Insight Online News
Mumbai, Dec 3 : India managed to reach 111/3 at tea after New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel struck thrice on day one of the second Test match here at the Wankhede stadium on Friday.
Among the three wickets, Patel bagged the prized wicket of India captain Virat Kohli who was making his return to the longest format of the game following a rest. The other two dismissals were Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill.
After opting to bat first, India openers took the aggressive route against New Zealand seam bowlers. In spite of the bounce that the Mumbai track offers, both Gill and Mayank Agarwal batted with brilliant discipline.
Soon the visiting stand-in captain Tom Latham switched to spinners and brought in Patel in the eighth over.
The hosts continued to coast nicely, reaching the 50-run opening stand in 18.1 overs. While Patel bowled tight spells but in wrong lines, William Somerville remained leaky. Gill, who is usually comfortable against spin, managed to find regular boundaries.
The moisture on the red soil assisted Patel as the ball continued to turn. New Zealand wicket-keeper Tom Blundell made a blunder as he missed stumping Gill, when Patel gave beautiful flight to the ball which went down and turned on the track.
However, the mistake didn’t cost New Zealand as on the next ball Gill (44) was caught at slip, giving Patel a wicket-maiden over.
The left-arm spinner got rid of Pujara and Kohli for ducks in the space of just three balls. While Pujara was bowled when he decided to come down the track, Kohli was given leg-before not before a lengthy review. Patel flighted the ball which dipped below Pujara’s bat to clean his off-stump.
Meanwhile, Kohli departed for a four-ball duck off Patel. As the India captain tried to defend, the one half of the ball was near the inside edge and the other half on the pad. The on-field umpire signalled out but Kohli reviewed it immediately.
Although the TV umpire stated that “there’s no conclusive evidence of bat first”, it seemed the ball passed the bat. On ball tracking, the ball hit the stumps, which forced Kohli to walk off leaving India at 80/3.
Shreyas Iyer, the hero of the first Test match in Kanpur, joined Mayank in the middle. The opener Mayank reached his fifth half-century in the format. Both Mayank (52) and Iyer (7) will return for the post-tea session.