The second and final Test between India and New Zealand at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai started with an eventful Day 1 Friday. After a delayed start due to wet outfield, India reached 221/4 (70) with opener Mayank Agarwal unbeaten on 120 off 246. He already added 61 runs for the fifth-wicket stand with Wriddhiman Saha, who was unbeaten on 25 off 53.
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Virat Kohli, who was making a comeback, won the toss when the officials finally deemed it safe to start the play after two inspections. Toss at 11:30 AM IST and 12 noon start meant that the opening day will lose some overs, and as it turned out, only 70 overs were bowled. But there was no lack of action.
Agarwal, who was one of the contenders to lose his spot in the XI as India looked to accommodate the returning skipper, added 80 runs for the opening stand with Shubman Gill (44 off 71) as India got off the good start, batting first. But the hosts lost three wickets in two Ajaz Patel overs. Cheteshwar Pujara's woes continued as he got out for a duck, bamboozled; then Kohli got out four balls later in controversial fashion. India's Kanpur Test hero Shreyas Iyer looked good in his 41-ball 18, but he became Patel's fourth victim. Then, Saha arrived.
But the match will also be remembered for the BCCI's bizarre injury update. As the teams waited for the playing conditions to improve, and fans and pundits working on their XIs, the Indian cricket board released a statement saying three players -- Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja -- have been ruled out due to injuries. Kohli became Rahane's like for like replacement, while Jayant Yadav and Mohammed Shami came in for Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma.
New Zealand were forced to make a change with skipper Kane Williamson sitting out due to his nagging tennis elbow. In his absence. Tom Lathem is leading the Kiwis. Daryl Mitchell filled in Williamson's spot. Catch Day 1 highlights and cricket scores of the second IND vs NZ Test match, being played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
5: 27 PM IST: Stumps
Ajaz Patel on with his 29th over. And Mayank Agarwal hit the fifth ball for a six. And stumps. Players have a chat with the umpires and they decided to remove the bails. IND - 221/4 (70)
5:20 PM IST: 50-run Stand
Tim Southee with his 15th over. A single to end the over. 19 runs in the last 60 balls. Mayank Agarwal (112 off 240) and Wriddhiman Saha (25 off 53) stand now worth 53 in 128 balls. A minimum of nine overs remaining. IND - 213/4 (69)
5:01 PM IST: Drinks
Daryl Mitchell on with his fifth over and third maiden, to Wriddhiman Saha. 30 runs in the last ten overs. Saha (24 off 50) and Mayank Agarwal (107 off 2019) stand now worth 47 in 104 balls. IND - 207/4 (65)
4:34 PM IST: Century For Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal hits Daryl Mitchell for a four and hundred in 196 balls. Fourth Test ton for the opener. IND 192/4 (58.1)
4:21 PM IST: Saha Four
Kyle Jamieson on with his ninth over. Wriddhiman Saha hits the fifth ball for a four. In the previous over, Saha lofts Ajaz Patel for his first six. IND - 177/4 (55)
3:57 PM IST: 50 Overs
Ajaz Patel continues. And a maiden to Wriddhiman Saha. Patel's figures so far: 22-10-46-4. Mayank Agarwal unbeaten on 86 off 175. IND - 160/4 (50)
3:46 PM IST: Four For Patel
Ajaz Patel does it again. He breaks an 80-run stand. Shreyas Iyer (18 off 41), caught behind. Wriddhiman Saha joins Mayank Agarwal (85 off 165). IND - 160/4 (47.4)
3:26 PM IST: 50-run Stand
Mayank Agarwal hits Ajaz Patel for back-to-back fours and fifty-run stand for the fourth wicket, in 80 balls, with Shreyas Iyer. 131/3 (43.2)
3:17 PM IST: Sri Lanka Beat West Indies
In Galle, Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 series sweep of the West Indies with a facile 164-run win in the second Test. An unbeaten 155 from Dhananjaya de Silva helped Sri Lanka declare at 345/9 (121.4) and set a target 297-run for the Windies. Then the spin pair of Lasith Embuldeniya (5/35) and Ramesh Mendis (5/66) shared all ten wickets between them. Windies could manage only 132 in 56.1 overs. Sri Lanka won the first Test by 187 runs.
3:10 PM IST: Iyer Class
Tim Southee with his 11th over. Shreyas Iyer hits the second ball for a four, through cover. IND - 115/3 (39)
3:00 PM IST: Players back for post-tea session.
2:43 PM IST: Tea
Rachin Ravindra with his first over. Mayank Agarwal hits the third ball for a four to bring up his fifth Test fifty, in 119 balls. And Tea. 31 runs and three wickets in the last 10 overs. Agarwal (52 off 121) and Shreyas Iyer (7 off 31) are already on a 31-run stand. IND - 111/3 (37)
2:25 PM IST: Stoppage
Mayank Agarwal (42 off 108) is getting medical attention. 36 runs and three wickets in the last ten overs. New man Shreyas Iyer gets his first four, a sublime cover drive off the fifth ball. IND - 101/3 (33)
2:14 PM IST: Kohli Duck
Virat Kohli also goes for a duck, four-ball. Mighty close, and the decision stands with umpire's call. The third umpire says he doesn't have conclusive evidence to overturn the umpire's call. LBW. The question was -- bat first or pad first? There was a spike but not sure of the source. Kohli not happy. That's the tenth duck for Kohli as captain. Double-wicket maiden from Ajaz Patel. Shreyas Iyer is the new man. IND - 80/3 (30)
2:04 PM IST: Pujara Woes
Cheteshwar Pujara survives a New Zealand review but the very next ball, he gets bowled by an Ajaz Patel beauty. No clue. A massive five-ball duck for Pujara. Virat Kohli is the new man. IND - 80/2 (29.2)
1:53 PM IST: Patel Gets Gill
Ajaz Patel on with his 11th over. He foxes Shubman Gill with a flighted delivery, but Tom Blundell misses a stumping chance. But the very next ball, Patel gets the wicket. Easy catch for Ross Taylor. Gill goes for 44 off 71. Cheteshwar Pujara joins Mayank Agarwal (32 off 94). IND - 80/1 (27.3)
1:42 PM IST: Drinks
William Somerville with his fifth over. He's bowling in tandem with Ajaz Patel (0/14 in 9). 26t runs in the last 60 balls. IND - 71/0 (25)
1:19 PM IST: 50-run Stand
William Somerville with his second ball. Shubman Gill takes a single off the first and 50-run stand with Mayank Agarwal. This is the first 50+ opening stand for India at home after 14 innings. Then a four to mid-wicket boundary. Third four for Agarwal, who also hit the only six of the match so far. IND - 56/0 (19)
12:50 PM IST: Patel Continues
Action resumes after the drinks break. Ajaz Patel with his third over. Shubman Gill takes the strike. IND - 30/0 (11)
12:34 PM IST: Spin On
Bowling change. Ajaz Patel on with his left-arm spin. Mayank Agarwal takes a single off the last ball. Good start for the Kiwi spinner. IND - 26/0 (8)
12:21 PM IST: India Steady
Tim Southee continues. His third and a single off the fifth. Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal unbeaten on 13 and 8 runs respectively. IND - 21/0 (5)
12:08 PM IST: Confident Start
Kyle Jamieson shares the new ball. Shubman Gill hits the first two balls for fours, both through cover. And a flick to square leg boundary to end the over. Tim Southee started with a maiden, to Mayank Agarwal. IND - 12/0 (2)
11:58 AM IST: Ready For Action
Players are in the middle. Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill to ope for India. Tim Southee with the new ball.
11:38 AM ST: Playing XIs
Three changes for India. Virat Kohli for Ajinkya Rahane, Jayant Yadav for Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Siraj for Ishant Sharma. One of New Zealand - Daryl Mitchell in for Kane Williamson.
India: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj;
New Zealand: Will Young, Tom Latham (c), Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel.
11:33 AM IST: Toss
Finally sunshine in Mumbai and the toss. Virat Kohli wins the toss and India will bat first.
11:01 AM IST: Impeccable Timing!
Well, BCCI indeed wakes up to injuries. We will soon know who comes in for Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. Virat Kohli in for Ajinkya Rahane.
10:48 AM IST: Early Lunch In Mumbai
Here are the revised session timings for the 12 noon start. Session one from 12:00 PM to 2:40 PM; Session 2 from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM. Tea at 2:40 PM. Day one has lost 12 overs.
10:33 AM IST: Toss update
Toss will happen at 11:30 AM IST.
UPDATE - Toss will take place at 11.30 AM.
Match starts at 12 PM. 78 overs to be bowled.#INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/c324ZF03ge— BCCI (@BCCI) December 3, 2021
10:31 AM IST: 2nd Inspection
Umpires just 'visited' the pitch. Expect an update any time soon.
9:54 AM IST: It's Official Now
Kane Williamson will not play the match. In his stead, Tom Latham will the visitors. Meanwhile, here's one interesting tidbit. Williamson wasn't even born when the last time the two teams met at Wankhede. His good friend, Virat Kohli was reportedly three weeks old.
9:33 AM IST: Another Inspection And 'Injuries'
And that last-minute injury. No Indian gets dropped. Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane have been ruled out because of injuries.
There will be another inspection at 10:30 AM IST.
9:20 AM IST: Pitch Report
Deep Dasgupta and Ajit Agarkar with the pitch report duty for the official broadcasters. They predict spin but also feel "a bit of moisture and it might hold because of the covers." And "this might be a good toss to lose."
Btw, Kane Williamson is seen with Virat Kohli.
9:15 AM IST: And The Shocker
Kane Williamson is not fit enough to play, according to Simon Doull. The Kiwi skipper has been struggling with his tennis elbow. And his absence will be a body blow for the visitors.
9:09 AM IST: What About Hockey?
...Rain hardly affects it, except that India vs Pakistan final.
If your interests lie elsewhere, there's one massive hockey match coming up later in the day. Defending champions and hosts India take on the six-time winners Germany for a final spot. Here's all you need to know about the Junior World Cup match.
8:55 AM IST: Conditions...
Updates from umpires, Nitin Menon and Anil Chaudhary: "Conditions will not be 100% and the umpires' main concern is the safety of the players. 30 areas, the in-field and the run-up. Pitch is fine." They are hoping for some sunshine.
8:47 AM IST: Toss Delayed
There will be an inspection at 9:30 AM IST. Toss is delayed as expected.
8:42 AM IST: Ashwin-Axar
Ravichandran Ashwin is bidding to become the second Indian bowler to take 300 Test wickets at home. He needs eight. But all eyes will be on Axar Patel, who took 5/62 in the first innings against New Zealand at Green Park. That was his fifth fifer in an innings.
Then, there's Ravindra Jadeja. Always ready to rock.
8:36 AM IST: Approaching Milestones
Not too sure if Ajinkya Rahane will play the match. But if he plays, a milestone is up for grabs. Not for batting though. He needs three catches to complete 100 catches in Test cricket. Rahane in fact can beat Virat Kohli to the mark. The skipper needs four. India head coach Rahul Dravid tops the list with 210 in 164 matches.
8:21 AM IST: Test Returns To Wankhede
India will be playing their 26th match at Wankhede. They have won 11, lost seven and drawn seven. New Zealand have played two here for one win and one defeat. The highest score by an Indian at the venue remains Virat Kohli’s 235 against England. It was also the last Test at the venue, in January 2020.
8:05 AM IST: Wankhede Blueprint
Daniel Vettori feels New Zealand have the 'quality spinners' to do the job at Wankhede. He also feels that Tom Latham is the "blueprint" for how all batters should play spin. Vettori took 362 wickets and scored 4531 runs including six centuries in Tests. Here's what the legend said moments ago:
He took 362 Test wickets but also scored 4531 valuable Test runs including six centuries, what did former BLACKCAP Daniel Vettori enjoy about the batting in the 1st Test against India? #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/5kkZgBgSrA— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 3, 2021
"It's one of those special cricketing stadiums" ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ
Former BLACKCAP Daniel Vettori looks ahead at Test 2 in Mumbai. Follow play from 5pm NZT. #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/SKq7589FWf— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 3, 2021
Rain lurks over Mumbai and if the unseasonal rains continue, it could have a great impact on the second India vs New Zealand Test at Wankhede Stadium. The Kiwis have never won a Test series in India but after grabbing a morale-boosting draw at Green Park, Kanpur, Kane Williamson's team will back themselves to finish on the right side of the scoreline this time.
#TeamIndia Captain @imVkohli talks about playing at the Wankhede and the happy memories that are associated with it.#INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/KmnUwnXRgB— BCCI (@BCCI) December 2, 2021
The composition of the Indian XI was the talking point on Thursday evening. Virat Kohli's return means India have to drop a top-order batsman and the question is who. The obvious indication is towards the out-of-form Mayank Agarwal but that will mean disturbing the opening combination.
Given the faith Kohli has on men like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, it is unlikely that the middle order will see much change. Shreyas Iyer, who scored a century on Test debut in Kanpur, will be unlucky if he is dropped at Wankhede, long considered an Indian fortress.
Wankhede's good-carry-and-bounce pitch normally has a lot for fast bowlers and stroke makers. It remains to be seen if India field three pacers or retain the three-man spin attack of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, who took the bulk of the wickets in the Kanpur Test.
New Zealand apparently has no reason to change the playing XI that played at Green Park. But if they opt to play an additional seamer, then Neil Wagner may replace young off-spinner, William Sommerville.