India vs New Zealand 1st Test Day 2 Report
Kane Williamson came to India with a reputation to protect as well as enhance. Regarded as one of the best batsman in the world, he knows this tour of India could be a game changer for him, not only as a batsman but also as a leader.If the first two days of the first Test are any indication, then the New Zealand captain has shown he means business and he has the resources to hold his own. Having marshalled his resources adeptly to keep India down to 318 in the first innings, Williamson, with commendable support from Tom Latham, thwarted the Indian bowling attack to take New Zealand to 1521 on Day Two of the Test before a spell of rain ended play for the day .
Opener Latham is batting on 56 (137 balls, 5×4) and Williamson is unbeaten on 65 (115 balls, 7×5), their stand being worth 117 already. A total of 34 overs were lost to the rain, which began right at tea time. To make up for lost time, the game will begin 15 minutes early on Day Three and the teams will try to complete 98 overs in the day .
Williamson’s innings showcased his growing maturity and skills as a batsman who plays at the crucial number three spot. Batting in conditions vastly different from what he is used to back home, Williamson was unruffled and calm. His judgment of length was unerring, which allowed him to venture either fully forward or well back, so critical to counter spin bowling. His soft hands ensured the ball obeyed his bat’s command.
Latham, playing his first Test on Indian soil, proved an obstinate hurdle for India. The left-handed opener looked organized and willing to slug it out. Both Williamson and Latham employed the sweep to good advantage, sometimes taking the ball from well outside the off stump. Since the ball wasn’t jumping around, it was a safe bet. But while Latham went hard at the ball, Williamson played the stroke with great control, merely caressing it for ones and twos.
However, it was the sweep which almost caused Latham’s downfall when he was pounced at forward short leg on 47, but he was ruled not out since the ball had touched either the grill or the chin strap of fielder KL Rahul.
What made New Zealand’s task easier was the state of the pitch. There wasn’t much for both pacers and spinners in it. There was little movement for pacers Md Shami and Umesh Yadav and modest, slow turn for R Ashwin and Jadeja.
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