New Zealand thumped India by 10 wickets in the first Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. The victory was also a major milestone for the Black Caps- it marked the 100th test win in their history.
Here are our talking points from the first test.
1. New Zealand tailenders bat India out of the contest
Having been bowled out of 165 in the first innings, India themselves managed to reduce New Zealand to 225/7 early on Day 3. The visitors would have been hoping to get through the lower order to prevent the Black Caps from taking a sizeable lead. However the pair of Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson had other ideas and effectively batted the Men in Blue out of the contest by adding 71 valuable runs for the 8th wicket.
To add insult to injury, No.11 Trent Boult also managed a quickfire 38 from just 24 balls and propelled New Zealand to a total of 348, thereby allowing the hosts to take a healthy (and ultimately match winning) lead of 183 runs in the first innings.
2. Rare failures for Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah
The two are probably India’s most valuable players but struggled in Wellington. Kohli had scores of 2 and 19 here, while Bumrah finished with figures of 26-5-88-1, both well below their usual standards. Even Cheteshwar Pujara, normally so reliable, batted for long periods and had starts, but couldn’t convert them into bigger scores.
3. Do India persist with Prithvi Shaw?
He’s said to be the next Virender Sehwag, but Prithvi Shaw’s technical vulnerabilities have been there for one and all to see on this tour. A great part of India’s recent success at test level has been due to their openers (Rohit, Dhawan and Agarwal). Shaw only managed 16 and 14 here, and questions will persist over whether India should get the technically more correct Shubman Gill into the XI at his expense.
4. India’s first World Test Championship loss
The World Test Championship was beginning to look too easy for India as they went unbeaten in their first seven WTC tests. This is their first loss in the Championship, and if they lose again in Christchurch, we could have a new league leader come June at the end of the Australia-Bangladesh series.
5. Milestones galore for New Zealand
This was also Ross Taylor’s 100th test, making him the first player to achieve the feat of 100 internationals in all three cricket formats. As mentioned above, it was also the Black Caps’ 100th test win- it’s taken them 441 games to get there, but this win was as comprehensive as it could get, and they’ll start favourites in Christchurch next week.
India 165 and 191 all out lost to New Zealand 348 and 9/0