As India and New Zealand enjoyed the upper hand on first day of the first Test in Kanpur, there were certain points in the day’s play that could have decided the course of the match in coming days. While India were off to a great start, it was New Zealand that finished the day’s play on a strong point. Here’s a look at the five decisive moments on Day 1:
Before the start of this series, both Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara were in search of runs and form. After the first day of this series, both emerged as the top performers for their team. KL Rahul had a great start but failed to make it big. Pujara walked in and with Vijay, scored runs at brisk pace. They stitched together a 112-runs stand made sure India built on the strong start and laid the platform for the later batsmen.
Rohit, Kohli shot selection
Rohit Sharma looked sublime in the first boundary he hit. Apart from the couple of shouts against him, he had control over his innings. But then one shot and it changed drastically. On a routine, he tried going over the top but got cramped and ended but lobbing a catch to mid-on. He threw it away. Virat Kohli though had a tougher time. A bouncer from Wagner had him cramped and he was late to pull the ball. An easy catch to Ish Sodhi ended his innings.
Though India didn’t get bowled out on Day 1 and Ravinder Jadeja and Umesh Yadav are still hanging on, the tail failed miserably. After the wicket of Rohit, only R Ashwin provide resistance and played positive cricket. All others, who should have stood their ground with Ashwin, failed and allowed New Zealand to end the day on a high.
Boult-Santner break India
The last time Mitchell Santner played against India in India, he almost ended their hopes of reaching the next stages of World T20. Once again, the Indian batsmen found it difficult to play the left-arm spinner. While KL Rahul did take a couple of boundaries off him, Santner had the last laugh by having him caught behind. He later picked up crucial wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma which turned the game around. The tail which threatened to keep India going until Ashwin got out, was put aside by Boult. He bowled disciplined line and mixed it up to not allow the batsmen to settle. Both bowlers finished with three wickets each.
Mark Craig can be unlucky to have only picked one wicket but he bowled some beautiful spin against the Indian batsmen. Rahane, the only wicket Craig, was set up brilliantly. He kept tossing the ball outside the off and while the flight was ignored by the batsmen for some time, Rahane went for the shot. He was caught at short-leg. This was credit to Craig as he stuck to one plan and was awarded.