All-rounder Rachin Ravindra showed grit, determination, and character to deny India victory in the closing stages of the first Test match in Kanpur. In a terrific rearguard action, Ravindra in the company of Ajaz Patel played 8.4 overs, before the umpires decided to call off play five minutes before the scheduled time.
India, who were desperate to break the partnership, deployed spin to get that one elusive wicket, but Rachin’s determined effort of 18 runs off 91 balls enabled a thrilling draw for New Zealand. The day started with India favorites to win the Test due to the nature of the Kanpur track. Ashwin and Jadeja and Axar Patel were also in great form.
Latham, New Zealand’s best batter of spin from the first innings, was ready to grind out. He found an able ally in number three batter William Somerville and the duo stitched a valuable 66-run stand for the second wicket before the latter got out for 36. Latham too soon followed his partner in the dugout for a well-made 52.
The task of New Zealand drawing the game solely rested on Ross Taylor and Williamson’s shoulders. Jadeja managed to dismiss both batters and brought India closer to win. He swiftly picked two more wickets before Rachin brought his blocking display to the fore. India might be gutted with the result, but they played well with different players stepping up.
Shreyas Iyer was the biggest positive. In his debut game, he scored a phenomenal hundred, and in the second innings a defiant 65. With several senior players missing such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul, Iyer took the onus on himself to give the team a chance of a victory. His superb start in whites augurs well for India. The second Test match will begin on December 3 in Mumbai.