Riding on the brilliant performance of their pacers, New Zealand on Monday comfortably defeated India by 10 wickets in the first Test played at the Basin Reserve, Wellington. And this is India's first defeat in the ICC Test Championship.
The hosts first bowled out India for 191 runs in the second innings and then chased down the nine-run target on Day 4 of the Test match with utmost ease to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. Openers Tom Blundell and Tom Latham completed the formalities as they scored the required nine runs inside the first two overs itself.
India's last defeat was against Australia at Perth during the 2018-19 series but the loss at the Basin Reserve would hurt them more because the visitors have not surrendered in such fashion of late. There was no resistance from a star-studded line-up and more than intent, the failure was due to poor technique on a track that had something on the third and fourth day as well.
This is a team that plays fast bowling much better than their predecessors, the reason for their success on the bouncy Australian tracks. But when it comes to facing conventional seam and swing bowling in testing conditions, they are yet to learn the art of saving a Test match.
New Zealand now have 120 points in the World Test championship and India stayed on top with 360 points.
Here are the latest standings (Match, Win, Loss, Draw, Points):
1) India (8-7-1-0-360)
2) Australia (10-7-2-1-296)
3) England (9-5-3-1-146)
4) Pakistan (5-2-2-1-140)
5) New Zealand (6-2-4-0-120)
6) Sri Lanka (4-1-2-1-80)
7) South Africa (7-1-6-0-24)
8) West Indies (2-0-2-0-0)
9) Bangladesh (3-0-3-0-0)
Here are some interesting stats from the match:
First, Harsha Bhogle's tweet which explained one of the main reasons for India defeat:
Three middle order batsmen scored 22,21,22 and the players who got runs, Agarwal and Rahane, didn't get enough. And Ashwin the batsman needs to reappear. Have an extra day to regroup but these are good players and you have to back them to deliver.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 24, 2020
Second, this was the second defeat after batting first under Virat Kohli's captaincy, after an innings & 159 runs defeat to England at Lord's in 2018.
Third, this was New Zealand's 100th Test win, and what a way to celebrate Ross Taylor's 100th Test. But the Kiwis are the slowest to reach the landmark. They have taken 441 matches for it. Australia reached the mark in 1951, in 199 matches. England in 1939 in 241, West Indies in 1988 in 266, South Africa in 2006 in 310, Pakistan in 2006 in 320, and India in 2009 in 432.
Fourth, India have been dismissed twice in a Test match in New Zealand three times - 161 & 121 at Wellington (2002/03), 99 & 154 at Hamilton (2002/03) and 165 & 191 at Wellington (2019/20).
Fifth, Basin Reserve is New Zealand's home of cricket, and rightly so. 20 (in 64 Tests) of their 100 wins have come at the venue.
(With inputs from agencies)