New Zealand is well aware that it is extremely tough to bounce back after collapsing to 62 in the first innings but young all-rounder Rachin Ravindra promised his team would put up a fight on day four of the second Test against India. The Indian-origin Ravindra once again showed resistance (2 batting off 23 balls) with Henry Nicholls (36 batting off 86 balls) to see off the day with 140/5, even as India stood on the cusp of a series-winning second Test. “It’s always tough being bowled out for 60, a lot of things went wrong,” said the 22-year-old after the end of the third day’s play.
“We all strive to be better. We tried to put that sort of stuff behind. It was not our best performance but we knew we have got a second innings and we’ll keep fighting from there.” “It’s important for this game to learn from what you’ve done and move on to the next thing, not necessarily dwelling on what’s happened,” he said. Ravindra also bagged three wickets including that of Indian skipper Virat Kohli who made a painstaking 36 before he played one to his stumps off the left-arm spinner. Asked whether how much of his bowling carried into his batting, he said: “I don’t think I carried too much.”
“I think I carried an understanding of the surface and what I was doing from when I was bowling to adopting a game plan. It’s important, we keep our intent high. Get into good positions and smother the ball nicely.” Ravindra played a steely 18 off 91 balls under fading lights to help New Zealand eke out a draw in his debut Kanpur Test. “I wouldn’t say I defied India, it was a collective team effort, it was pretty cool to be out there till the end. “Yes, I will take confidence from it but we still have a very, very long way to go. Two days, 180 overs, there’s a lot of cricket to be played,” he said.
For New Zealand, another Indian-origin spinner Ajaz Patel was their lone warrior, finishing with 14 wickets from the match including his 10-for in the first innings. “I couldn’t be happier for Jazzy (Ajaz). He’s an incredible bloke and a great spinner. Each time we gave him the ball, we knew he was going to give us a result. Having him in the team is also helpful for me and the others in the team,” he concluded. Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday achieved a remarkable feat during the final session of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand.
The veteran off-spinner scalped three wickets, putting the visitors under pressure in a stiff chase of 540 in Mumbai. He began the juggernaut by dismissing both openers – Tom Latham and Will Young. As soon as he took down Ross Taylor to complete his third wicket, he got his name etched in the record books. Ashwin became the first bowler to pick 50 Test wickets in 2021. Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi is next on the list with 44 wickets, followed by his compatriot Hasan Ali (39 wickets). This is the fourth time Ashwin went past the 50-wicket in a calendar year in the longest format of the game.
The 35-year-old, who recently became the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket for India, has so far taken a total of 7 wickets in the ongoing Mumbai Test. In the first innings, he registered the figures of 4 for 8 in 8 overs as India bundled out the Kiwis for 62. India declared their second innings at 276 for seven in the second session. First innings centurion Mayank Agarwal top-scored with a 62, while Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill made 47 each. Axar Patel smashed 41 off 26 balls with four sixes and three fours. Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel followed up his historic 10-wicket haul with four more scalps in India’s second essay.