Insight Online News
Kanpur, Nov 29 : Nightwatchman William Somerville (36), opener Tom Latham (35) frustrated India as New Zealand reached 79 for 1 at lunch on final day, with 205 runs more needed to win the first Test at Green Park Stadium here on Monday.
Satisfied with not losing any wicket in the first session, Latham landed a satisfying punch on the gloves of Somerville for their outstanding application to stay on the wicket as they walked into the hut.
Though he may be considered tailender, Somerville showed incredible technique to negotiate spinners even better than the top order batsmen. Both the overnight batsmen adjusted to the slow nature of the track and waded through the first hour.
The Indian pace duo could not do much as their counterparts, Tim Southee and Kayle Jamieson, did in both the innings by getting swing.
In comparison the Indian spinners edges were not going into the hands of the close-in fielders. In desperation, they even took a review when it seemed as if Latham was stuck outside the line of the off-stump while facing Ravindra Jadeja. The review confirmed that.
Axar Patel, who has five-wicket hauls in 7 innings, bowled a flatter trajectory looking for LBWs and castling the timbers with his “Surra ‘ (low turning ball). He almost had Somerville with a quicker delivery, but he at the last moment brought his bat down on time.
At the fag end of the session, Ravichandran Ashwin mixed things up and purchased some turn from the pitch. This could prompt captain Ajinkya Rahane and Head Coach Rahul Dravid to find a mantra to get quick wickets early in the post-lunch session.
An interesting session is ahead with the match still wide open.
If the New Zealand batsmen get another 90-odd runs by not losing too many wickets before tea, then the visitors could go for a win. And if India gets at least three wickets by tea, then they will go for the kill on a deteriorating fifth day’s wicket.