India bowled 98 overs against New Zealand in the fourth innings, but failed to pick the final wicket with the last batting pair of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel denying the win to India
One of the major discussions that begun after New Zealand managed to draw the Kanpur opener on Monday was India’s timing of declaration. Could India have declared a bit earlier to put more pressure on New Zealand with their spin trio? But captain Ajinkya Rahane felt otherwise, defending his call saying that he wanted the partnership of Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel to keep going for a few more overs.
After the quick dismissals of the top order, the pair of Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman revived the innings with their 64-run stand before the veteran wicketkeeper stitched another valiant 67-run unbeaten stand with Axar en route to his first half-century knock since 2017. The partnership helped India set a mighty target of 284 before they bowled five overs druing which R Ashwin dismissed Will Young.
Rahane explained that it was the plan all along to declare at the time with five overs in hand to bowl New Zealand in the final half-an-hour of day 4.
“Not really, we tried our best. They played really well. I think the way we came back in the second session was good. The fast bowlers too bowled really well. We wanted to get that partnership going, put some runs on board. Saha and Axar batted really well. Before that Shreyas and Ashwin’s partnership was crucial. We wanted to bowl four overs yesterday and 90-95 in all,” said Rahane in the post-match presentation.
India bowled 98 overs against New Zealand in the fourth innings, but failed to pick the final wicket with the last batting pair of New Zealand, the Indian-born duo of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel faced 114 deliveries in the final hour of the game under the fading lights to deny India a victory in the opener.
The light metre was out after every over in the last 30 minutes of play on Monday. The veteran said that it was a right call given the circumstances.
“The (frequent) chat with the umpires was about the light. They made the call and I think they were right. I thought on this wicket the spinners have to bowl long spells. It was all about rotating the bowlers.”