India suffered their first defeat of the ICC World Test Championship as New Zealand won the 1st Test by 10 wickets. The Indian batting failed to deliver in any of the innings and managed to set a target of only 9 runs for New Zealand in the fourth innings. The poor technique of some of the batsmen was exposed by some quality fast bowling from the Black Caps.


India were put in to bat on a green top at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and the Black Caps looked to attack and take advantage of the conditions. While the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari got absolute jaffer of deliveries from debutant Kyle Jamieson, other Indian batsmen got out on deliveries that probably they should have left or should have played with a better technique.


Prithvi Shaw was making a comeback into the Indian team after a doping ban and was selected ahead of the in-form Shubman Gill. However, he failed to make the opportunity count as his poor technique was exposed twice in the Test match. In the first innings, he played all around a pretty straight ball and in the second innings, he just spooned the ball to square leg, thus failing to provide India with good starts.


Fellow opener Mayank Agarwal got off to good starts in both the innings, even scoring a half-century in the second innings. But he failed to make the starts count as he too got out on balls that could have been left alone. Getting strangled down the leg side and getting caught at deep fine leg are not the type of dismissals that are earned by good bowling.


Skipper Virat Kohli’s bad form continued and is becoming a big cause of concern for the Indian team. His lean patch saw him chase a wide delivery and getting caught in the slip in the first innings and getting caught behind while trying to hook a short ball in the second innings. One of the main reasons why India lost the game convincingly was the failure of the batsmen to put runs on the board. They got bowled out for 165 and 191 in both the innings respectively and that is not the type of batting that is seen from the world’s number one Test team.


With the series on the line, India can make a couple of changes in the second Test in order to boost their chances of winning. Prithvi Shaw’s poor technique and inability to bat patiently can make way for Shubman Gill to make his Test debut. Gill has shown the composure needed by an opener and has been in terrific form recently after scoring a double-hundred and a hundred against New Zealand A. Despite the breeze factor, Ravichandran Ashwin could not make the desired impact and his lack of ability to take wickets in overseas conditions was exposed again. India can rope in Ravindra Jadeja who has done well for India in all three formats recently and his batting ability will give India extra depth.


India will have to pull up their socks and play to the best of their ability if they are to save the series and win the second Test. Their batting needs to step up and post a total in excess of 300 in order to give their bowlers something to bowl at. If India are able to do that, then we are in for a cracker of a game come the second Test.



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