Shubman Gill fifty boosts India on opening day of Kanpur Test against New Zealand

Shubman Gill smashed a magnificent fifty on the opening day of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand as India made great progress.

Shubman Gill gave India a great start as India ended on 82/1 at lunch on day 1 of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand. (Image credit: BCCI Twitter)

Shubman Gill smashed a brilliant fifty and shared a solid partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara as India got off to a great start on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. On a pitch that was assisting both the pacers and spinners, Gill showed his prowess. What was definitive in his play at Kanpur was the way how he used his feet to negate the spin threat. He also saw out some probing bowling from the New Zealand pacers to ensure that India was in a strong position on a pitch that will deteriorate as the game progresses.

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.

Shubman Gill survives, Mayank Agarwal falls

With the conditions still fresh, Southee and Jamieson looked to utilize the new ball. In the third over, Southee trapped Gill in front with an inswinging delivery. The umpire raised the finger but Gill immediately reviewed the decision. Replays showed an inside edge and the decision was changed. Spin was introduced in the seventh over and immediately, there was turn and low bounce.

New Zealand missed out on a chance to review as Gill missed the sweep and was rapped on the pads. Had New Zealand taken the review, Gill would have been given his marching orders. The discipline that Southee and Jamieson showed in the first half paid off as Jamieson managed to send back Mayank Agarwal with an outswinger for 13.

After the dismissal of Agarwal, Gill became confident and looked to take the attack to the spinners. He hit a couple of boundaries off Ajaz Patel and Southee. In the 17th over, momentum firmly swung India’s way with Gill hitting a six and four off Patel. At the other end, Cheteshwar Pujara dropped anchor and looked to grind the New Zealand bowlers down.

Ravindra and William Somerville managed to get some turn and bounce but India negated them well. Gill notched up his fourth Test fifty just before the lunch break. India would be banking on these two players to ensure New Zealand does not make many inroads.

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

Sportslumo Desk

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