watching these guys bowl.

0400 IST: New Zealand are 365/4 after 96 overs

Ishant is back to being Ishant. Dhoni has given him a 7-2 field. So what does he do? He tries a couple of waist high full bouncers, he does. Corey Anderson doesn't think much of the strategy either but he is happy to pick up a couple of boundaries with the pull shot.

But don't worry Indian fans, Ishant is very happy with the way he is bowling. It is simply baffling.

0345 IST: New Zealand 347/4 with McCullum on 151 and Anderson 52

Ishant and Zaheer are pitching the ball up further today, which is exactly what they need to do. Hasn't stopped the boundaries though. McCullum brought up his 150 with one and then Anderson brought up his 50 with another boundary.

And then Anderson brought up the 100-partnership with another boundary - this one a flick to fine leg with Ishant bowling to a packed offside field.

0325 IST: Hello and welcome to our coverage of day two of the first Test between India and New Zealand. After the first hour yesterday, it was all New Zealand as Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson ran riot in Auckland. Williamson eventually fell for 113 but Kiwi captain McCullum is still out there on 143, with exciting allrounder Corey Anderson (42) for company. The pair have already added 78 together and are in a position to take the game completely away from India.

India have the second new ball.

End of day one updates

1115 IST: New Zealand have ended the first day on 329/4 having been 30/3 at one stage.

A brilliant double-century partnership between Kane Williamson and Brendon Mccullum first rescued their side, then gave them the ascendancy after lunch. If batting was a struggle in the first session, it grew progressively easier to the point where New Zealand were toying with the Indian bowling as they scored at a run a minute in the first hour after tea.

India will one again rue the chances they missed. Vijay dropped a sitter at first slip when Williamson was on 32 and the fielding in general was poor, as was the bowling barring the first hour of the match. The three seamers failed to find the right length on this pitch and Ravindra Jadeja, for all his diligence, was rendered ineffectual by McCullum and Williamson on a pitch that offered no turn on the first day.

The day began with the possibility that India would wrest the advantage after the hammering they took in the ODIs. It ended with that possibility comprehensively beaten into the dust and India needing to raise themselves psychologically to get back in to the match or risk watching New Zealand bat the visitors out of the game.

1053 IST: Four more overs to go today. New Zealand cruising at 314/4, though Ishant just produced a beauty to cut Anderson in half. Those moments have generally be followed by some tripe though.

1034 IST: Corey Anderson brings up the 300 for New Zealand with a boundary. He follows that up by savagely pulling a gentle Ishant short ball to the midwicket fence. I know Dhoni loves Ishant and I know Ishant has taken 50 percent of the wickets to fall today, but he just isn't international class day in and day out anymore.

1020 IST: New Zealand are 286/4 after 79 overs.

Things pretty quiet at the moment. McCullum and Anderson being careful with the end of days play in sight, though McCullum was still happy to charge Jadeja and smash him down the ground for another SIX. India looking a bowler short here, just as they did in South Africa. The problem is this may be the best they can do with their current personnel.

1000 IST: The run-rate has slowed considerably since Williamson was dismissed. India are also a very healthy distance behind the over-rate. Dhoni will have to be careful or he could end up risking a ban. With 30 mins of scheduled play left, India have bowled just 73 overs.

0940 IST: OUT! Williamson has given it away.

Zaheer bowls a nothing delivery down the legside and Williamson tickles it fine but too fine and Dhoni takes a simple catch moving to his left. Tame end to an excellent innings. India will be thrilled to have taken that fourth wicket. partnership between Williamson and McCullum was worth 221 runs.

0923 IST: New Zealand 243/3 after 64 overs

Runs have come at a shade over a run a minute so far in this final session. It is like a practice match now, a practice match between an international side and a college XI. India's inability to bowl well in these condition is head-scratching, to say the least. Then again, with Ishant and Zaheer bowling mostly in the mid-120s, they just aren't quick enough to do much damage.

Here's a pic of Williamson going about his business:



0912 IST: India continue to be shambolic in the field. McCullum goes for the sweep off Jadeja but gets a top edge instead. It looks like it will loop to to Dhawan at short fine leg but he takes a step forward instead of going back and the ball sails over his head and drops harmlessly to earth, allowing the batsmen to pick up a couple of runs instead. That was completely misjudged and emblematic of the basic errors India have been making on this tour.

0909 IST: Williamson follows McCullum to his century with a punch through the covers that fetches him two runs. He has looked much calmer and more sedate than McCullum, but he needed just one more delivery than his partner to get to his 100. India currently have no answer for Williamson.

Remember, Vijay dropped him when he was on 32.

McCullum and Williamson have also added over 200 runs now. This is as one-sided as it gets at the moment. If you did not know, you would never think India were the higher ranked side. And substantially higher ranked at that.


0858 IST: A SIX off Jadeja takes McCullum to his 100. Charged out of his crease and hammered the spinner over long-off. He celebrates the milestone with much glee, as he should. Been a top knock. Taken him only 137 balls as he has peppered the boundary consistently. India have looked helpless and hapless since that first hour. Deep down no doubt Indian fans were thinking it was too good to last, especially with Ishant taking wickets

New Zealand 225/3 after 58 overs.


0852 IST: New Zealand 214/3 after 57 overs

It has been more of the same after tea. McCullum and Williamson now finding the boundary with ease and both have progressed into the 90s as their partnership closes in on 200 runs. India's bowling continues to look ineffective. If they have plans for the Kiwi batsmen, they are not evident to the naked eye.


0813 IST: New Zealand 179/3 after 51 overs, with Williamson on 79 and McCullum on 71.

New Zealand have completely wrested the initiative away from India's bowlers. Only one maiden was bowled in the session, which tells you how easy the batsmen found it, in total contrast to the first session. A total of 125 runs were scored at almost 5 runs an over. India once again searching for answers in the field and once again coming up short.

0737 IST: McCullum's turn to get to his fifty, which he does with a scintillating straight drive. Taken him 86 balls and has rescued his side from a fairly precarious position. Backs it up with another boundary off the next ball, just to rub it in.

New Zealand are 145/3 after 42.5 overs.

0730 IST: New Zealand are 127/3 after 41 overs with Williamson on 53 and McCullum on 46.

The batsmen continuing to dominate India's increasingly listless bowlers. Dhoni has given Jadeja just the one over, perhaps deciding the pitch had nothing in it for the spinner, but the seamers are not getting much out of it either at this point. Once again, India not looking like they have any particular plans for either batsman.

0717 IST: Williamson brings up his 50 with a top edge from an attempted hook shot that sails over everything and goes for SIX behind the keeper. India's bowlers have been guilty of bowling too short after lunch and the runs have flowed New Zealand as a result.

This is also Williamsons seventh consecutive fifty in all formats.

0650 IST: New Zealand are 94/3 after 32 overs.

McCullum picks up back-to-back-boundaries as Ishant drops short. He is looking increasingly comfortable and the momentum has shifted from the visitors to the home side. India still in the better position but McCullum and Williamson are playing their shots freely now.

Williamson hooks Shami over deep fine leg to bring up the New Zealand 100.

0633 IST
: DROPPED! India's slip catching woes continue. Williamson edges a Shami outswinger straight to Vijay at first slip but it pops into his hands and then out of his hands. Shami has a look of disgust on his face. That was among the easiest slip catches you will see. "Hard hands," says former Kiwi wicketkeeper Ian Smith on commentary.

To state the obvious, India have to find a way to solve their slip catching problems. It is such a steep fall from having Dravid and Laxman in those positions.

A streaky boundary to fine leg brings up the 50-partnership from just 70 balls. So these two motoring now.

0630 IST: New Zealand 74/3 after 28 overs

New Zealand have been much more positive since the break, with McCullum and Williamson finding gaps in the field with increasing regularity as their partnership has stretched into the 40s. Ishant did manage to draw an edge from Williamson in the 28th over, but it did not carry to first slip and ended up bouncing between the fielder's legs and running away to the ropes

0614 IST: We are back and McCullum gets NZ off and running by cutting Jadeja to the point boundary.

0536 IST: At lunch New Zealand are 54/3, with Williamson on 22 and Brendon McCullum on five. It was very much India's session and Dhoni will no doubt be pleased with their morning's work. Whether India can keep the pressure on or not is the question that will be answered after lunch. The team does have a habit of not pressing their advantage to the full. Join us again in about 40 minutes for the post-lunch session.

0527 IST: Kane Williamson produces the shot of the morning with a lovely straight drive off Zaheer that zips past the bowler. New Zealand 48/3 after 22 overs.

0503 IST: OUT! Taylor is gone.

It was pitched up from Ishant and Taylor launched into the drive but could not keep it down. Jadeja at mid-off reacted instantly and pulled off a spectacular looking catch, springing to his right to grab the ball.

Taylor made 3 from 15 balls. Batting is not easy at the moment. New Zealand now 30/3 after 17.1 overs and in considerable strife as their captain takes guard.


0500 IST: After 16 overs, NZ are 29/2

Lots of playing and missing going on. India's bowlers making the most of the overcast conditions, with both Zak and Ishant getting the ball to move both ways. Williamson picked up a streaky boundary when he nicked one that didn't carry to the slips but snuck between the fielders and ran away to the boundary. Ross Taylor, who has had a phenomenal summer, hasn't settled down and yet and played some anxious looking shots.

Here is Ishant celebrating India's first wicket:



0439 IST: OUT! Fulton's luck runs out.

Zaheer got one to seam back in to the right-hander from a good length and Fulton simply played outside the line. He was struck on the front pad in front of off and up went the finger.

Fulton made 13 from 35 balls. New Zealand now 23/2 after 12.1 overs and under some pressure but their two in-form batsmen are now at the crease. The home side will need Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to reproduce their one-day form.


0427 IST: OUT! Hamish Rutherford is gone and Ishant has the breakthrough.

It was short of a length and moved away off the seam to take the edge of Hamish's bat and Rahane took a sharp catch in the gully.

New Zealand are 19/1 after 10 overs. Rutherford made 6 from 30 balls.

0423 IST: Shami has a very good shout for lbw turned down against Fulton. Pitched on a good length and seamed into the batsman and caught him on the crease. Everything looked good about the appeal except the umpire did not raise his finger.


0415 IST: New Zealand 16/0 after 7 overs

A cautious start from New Zealand. Peter Fulton has already been dropped in the slips by Shikhar Dhawan off Zaheer Khan's first ball. Dhawan at at third slip dove right across Rohit at second slip and grassed it. It was Rohit's catch though. For some reason, neither Vijay nor Rahane are in the slips to start the game.

Fulton responded with a couple of fours in the same over but it has been slow going since then.

0330 IST: Hello and welcome to our coverage of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Aukland. MS Dhoni has won the toss and chosen to bowl first. India are playing four bowlers, so there is no place for R Ashwin in the side while Ishant Sharma joins Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Shami in the pace department.

New Zealand have opted for the same make-up, with Indian-born leg-spinner Ish Sodhi keeping his place in the playing XI despite there being plenty of grass on the pitch. New Zealand's seam attack comprises Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.

India need Zaheer Khan to take wickets. AFP

India need Zaheer Khan to take wickets. AFP


For the second tour in a row, India go into a Test series having been blanked in the one-dayers. For the second tour in a row, they will be boosted by the arrival of their Test specialists in Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay and Zaheer Khan.

That is where the similarities between the South Africa tour and the New Zealand tour end though. Losing to 2-0 to South Africa after playing Australia and West Indies at home was not a great surprise. Losing 4-0 to the eighth ranked ODI team in the world, however, was, and has caused panic to ripple through the Indian dressing room. Ravindra Jadeja was even forthright enough to say so out loud after India lost the fourth one-dayer.

"It is just that we panic a bit and we have to reduce that percentage, those little errors," he said.

MS Dhoni is not one for changing strategies or personnel if he can help it. So to see India make two changes for the fourth ODI, including dropping Suresh Raina, and abandon their strategy of bowling first was eye-opening. Dhoni’s comfort level, or lack of it, with the changes was evident in his preferring to use Ambati Rayudu, who has taken 10 wickets in 83 first-class matches, instead of the debutant Stuart Binny, who was picked as a bowling allrounder, despite conditions favouring seam bowling. These are signs of a team with muddled thinking and it does not bode well for India heading into the Test series.

Read the full preview here.

Published Date: Feb 10, 2014 | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2014

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115