Shreyas Iyer, on Test debut, strung together an unbeaten partnership of 113 runs with Ravindra Jadeja to put India in a commanding position at stumps on day one in Kanpur.
Team India batsman Shreyas Iyer and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made their presence felt, to help the Indian team dominate proceedings on Day 1 of the opening Test against New Zealand. Iyer accumulated 75 runs off 136 deliveries in an innings comprising of seven boundaries and two sixes. The latter scored 50 runs from 100 balls with the knock including six fours. None of the Indian batters had an outright poor performance. Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane looked confident in the middle, with the former accumulating 52 runs off 93 deliveries in an innings comprising of five boundaries and a six. Rahane hit 35 runs in 63 balls with the knock including six fours. Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal scored 26 and 13 runs respectively, with the former struggling to convert yet another start.
Kyle Jamieson was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, accounting for three dismissals. Tim Southee chipped in with a wicket as well.
“Not a huge amount going on. Found some swing early and it was up and down a little bit. Hardly played the last couple of months. Nice to get back onto the park. Hopefully the new ball swings a little bit in the morning and we can get them. India fraction ahead I think. We hung around pretty well. Need a good start in the morning,” stated Jamieson as quoted by Cricbuzz.
India won the toss and chose to bat in Kanpur. The most notable moment was when Shreyas Iyer was handed his Test debut. KL Rahul was ruled out of the Test series due to injury. In the pre-match presser, skipper Ajinkya Rahane had said that Iyer would make his debut. New Zealand also handed a debut to Rachin Ravindra, with Neil Wagner being left out of the playing 11.
Pujara sounded confident going into the encounter.
“It (preparation) has been good. I was part of the IPL, didn’t play but was training and preparing whenever I got time. So, the prep has been good. We also had a good practice session in Mumbai. It’s good to be back playing at home because we haven’t played in India for a while now. Their (Virat, Rohit) absence does give the others a chance to prove themselves. It (responsibility) is there obviously but I don’t think I should think too much about it. This track was a bit slow the last time we played here, but did spin later,” he said.
Team India skipper Ajinkya Rahane opted to bat after winning the toss, stating that the pitch looks really good.
“Looking to bat first. Pitch looks really good. Generally slows down later on here. It’s an opportunity for all of us here to do well here and in Mumbai. Few of the senior guys are missing. So it’s an opportunity for the youngsters. Shreyas is making his debut. We are all excited to play under the new coaching staff. I personally enjoy playing under Rahul bhai. New Zealand are a quality side. 3 spinners, 2 seamers,” stated Rahane.
Playing 11s of India and New Zealand
New Zealand (Playing XI): Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell(w), Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, William Somerville.
India (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.