India has continued its poor form in the Test series straight after the clean sweep in the ODI series.
The first test of the two-match series didn’t go as expected for the Indian team and they struggled in front of a brilliant New Zealand attack.
Once again the pressure was built on the Indian batsmen and they failed to bat according to the circumstances.
The tour started on a good note for the Men in Blue but it is turning out to be a disaster for the captain and the players as well.
The Indian team is going through a rough patch and it was evident on the first day of the Test that the batting line up was not confident.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee stepped up their game and grabbed some early wickets to dismantle the Indian batting line-up and with the captain knocked out early, the team was under a lot of pressure.
In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, the batting looks quite afloat and Prithvi Shaw has failed to replace Shikhar in the opening position.
This is a ‘test’ for the Indian team as the regular players are recovering from their injuries.
Ishant Sharma and Mayank Agarwal were the only two factors that held the team together.
Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t been in form and Mohammed Shami couldn’t pick up quick wickets to assist the team and Ishant Sharma was the only bowler who provided constant breakthroughs.
Ravichandran Ashwin made a good comeback to the Indian team but it was not good enough to scalp some early wickets and was unable to destabilize some good partnerships.
A lot was depending on the toss because the rain had to play a major role in deciding the fate of the pitch and the batting conditions there.
India lost the toss and batted first on an extremely tough surface and there was not too much assistance for the Indian bowlers as the pitch had evened out after the rain.
Prithvi Shaw had some technical flaws but hopefully, he will be given another chance by the team management as the player has a lot in the bag.
Captain Kohli backed his opener and said, “You don’t want to be too hard on guys like Prithvi, who has played only two innings away from home. He is a natural hitter of the ball and will find ways of scoring runs and putting up more good starts much often than not.”
Virat Kohli has been the topic of discussion in this New Zealand series due to lack of form and some uncertain decisions he has taken.
Kohli was unable to sail the ship to the shore in the first Test match but Indian fans expect him to bring back his charm in the next match.
He has been silent with the bat in most of this tour and we hope he ends his rough patch as soon as possible because the team needs him more than ever at this moment.
There were a lot of factors that affected Team India’s fate in the first match and the absence of a second spinner or a fifth bowler was one of them.
When Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were not able to tame the New Zealand batsmen, Ravindra Jadeja could be a valuable asset at that time.
Jadeja wasn’t picked up for the first test but the duo of Ashwin and Jadeja has been Indian team’s lethal weapon in the previous test matches and this could be a time to test the duo again.
Apart from this, there were several reasons for India’s defeat in the first test match.
Indian bowling wasn’t bad and the New Zealand bowlers didn’t bowl any exceptional deliveries, yet the two line-ups generated different results.
The major reason for this was the weather conditions and the toss that the Indian captain lost.
India was put to bat first, and the pitch was extremely tough for the visitors and New Zealand bowlers did all they could to get the Indian batsmen out.
The pitch had evened out when the New Zealand batsmen came out to bat, and thy added an extra 132 runs for the first three wickets that made the whole impact on the team’s performance.
Those 132 runs were quite crucial and decided the fate of the match.
Yes, the Indian bowling could have been much better but the pitch played a big role in deciding the fate of the first test.
A lot of people believe, ‘if you win the toss, you can win the match too’.
After this match, this statement will stand right, provided the winning captain takes the right decision.
Indian Batsmen failed on the NZ soil
Over the years, the Indian batting line-up has depended a lot on the opening partnership and with Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal/Rohit Sharma opening the batting, India has been successful in putting up a big score on the scoreboard.
Mayank Agarwal was the only batsman in the top-order that kept the team going and he had scored just 34 runs.
This failure of the top order was one of the biggest reasons for Tem India’s defeat and big guns like Chiteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli couldn’t put up a good score.
Hanuma Vihari couldn’t continue his form from the practice match but still, India had some hope in the form of Ajinkya Rahane, who built a beautiful partnership with Rishabh Pant.
It all went in vain as Jinx got out for 46 and Team India was unable to put up a good score.
In the second innings, Mayank Agarwal was the only batsman who surpassed the 50-mark and Indian batsmen were off the mark yet again.
India’s batting form without the regular batsmen doesn’t look good and they will have to make a comeback in the second match.
Virat Kohli’s recent run ‘off’ form
The New Zealand tour hasn’t been great for the Indian captain and he hasn’t been able to lead the team the way he used to.
After the first test, Virat was quite critical of the Indian batting and said, “As a batting unit, we take a lot of pride in being competitive, and we were just not competitive enough. I don’t think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings,” Kohli confessed after the match.”
Virat’s scored just 2 runs in the first innings and 19 in the second. He is not a human-machine but the survival of the team depends a lot on him.
The New Zealand bowlers had the better of him throughout the tour and this was one of the reasons why India failed to threaten the opposite side like the way they used to.
Indian Team has a lot to achieve and Virat Kohli needs to play a pivotal role in those achievements.
Tim Southee and Trent Boult undermine the Indian team
The return of Trent Boult to the New Zealand side was great news for the home fans but on the other hand, the Indians were not happy about this scenario.
Tim Southee turned out to be a disaster for the Indian team as he picked up four wickets in the first innings to claim his throne and Trent Boult was quite effective with four wickets in the second innings.
Kylie Jamieson, the third seamer was also in-form and grabbed the wickets of greats like Chiteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in the first innings.
Tim Southee continued his brilliant run as he scalped five wickets in the second innings. Trent Boult assisted him with 4 wickets to his name. The two bowlers were quite effective and the Indian batsmen failed to stand a chance against them.
Indian Seam Attack: Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Nimrah not at par with NZ bowling
Ishant Sharma was the only bowler who bowled a great spell and grabbed the wickets of some distinct players. Without him, the Indian seam attack failed miserably and Jsprit Bumrah and Mahommed Shami together grabbed just two wickets.
Jasprit Bumrah has been out of form since his return to the team after a 3-month injury spell while Mohammed Shami was an easy target for the New Zealand batsmen.
If India were to win the test match, the bowling needs to be at par with the opponent’s bowlers. Ishant Sharma was the only factor that dragged the team but Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami failed to impress.
The absence of a fifth bowler was also a major factor and Virat Kohli will have to look at a possible way to play Ravindra Jadeja and substitute at least one of the seamers with another seamer.
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