India vs New Zealand 2016 3rd Test Day 3 Report
Offie Stuns Kiwis Again As India Take Control Of 3rd Test
All that New Zealand should pray is for India to stay away from that strip as much as possible. That strip -and what it goes through on Tuesday as long as India bat -will be vital to their chances of saving this last Test.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said as much on Sunday . “I’m sure the umpires will maintain that,“ Hesson said in jest. His team will know how serious he was.
Monday’s proceedings on this strip was a testament to such a possibility. Resuming at 28 for no loss, the Black Caps began well and built a 118-run partnership for the first wicket. And then, it all began to fall apart. Within the next 181 runs, they lost the remaining nine wickets.
The wrecker-in-chief was R Ashwin, who bagged 6-81 in 27.2 overs. He bowled from both ends but caused all the carnage from the pavilion end.He took time to figure out exactly where he had to pitch it.
The wicket in Indore has shown different hues on all three days so far. It’s behaved very differently too. In the process, it’s given the think-tank plenty to think about.
India did not enforce a follow-on despite New Zealand falling short of the first innings total by a good 258 runs. The logic was simple: why take a risk and bat on Day Five on an unpredictable track when there’s enough time to build a good target and have close to four sessions to dismiss New Zealand once again?
Ashwin preferred a bit of banter when asked about avoiding the follow-on. “(Murali) Vijay and Rohit (Sharma) were not prepared to bowl, so we had to play (bat again),“ the off-spinner quipped.
On a more serious note though, he and Jadeja -together -had bowled 55.2 overs between them. It was hot. Going on didn’t make sense.
“It’s turning more from the pavilion end. There’s more rough because of the left-arm fast bowler’s footmarks. That’s not spinning a lot, hopefully it will deteriorate,“ Ashwin said after the day’s play.
New Zealand’s batting effort wasn’t too poor. In fact, they resisted well up front. The debacles happened because of a combination of bad luck, a deteriorating surface, a doubtful dismissal, impressive catching in the slips (by Rahane) and some good bowling.
The bit about good bowling involved, for instance, the dismissal of Kane Williamson.Ashwin got the New Zealand skipper for the third time in three innings. It wasn’t as much about turn as flight.
Bad luck for New Zealand came in the form of two freak run-outs, both at the hands of Ashwin again, and the questionable leg-before decision that sent James Neesham back to the dressing room.
Ravindra Jadeja also picked up two wickets.
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