So close yet so far for Team India

Opinion Tuesday 30/November/2021 17:12 PM
By: Anis Sajan, Vice Chairman, Danube group
So close yet so far for Team India

New Zealand’s last pair of debutant Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel survived 52 balls and bad light to pull off a draw against India's high quality spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel and keep the series at 0/0 going in to the final test at Mumbai.

Before the last day began, there was talks that did Stand in Skipper Ajinkya Rahane delay the declaration and in hindsight it might now come to haunt him as Draw in Indian conditions is as good as a win for team New Zealand who has been team India's bogey team for many years now. That too India had won the toss and had put up a decent total of almost 350 runs in the first innings. More often than not India have won matches whenever they have batted first and this was only the third drawn test match in India in the last five years.

New Zealand had to bat 91 overs to either win the game or draw the game and they managed to survive the first session without losing a wicket with night watchman William Somerville and opener Tom Latham surviving the first 30 overs bowled before lunch. At that time, it looked New Zealand might go for the target of 284 but lost them in the second session and we're playing for survival. They defied the three Indian spinners on a slow but low track and got crucial 4 points which might help them overall when the final tally of the World Test Championship is made after two years. India might rue the fact that they let the declaration happen too late, who knows what would have happened but no opposition had chased down a target above 250 in the last three decades in India.

Ajinkya Rahane who had a poor match with the bat will also get further flak since India could not win the test match and might have to even sit out once Virat Kohli comes in for the second test match.

Whatever happens in the second test match, the Kiwis have once again proved that they are India’s boggey team and India have always found it difficult to get the monkey of their back in every format they have played against them in the last few years.