Intent made all the difference today in second test. India 0, New Zealand 1.
After winning the toss and batting first in the second test, New Zealand will be very happy after scoring 328 runs at more than 4 an over with a day yet to be completed, only 81.3 overs bowled as bad light forced early stumps. But would have preferred it done by losing fewer wickets than 6. After so much of trash talk about their ability to play spin, this is fitting reply from visitor, who rode on the run a ball hundred from their captain Taylor. Ross Taylor playing in his IPL franchise team, Royal Challengers Bangalore home ground scored a blistering 113 off 127 balls, that included two sixes and sixteen fours. Later in the day, Van Wyk barrowed Taylor module and succeeded in keeping Indian spinners at bay with attacking fifty. Pragyan Ojha lit up the day for India with some great deliveries to go with his four wickets.
Though Indian pitches being conducive to batting in first two days of test match usually, the one at Bangalore offered some assistance to bowlers with mostly overcast conditions and the pitch too having good bounce in contrast to Hyderabad. But it doesn’t matter for Indian captain Dhoni, who opted to open the match with left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha bowling, first time ever India ever done it so. A tactic, which baffled some, showed his worth sooner when the ball from Ojha, bounced little more to induce the edge of Guptil bat, but flied wide from Sehwag at first slip. Zaheer from another end, proved why he is still India’s best seam bowler by trapping McCullum in front of stumps with New Zealand yet to open their account. Continuing from this, Zaheer kept probing other batsmen in his extended 8 over opening spell. He should have had Guptil too but Kohli from 3rd slip came flying to catch a ball that is going straight to Raina in 2nd slip and made a real mess of it.
Ojha’s first wicket of the day was Kane Williamson, who unfortunately found the wrong side of umpire decision in LBW. Guptil after battling hard, thrown it away by playing loose shot off Ojha for 53 runs. At 89/3, New Zealand looked to back at square one but Taylor assault at one end and Flynn holding on at the other end means, New Zealand saw a rare 100 runs partnership blossoming. But just when everything seemed fine, Flynn mistake bought the curtains down. Flynn at 33 runs, for third time in a row fell to Ashwin and trying to sweep the ball. Franklin then to his utter disbelieve, lobbed the full toss back to midwicket and gave Ojha his third wicket. Immediately after tea, Ojha got his fourth wicket, a big one of the day, Ross Taylor, who like Flynn paid the price for trying to sweep a fuller ball.
India, who enjoyed dominance in all four days of first test, had a testing first day, in which they failed, in the second test at Bangalore. Dhoni surprisingly used lot more of Umesh Yadav, who is lackluster to say the least with ball today, going nearly at 6 runs an over. Dhoni tactics were baffling to say the least once New Zealand started attacking, mainly in couple of moments where he spread the field immediately after Taylor hit the six and decided not to attack with spinners from both ends as soon as Taylor got out.
At 328/6, job is not done yet for New Zealand. Van Wyk, who is at crease for 63 runs got more than able partner, Doug Bracewell batting at 30 in another end, must take them well beyond 400 runs in the 1st innings.
Score: New Zealand 328/6 from 81.3 overs (Taylor 113, Van Wyk 63*, Ojha 4/90)