India fought back to reach 258/4 (84) at the close of play on Day 1 of the first Test against world champions New Zealand at Green Park, Kanpur Thursday. Batting first, India were struggling at 145/4 in 49.2 overs with stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane becoming Kyle Jamieson's third victim. Then a century stand between debutant Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja helped India dominate the proceedings till close of play.
When play was stopped, Iyer and Jadeja were unbeaten on 75 off 136 balls and 50 off 100, respectively, and were in a solid 113-run stand for the fifth wicket. Earlier, India lost three wickets in the afternoon session with Kyle Jamieson (3/47) taking three wickets. Veteran Tim Southee (1/43) took one wicket.
The Green Park in Kanpur has been a fortress for the Indian cricket team. In the last 62 years, India have been beaten just once by the once formidable West Indies in 1983. In absence of Virat Kohli, Rahane is leading India's challenge against ICC World Test champions. Get Day 1 highlights and cricket scores of India vs New Zealand first Test.
16:34 PM IST: Stumps
Shreyas Iyer hits William Somerville for a six, but the umpires make their decision. Not safe. Day 1 loses six overs. 37 runs in the last ten overs. IND - 258/4 (84).
India 1st innings: 258 for 4 in 84 overs (Shubman Gill 52, Shreyas Iyer 75 not out; Kyle Jamieson 3/47).
16:23 PM IST: Jadeja Fifty
17th Test fifty for Ravindra Jadeja, in 99 balls. Six fours, including two in the previous over, bowled by Kyle Jamieson. 35 runs for India in the last 60 balls. IND - 251/4 (82.3)
16:12 PM IST: Second New Ball
Second new ball is due and taken right away. The lights on. 29 runs in the last ten overs as the action somehow fizzled out. New ball to inject new life in the match. A 96-run stand for the fifth wicket as Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja continued to build their partnership. 10 overs left in the day. IND - 241/4 (80)
15:51 PM IST: Iyer Six
Shreyas Iyer (65 off 111) hits Ajaz Patel for a six, over long on. Second maximum of the day. Iyer's stand with Ravindra Jadeja (36 off 71) is now worth 88 in 154. 39 from the last ten overs. IND - 233/4 (75)
15:30 PM IST: India Fight Back
A 68-run stand in 130 balls as India fight back. Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja batting on 54 and 27 runs respectively. Ajaz Patel and Tim Southee bowling in tandem. Another 19 overs left in the day. IND 213/4 (71)
15:15 PM IST: Fifty for Iyer
Maiden Test half-century for Shreyas Iyer. He nudges one from Tim Southee for a single to bring up his maiden fifty on debut. What an innings this Mumbai lad has played today. India 202/4
15:07 PM IST: Iyer eyes fifty
Shreyas Iyer has lived up to his reputation as a good red-ball player and the right-hander is showing in Kanpur why is highly regarded. Despite India losing three wickets in the afternoon session, Iyer hung in at one end and is four runs shy of his maiden Test fifty. India 195/4.
14:21 PM IST: Tea
What a session New Zealand had, especially for Kyle Jamieson. Three wickets in the afternoon session put the visitors on top. Jamieson is just one wicket short of reaching the magic figure of 50 in Tests. India 154/4 at Tea. Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja are at the crease.
12:56 PM IST: Iyer comes in, Pujara departs
Another Indian batsman bites the dust. Tim Southee gets Cheteshwar Pujara for 26, caught by Tom Blundell. New Zealand have been brilliant after the break. Debutant Shreyas Iyer comes in the middle. India 106/3
12:29 PM IST: Gill departs
Kyle Jamieson strikes in the first over after lunch, clean bowled Shubman Gill for 52. Jamieson bowls a good length delivery, Gill gets forward and the ball goes through the gap between bat and pad onto the stumps. Ajinkya Rahane joins Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle. India 89/2.
11:26 AM IST: 50 for Gill
Fifty for Shubman Gill. What a knock from this youngster. This is Gill's fourth Test fifty. Cheteshwar Pujara is batting at 15. India 82/1 (28). Lunch Break
10:51 AM IST: Half-century for India
50 up for India. After the early dismissal of Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill has taken on the charge against the New Zealand bowlers. The right-hander just hit a six and a four off Ajaz Patel. India 53/1 (17)
10:13 AM IST: Jamieson strikes
Kyle Jamieson gives New Zealand a breakthrough. The tall lanky pacer gets Mayank Agarwal, caught behind by Tom Blundell for an unlucky 13. Cheteshwar Pujara comes in the middle. India 24/1 (9)
9:55 PM IST: First four
Mayank Agarwal hits the first four of the match off Tim Southee. The ball didn't bounce much, gets the outside edge and falls short of Tom Blundell to sail towards the ropes. India 15/0 (5)
9:50 AM IST: NZ keep India at bay
New Zeland bowlers Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson have so far kept the Indian batsmen in check. Mayank is taking on the New Zealand attack mostly. India 8/0 (4)
9:38 AM IST: Sound start
Sound start by the new Indian opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill against Tim Southee. India 3/0 (1)
9:24 AM IST: Pitch report
The wicket looks good to bat early on but the cracks will open up once the play progresses. Bowlers will have a good time here as the spinners will get turn on this pitch and the pacers will get swing as well. The last time a Test match was played at this venue was five years ago, reports Deep Dasgupta.
9:16 AM IST: Captains speak
Kane Williamson: It's very important to get wickets here first. We are going in with two spinners in Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville, two pacers and a spinning all-rounder Rachin Ravindra makes his debut.
Ajinkya Rahane: The pitch looks really good here. It's an opportunity for the youngsters since few seniors are missing. Shreyas Iyer is making his debut. I personally enjoy playing under Rahul (Dravid) bhai. We are going with three spinners and two seamers.
9:11 AM IST: Playing XIs
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell(w), Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, William Somerville
India: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (w), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
9:03 AM IST: Toss
India have won the toss and they will bat first.
8:50 AM IST: Iyer gets maiden Test cap
As confirmed before by Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer gets his maiden Test cap by none other than legendary Sunil Gavaskar. What a moment for the Mumbai lad.
8:48 AM IST: Hello
Hello and a warm welcome to everyone in this Day 1 coverage of the first Test between India and New Zealand. India have won the T20 series against the Kiwis 3-0.
Having lost the T20 series 3-0, New Zealand will aim to defend their status as World Test Champions in Kanpur. No. 1 in the ICC Test rankings, New Zealand will face a stiff test in Indian conditions and the result of the two-Test series will prove if the Kiwis are good in all kinds of playing conditions.
Kanpur will certainly not roll out a green top. When Ajinkya Rahane, captain for the first Test, said India will exploit the home conditions to the fullest, it is given that the ball is going to turn a lot. It won't be surprising to see if both teams opt for a third specialist spinner and sacrifice a batsman.
India have said Shreyas Iyer will make his Test debut on Thursday. Whether Suryakumar Yadav, who replaced KL Rahul, makes his Test debut too will depend on the choice of the third spinner (Axar Patel).
Both India and New Zealand will be missing key players. While Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, the Kiwis will miss Trent Boult and Colin Grandhomme.
Yet, New Zealand have enough experience in their group. Led by the unflappable Kane Williamson, New Zealand will never be short on confidence. Ross Taylor's role in the top order and Tim Southee's bowling will be decisive.
How New Zealand cope with Kanpur's conditions remains to be seen. Their last nine Tests have either been at home or in the UK. Spin was never a big factor. In Kanpur, the spin will be the most powerful variable.