How can you not love Test cricket? India vs New Zealand Kanpur Test brought back the limelight on the puritan and those who grew up watching and loving the longest version of the game. Before the game started, people were questioning the curator’s intentions. Some of them even said the game won’t last for more than three days. However, it did and in fact it ended up going down to the wire as New Zealand saved the match even after staring at a sure shot defeat with nine wickets down. We take a look at the five talking points from the final day at Green Park.
Nitin Menon and His Lightmeter: The visitor’s hopes of saving the Test match was hanging by a thread when Ravindra Jadeja came out to bowl the final over of the day. Interestingly, it wasn’t him who was getting all the limelight for the last half an hour. Yes, it was umpire Nitin Menon and his light meter which held the fascination of a millions of Indian cricket fans who were watching across the globe. The light was fading and India had ten overs to deal with the situation, but the final pair of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel had their own plans. Subsequently, it all came down to Menon who would actually decide the fate of the game. With three overs remaining, it seemed that he might pull the plug on India, but sun came out behind the clouds and the game continued amidst huge roar from the fans.
Ravindra Jadeja Proves his Worth: There is no point discussing Ravindra Jadeja’s effectiveness as a spin bowler. But in Kanpur on Monday, he bowled cunningly to dismiss Ross Taylor, then he removed skipper Kane Williamson to reduce NZ to 128/6 just after Tea. Until this point, Kiwis looked set for a draw, which no longer remained a possibility after his twin strikes. As the fate would have it, NZ escaped as Jadeja failed to deliver that knockout punch, but by then he had proved his worth as one of the senior spinners in the side. Be it his ability to get on with his overs quickly, or bowl an odd one, all of this only added to his repertoire.
Rachin Ravindra-Ajaz Patel Makes Up for Poor Bowling-Although the final Kiwi pair defied Indian bowling for last 45 minutes, the whole day kind of epitomised their dogged resistance. New Zealand were 155/9 after Tim Southee was dismissed off Ravindra Jadeja, and the defeat looked imminent. From that point on, Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel made up for their poor bowling in Kanpur Test. Both didn’t try to fish outside their off stumps, and thwarted every delivery that was aimed at their legs. They gave nothing away to India for 52 balls and in the end, that proved to be the difference. Earlier Ravindra and Patel managed just three wickets between themselves and some even questioned their effectiveness, but they answered with their bats and how. Will they keep their places? That needs to be seen.
Will Somerville Defy Resistance: When Indian fans saw Will Somerville walk out after the fall of Will Young on day four, not many had imagined that he would defy India for 110 balls. He along with Tom Latham kept up the pressure on Indian bowlers in the first session; moreover, they were also aided by the nature of the pitch which remained true even on the final day. Rahane and his men probably also erred on the line as they failed to bowl full and straight, right at his legs. As a result, they were hardly tested. The bowlers kept bowling at the fourth stump line which the duo was happy to leave.
Ross Taylors Survives Close Stumping Call? The umpiring at Kanpur left a lot to be desired. For instance, an incident brought focus on some ordinary decision making, this time from the TV umpire as Ross Taylor was given not out. It happened in the 57th over, when Taylor lost his balance playing a shot off Ravichandran Ashwin, and saw wicket-keeper KS Bharat dislodging the stumps in a jiffy. Although, the Indian players were convinced that Taylor is out stumped, the TV umpire wasn’t convinced. The evidence from several angles proved inconclusive too and the batter survived. Luckily, India managed to get him soon after with a Jadeja beauty.