Six wickets separate India from a victory and a 1-0 lead in the three match Test series against New Zealand. And if it does go against the current, which looks improbable at this stage, New Zealand need 341 runs to win on the final day of the opening Kanpur Test.
Like Saturday, the fourth day’s play also belonged to India with R Ashwin spinning the ball beautifully early on in the fourth innings and it reaped its benefits too with the off spinner reaching his 200th wicket in Tests – in just 37 Test – with Kane Williamson becoming the target. In fact, India had picked up two wickets inside the four overs and looked in trouble at 3/2. Ravindra Jadeja provided him ample support from the other end to create problems with the right-hand and left-hand bowling tandem.
At stumps, Mitchell Santner had remained steady in the middle with a well set Luke Ronchi on 38 from 58 balls.
Earlier in the day, India had set New Zealand a target of 434 runs after Rohit Sharma (68*) and Jadeja (50) scored their fifties to match with the same milestone by Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay. India declared at 377/5 and tea was taken immediately which gave the hosts ample time to do the damage in the final session of play and Ashwin and co. did with rather ease. Here is how Twitterati reacted to India’s surge:
Well done R. Ashwin! Second fastest to 200 wickets in tests. His skills are such a great commercial for test cricket. #IndvNZ
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) 25 September 2016
2nd quickest to 200 wickets is a sensational achievement for @ashwinravi99. Modern great.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 25 September 2016
Two hundred Test wkts in 37 is awesome @ashwinravi99-Weldone Son..keep up the good work..@ this rate U cn get to 300 end of season!Go fr it!
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) 25 September 2016
New Zealand will do well to score more than 200 in 4th innings on this pitch.
India need to score as many in the next 20 overs &dec#IndvsNZ
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 25 September 2016
New Zealand will have to produce a resolute display on the final day of cricket to ensure they don’t start the series with a loss.