Saturday, 22 January, 2022

Indian spinners claw back after strong Kiwi start

India's spinners clawed back four wickets in the second session after a strong New Zealand start to leave the visitors 249-6 at tea on the third day of the first Test.

At the break in Kanpur, Tom Blundell was on 10 and Kyle Jamieson on two.

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel denied a century to both Kiwi openers -- Tom Latham and Will Young -- who made a strong start on Friday in reply to India's 345.

Latham was stumped by substitute wicketkeeper K.S Bharat off Patel's bowling for a grinding 95 off 282 balls.

Young, who shared a 151-run opening stand with Latham, fell 11 short off his maiden international century after edging Ashwin to Bharat.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson fell leg-before to pacer Umesh Yadav for 18 off 64 balls just before lunch, leaving the visitors on 197-2 at lunch.

India's spinners, especially Patel and Ashwin, then looked more potent on the third-day wicket with the second new ball, bowling tight lines and offering little to the batters.

Ross Taylor survived a missed stumping by K.S Bharat off Axar's bowling before edging the same bowler to the substitute wicketkeeper a few overs later, departing for 11 off 28 balls.

Henry Nicholls was given leg-before to Patel for 2 and after Latham fell for 95 New Zealand were 227-5.

Ravindra Jadeja bowled debutant Rachin Ravindra for 13 off 23 balls to firmly check the New Zealand advance in the first Test.

Young started the day from his overnight score of 75 and looked assured before edging Ashwin to Bharat on 89 off 214 balls.

The 29-year-old hit 15 fours in a solid Black Caps reply after Tim Southee's five-for on the second day restricted India to 345 all out.

Latham survived a close call on 66 when stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane -- stepping in for the rested Virat Kohli -- failed to review a leg-before appeal off Ashwin's bowling.

Ashwin has one wicket for 76 runs in his 37 overs on a wicket offering inconsistent bounce.

Jadeja bowled 26 overs for 48 runs and Patel, India's most effective spinner, bowled 24 overs for 46 runs and three wickets.

Yadav, who took India's second new ball with Axar, bowled 16 overs for 41 runs and Williamson's wicket. Sharma went wicket-less for 35 runs in his 15 overs.