India vs New Zealand 2nd test: Indian team report card
Team India made up for disappointment at being denied a victory in Test 1 in Kanpur, by a lone wicket, by beating New Zealand by a whopping 372 points in Test 2 in Mumbai, to win the series 1-0. Mayank Agarwal’s moves of 150 and 62 laid the groundwork for the big win, despite New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel winning all 10 wickets in India’s opening rounds to make testing history as the third spinner to achieve the rarest of rare feats. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 8 wickets in the match and he was assisted by Mohammed Siraj and Jayant Yadav. India continued their long streak of victories in each round of home tests under captain Virat Kohli and will now look to win their first round of tests in South Africa.
Here is our bulletin from India playing XI for the Mumbai test:
Mayank Agarwal – 10/10, Exceptional
Mayank Agarwal benefited from a few words of wisdom from Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar and displayed exceptional technique, courage and tenacity to score a brilliant 150 in the opening innings, which constituted the basis for India’s over 300 score on difficult ground at Wankhede Stadium. He exuded that same confidence in the second innings and helped the team beat New Zealand out of the game. He claimed a place in the starting XI on the Indian tour of South Africa.
Shubman Gill – 7/10, good
Shubman Gill continued to flatter to deceive as he played exceptionally well for his 44 and 47 shots and shared strong opening positions with Mayank Agarwal. But his inability to convert starts into big scores will frustrate him and the team’s management. Maybe Rahul Dravid’s help is needed for this talented youngster to get the hundreds of cricket tests.
Cheteshwar Pujara – 4/10, below average
Pujara was sacked for a duck in the opening innings and scored 47 when opening the stick in the second. India had a huge lead to play on and New Zealand’s bowling attack was tired and as a result Pujara’s performance in the second inning didn’t matter much. He’s doing about enough to hold his place and that’s a big worry ahead of a tough tour of South Africa.
Virat Kohli – 5/10, Average
A very close decision in the opening innings saw the Indian captain fall back for a duck on his international comeback. He looked solid for his 36 in the second set and once again led the team with great intensity. Kohli was beaten well by Ajaz Patel in the opening innings, although reruns showed the ball could have touched the inside edge before hitting the pad. He looked good for a big score in the second innings but played on a long jump from Rachin Ravindra. Kohli looks a little eager to get this elusive century and this is just another example of how the game of cricket could be such an equalizer.
Shreyas Iyer – 5/10, Average
Shreyas Iyer may have only scored 18 points in the first innings, but he shared a very important partnership with Mayank Agarwal, which helped put India’s innings back on track after Gill’s wickets, Pujara and Kohli in quick succession. He fully realized his ability to clear the ropes in the second set and perished in his quest for quick runs. Being a livewire in the field adds to its overall package.
Wriddhiman Saha – 7/10, Good
Wriddhiman Saha was once again quite courageous as he scored 27 very crucial points in the opening innings and his partnership with Mayank took India above the 200 point mark. His wicket against the Spinners is world class and Saha has once again shown that Rishabh Pant will have to reclaim his test spot.
Ravichandran Ashwin – 9/10, Very good
India’s biggest match winner won yet another home test with his exceptional bowling skills, winning 8 wickets in the match to ultimately win the ‘player of the series’ award. Ashwin was at his best creative level in Mumbai.
Jayant Yadav – 7/10, Good
The off-spinner’s 4-wicket transport hastened New Zealand’s demise on the fourth morning in Mumbai and he had also picked up a wicket in just the two overs he played in the opening innings. Jayant showed good application for his 31-ball 12 in the opening innings which helped Axar Patel take India to a total of over 300 points.
Axar Patel – 9/10, Very good
Axar Patel has shown why he is a first-rate all-round player in India as he scored a hugely crucial half-century (52) lower in order and scored another undefeated 41 in the second inning to help the India to beat New Zealand out of the game. He also contributed with 3 wickets. The left-hander is a complete package like Ravindra Jadeja.
Umesh Yadav – 5/10, Average
There wasn’t much for the leaders to do in this test match and Umesh did his part in keeping things calm throughout.
Mohammed Siraj – 8/10, Very good
The man who sparked New Zealand’s downfall in the opening rounds. Siraj produced a fiery spell in the opening innings to pick up 3 crucial wickets and the Kiwis were never able to come back from the shake. It was fast bowling of the highest level and a warning sign for South Africa not to hand out too many green pitches.
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