The first day of first test in Hyderabad saw India reaching 307/5 after electing to bat. While the trio of Gambhir, Sehwag and Tendulkar failed to last long, the young guns Pujara and Virat Kohli – the replacement of Dravid and Laxman – took India into comfort zone.
The pitch appears to be prepared for batting practice. The result was not surprising. Out of 5 Indian wickets, 4 were gifted. Only Tendulkar getting bowled out for the 49th time in his career was earned by the bowler. Tendulkar is now third behind Dravid (55) and Border (53) in getting bowled out instances in test matches. He may prefer to retire before owning that batting record too.
Gambhir and Sehwag started as dominating as they always have in the past becoming the 10th batting pair in the history to add 4000 partnership runs in Tests as they added a quick 49 runs. Gambhir threw his wicket in 10th over. Sehwag provided another gift to Kiwis in 15th over. India were 77/2.
Pujara and Tendulkar then took time to avoid further casualty. But in 20 overs after adding 48 runs third wicket fell when Tendulkar holed out to Boult. His 62-ball 19 runs probably moved the dice in bowlers favor. But with Kohli’s arrival Indians used the batting track judiciously and both added 125 runs for the 4th wicket in 34 overs.
Just when Kiwis were losing hope, Kohli brought them back in the game with a lose show. Raina lasted just 4 overs scoring 3 runs to further boost the opposition’s morale. But, Dhoni played a balanced knock of 29 runs in 37 balls to support the centurion Pujara and both returned to pavillion with undefeated 47 runs partnership.
New Zealand may take positives from the bowling og youngster, specially Boult who sent back Gambhir and Tendulkar. Christ Martin, Bracewell who had to retire and Jeeten Patel were gifted a wicket each. Franklin and Willimason failed to get any breakthrough on a day where despite extended session New Zealand were found 3 overs short at the close of the day.
Pujara was the key player of the day. The replacement of Laxman who batted at Dravid’s position scored the 5th century by an Indian at Hyderabad and the second century by an Indian at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. Except the dropped chance around his century, he was in complete control and his composure announces that a double century is in sight on Day 2. Although to achieve the feat, he would need his skipper Dhoni to stick around for at least first session of the day.
The first day wicket behaviour ensures a draw unless batsmen keep gifting wickets. India may like to cross 550 and declare by tea.