A brief history
New Zealand's first tour to India ended in a 0-2 series defeat. The first Test in Hyderabad was a high-scoring draw that had four centurions. India made 498 for 4 thanks to Polly Umrigar's 223 and centuries to Vijay Manjrekar and debutant Kripal Singh. New Zealand managed 326, Subash Gupte taking seven wickets, and forced to follow-on, they finished 212 for 2. India took a series lead in Bombay, with Vinoo Mankad scoring 223 out of a total of 421 for 8 and Gupte spinning out eight wickets as New Zealand lost by an innings and 27 runs. The third Test was drawn in Delhi, another dull affair with plenty of runs - Bert Sutcliffe continued his form with 230 not out - and only ten wickets. Then the contest moved to Calcutta, where another draw resulted. India were bowled out for 132, New Zealand took a 204-run lead, but then India made 438, leaving the visitors an improbable 235 in just over a session. They finished on 75 for 6. India clinched the series in Madras, with their openers Mankad and Pankay Roy putting on a record 413, after which Gupte and Mankad bowled the home side to an innings victory.
India 2, New Zealand 0, Drawn 3
New Zealand returned nine years later and lost the four-Test series 0-1. The first two Tests in Madras and Calcutta were draws - the second was a far more even contest between bat and ball - after which a gripping four-day draw fallowed in Bombay. New Zealand made 297 and then bowled out India for just 88, Bruce Taylor taking 5 for 26 in his second Test. But then, following on, India racked up 463 for 5, with Dilip Sardesai scoring an unbeaten 200 and Chandu Borde making 109. Set 255 for victory, New Zealand slipped to 8 for 80 against newcomers BS Chandrasekar and S Venkataraghavan before stumps were drawn on a tense final day. India took the series with a seven-wicket win in Delhi, thanks to Venkat's 12 wickets. In just his third Test, Venkat took eight to keep New Zealand to 262, after which India made 465. Venkat took four more as the tourists were bowled out for 272, leaving India just 70 to get.
India 1, New Zealand 0, Drawn 3
This was a historic tour for India, because it was their first overseas Test series win in 12 attempts. This was achieved by playing, as had become customary under the Nawab of Pataudi, three spinners. Pataudi reckoned, against conventional thinking, that India's only chance lay in playing to their strengths - and he was right. Erapalli Prasanna's six wickets in the second innings in Dunedin proved decisive in turning a nine-run lead into a position from which India won the match by five wickets. The hosts leveled the series with a six-wicket win in Christchurch but India's spinners spun India to victory in Wellington. Prasanna and Bapu Nadkarni shared 17 wickets in a low-scoring contest and Ajit Wadekar's 137 proved clinical. New Zealand needed a win in Auckland, but were crushed by 272 runs as Prasanna and Bishan Bedi took control.
India 3, New Zealand 1
New Zealand returned for three Tests and squared the series. Bedi and Prasanna stitched up a 60-run win in Bombay but another good display by the home spinners was outdone by slow left-armer Hedley Howarth's nine wickets in Nagpur. Set 277 to win, India were bowled out for 109 and New Zealand leveled the series. Weather marred the final Test in Hyderabad - there was no play on day two - and India escaped with a draw. Bowled out for just 89 in their first innings, India were 76 for 8 in pursuit of 268 when play was called off.
India 1, New Zealand 1, Drawn 1
Chandrasekhar and Prasanna spun India to victory in Auckland, but centuries to Sunil Gavaskar and debutant Surinder Amarnath also proved decisive. At Christchurch the Test was extended by one day because the scheduled rest day, March 9, became a playing day after the third day was washed out. The match was subsequently drawn. Richard Hadlee starred at Wellington with 11 wickets as New Zealand squared the series in style. India were bowled out for 220, New Zealand made 334, and Hadlee's seven in 8.3 overs sliced through the visiting side on day four.
India 1, New Zealand 1, Draw 1
ODIs: New Zealand 2, India 0
Another dominant outing from India's spinners gave the home side a lead at Bombay, after which the second Test was drawn on a flat Kanpur track. India piled up 524 for 9, with even the No. 10 Bedi reaching 50, but there wasn't enough scope or time to push for a win. It was the strong Indian pace trio that starred in Madras, wrapping up victory by 216 runs and the series 2-0.
India 2, New Zealand 0, Drawn 1
Geoff Howarth and Lance Cairns were the main contributors to New Zealand's 62-run win in the first Test at Wellington. Howarth's 137 was the only fifty-plus score out of a total of 375, and Cairns' five kept India to 223. India came back well to keep the hosts to 100 in their second innins, only to stumble in pursuit of 253, with Hadlee taking four wickets. Weather accounted for two days of play in Christchurch and the third and final Test in Auckland was also drawn. John Bracewell took nine wickets and John Wright scored another century but there was not enough time for New Zealand to chase down their target of 157.
New Zealand 1, India 0, Drawn 2
ODIs: New Zealand 2, India 0
Navjot Singh Sidhu had emerged from the 1987 World Cup with a new avatar, that of a marauding strokeplayer, and he picked Bangalore as the setting for his maiden Test century. Sidhu's 116 from 195 balls, including four trademark sixes, took India to 384 for 9 before Arshad Ayub set the tone for what would be a very successful series, helping dismiss New Zealand for 189. Sidhu and Kris Srikkanth came out and hit breezy unbeaten knocks that carried India to 141 for 1 in 28 overs, and after the declaration Ayub and Narendra Hirwani shared ten wickets as India won by 172 runs. Led by Hadlee, bowling with pace and hostility in conditions that had tested the heart and stamina of more experienced fast bowlers, New Zealand hit back in Bombay. Hadlee took ten with good support from Bracewell (52, 32, and eight wickets) and the visitors won by 136 runs. However, India had the final word at Hyderabad. Ayub' seven took his series tally to 21 and New Zealand's batting came a cropper in the second innings before they went down by ten wickets.
India 2, New Zealand 1
ODIs: India 4, New Zealand 0
Danny Morrison was on the road to succeeding Hadlee as New Zealand's main strike bowler, and he began to lead the line with distinction in this series. Wright's 185 helped New Zealand to a mammoth first innings, and Morrison's five wickets in India's first innings gave the hosts a 295-run lead. New Zealand enforced the follow-on and Hadlee took four before New Zealand won by 10 wickets. Two and a half days were lost to rain in Napier, but Morrison grabbed five more and Wright picked up an unbeaten century. For India, Manoj Prabhakar made 95 and Sachin Tendulkar narrowly missed becoming the youngest Test centurion by 16 runs. A high-scoring draw in Auckland handed New Zealand the series. Starring were Ian Smith with the highest score by a Test No. 9; Smith walked in at 131 for 7 and cracked a remarkable 173 off 136 balls including 24 off one over from Atul Wassan. India went past New Zealand's 391 by some distance, thanks to Mohammad Azharuddin's 192 and resistance from the tail, but the hosts came back with 483 for 5, with Andrew Jones and Martin Crowe hitting centuries. WV Raman and Prabhakar rounded off the draw with an unbeaten stand of 149 in the 45 overs remaining. Morrison took 16 wickets in three Tests.
New Zealand 1, India 0
India returned in 1994 for one, a draw at Hamilton. Ken Rutherford rescued New Zealand from a sorry start on a rain hit opening day, one that will be remembered for Kapil Dev making Blair Hartland his record 433rd Test victim. Rutherford and the debutant Stephen Fleming led the fightback but India skittled New Zealand for 187 on day two, Javagal Srinath taking 4 for 60. New Zealand kept their hopes alive by keeping India to 246 thanks to Morrison's rhythmic seam bowling and then extended their lead to 247 on day four. Weather was always going to threaten day five and the Test fizzled out to a draw. Fleming made 92 and Sidhu hit a fine 98 after India were set 310 in 66 overs, and the visitors finished on 177 for 3.
ODIs: New Zealand 2, India 2
India humbled New Zealand inside three days of the first Test in Bangalore. Home boys Srinath and Anil Kumble shot New Zealand out for 145 on day one, and it was always second-best for the visitors. They did well on the second morning to restrict India to a lead of 83, led by Chris Cairns, but slumped to 125 for 5 by stumps. Fleming and Cairns helped set a tricky target of 151 on a distinctly two-paced track, but Ajay Jadeja's second fifty of the match gave India a blazing start. The teams left the friendly climate of Bangalore for steamy Madras, where rain allowed only 71.1 overs over four days. India won the series after a rain-affected draw in Calcutta. Storms ended an intriguing first day with 120 for 3, and play only resumed on the fourth day, during which India moved to 296 for 8 declared. On the last day, playing his first Test for five years, Hirwani took six of the first seven wickets to fall, using the googly often and with success. New Zealand were 175 for 8 when play was called off.
India 1, New Zealand 0, Drawn 2
ODIs: India 3, New Zealand 2, Abandoned 1
The series got of to a wet start, what with the first Test in Dunedin abandoned without a ball being bowled. New Zealand beat India in a thrilling Test in Wellington, one in which the initiative was swapped several times. But the seeds of this win had been sowed on day one when, after India chose to bat, New Zealand dismissed them for 208. The home side responded with 356, including 89 from Dion Nash, after which India made 356 in their second innings. At stumps on the fourth day India appeared to have control with New Zealand four down and still needing 140, but thanks to some powerful batting by Cairns and Craig McMillan on day five the hosts went one-up and won their fifth successive Test. The series moved to Hamilton, where twin centuries from Rahul Dravid failed to end India's sad record of failing to win overseas since 1986. The third day began with New Zealand hoping to clinch a decisive lead, but ended with Dravid leading India to a 50-run lead. Dravid and Srinath's record 144-run partnership helped give India 416 after they had started the day on a precarious 196 for five. India then allowed New Zealand to post 464 for 8, with Cairns hitting 126, and their declaration came to late to allow a result. Dravid made 103 and Sourav Ganguly 101 as India finished on 249 for 2.
New Zealand 1, India 0, Abandoned 1, Drawn 1
ODIs: New Zealand 2, India 2, Abandoned 1
The first day of the first Test in Mohali saw India fall for their lowest total against New Zealand at home. Nash (6 for 27) recorded his best Test figures, and the best by a New Zealander in India, as the home side were shot out for 83. The came back strongly, though, thanks to Srinath's six and a century opening stand from the openers S Ramesh and Devang Gandhi, on debut. Dravid and Tendulkar proceeded to put on 229 and India declared on 505 for 3. Set 374 to win, New Zealand finished 251 for 7. In Kanpur, India won by eight wickets with more than a day to spare. Daniel Vettori's 6 for 27 kept India's lead to 74 - this after an opening stand of 162 between Gandhi and Ramesh - after a disappointing New Zealand batting effort, but Kumble and young Harbhajan Singh bowled superbly to set up victory. A run-filled draw followed in Ahmebabad, with Tendulkar hitting his maiden double-century in his 71st Test. Ramesh (110), Tendulkar (217) and Ganguly (125) scored hundreds in India's 583 for 7, Kumble took five more, India declared a second time, and New Zealand, set 424, finished 252 for 2.
India 1, New Zealand 0, Drawn 2
ODIs: India 3, New Zealand 2
New Zealand continued to sound out harsh treatment to India on their next tour of the country. The first Test in Wellington was over in barely two and a half days - India batted only 96.5 overs in the match. It was a surprisingly easy ten-wicket win for the hosts. India were knocked over for 161, conceded an 86-run lead, and were dismissed for a below par 121 in their second innings. New Zealand were left needing 36 to win, a feat achieved without loss by the Man-of-the-Match Mark Richardson, and Lou Vincent. This was India's fourth loss in a row on the Basin Reserve, following those in 1975-76, in 1980-81 and in 1998-99. New Zealand won by four wickets in Hamilton, though no batsman scored a fifty in the Test. Rain washed out day one, and the conditions dictated more than anyone would have liked - there was swing and seam aplenty, and Daryl Tuffey's sublime spell rolled India over for 99. On day three, 22 wickets fell in 105 overs bowled, and New Zealand were left needing 136 with ten wickets in hand. Having bowled the hosts out for 94, thanks to another excellent display from Zaheer Khan, India were in with a chance. They fought admirably, but ultimately lacked firepower on day four.
New Zealand 2, India 0
ODIs: New Zealand 5, India 2
India had the upper hand from the start of the Ahmedabad Test but in the end the visitors inched to safety. Dravid's 222 and Ganguly 100 took India to 500 for 5, leaving New Zealand 301 to avoid the follow-on. From 17 for 3, they were revived by Nathan Astle's 103, a gritty 54 from McMillan, and Vettori's crucial 67, scored in scorching temperatures and against two of the best spinners in the world. Kumble went past 350 Test wickets but it was Zaheer who was the star as India took a lead of 160. India took 45 overs to extend their lead to 369, after which New Zealand, in temperatures topping 40°C, ended at 272 for 6 after 107 overs of strong defiance. The teams were greeted by a pancake track in Mohali, on which Fleming promptly decided to bat. Their first-innings 630 for 6 included four centuries, the last from McMillan, who was unbeaten on 100 when Fleming ended the Indians' misery. Richardson, Scott Styris, Lou Vincent and McMillan made batting look ridiculously easy. Records came and went: it was the first time that New Zealand's first three batsmen had hit centuries; it was New Zealand's highest overseas total; and only the second time a New Zealand side had scored more than 600 anywhere. In reply, Virender Sehwag reeled off a century before stumps on the third day, at which stage more than 800 runs had been scored for the loss of just seven wickets. VVS Laxman hit an unbeaten 104 to take India to within seven runs of the follow-on, and then defied New Zealand for most of the final day. Ultimately, the pitch had the final say.
India 0, New Zealand 0, Drawn 2
2008-09 in New Zealand
India's new fast-bowling sensation Ishant Sharma reduced New Zealand 60 for 6 on the opening morning in Hamilton before rearguard tons from Jesse Ryder and Vettori rescued the hosts. India's batsmen pressed ahead easily as Tendulkar's 160, supported by Gautam Gambhir, Dravid, MS Dhoni and Zaheer Khan, gave them a lead of 231. Harbhajan then ripped through the hosts, setting India up for a massive victory, though Brendon McCullum's 84 staved off the ignominy of an innings defeat. If the first Test showcased India's dominance, the second in Napier underlined their resilience when pushed into a corner. Ryder's double-century, supported by hundreds from Ross Taylor and McCullum, took New Zealand to an imposing 619. Despite fifties from Dravid and Laxman, India fell well short of the follow-on mark, which New Zealand enforced with over six sessions to go. Gambhir then played a special innings, going against his aggressive grain, facing 436 balls for 137. Laxman led the support act, with another century when his side was in strife, while Dravid, Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh scored fifties as India held on. An all-round batting effort in the first-innings set the tone for India's dominance in the decider. Zaheer and Harbhajan proved too hot to handle as New Zealand conceded a 182-run lead. Gambhir continued his rich run of form with 167 as India declared, arguably a touch late on the fourth morning, at 434 for 7. India's conservatism cost them victory, with Taylor scoring a century as the hosts hung on against a rampant Harbhajan on the final day. With the series in the bag, however, few were complaining.
India 1, New Zealand 0, Drawn 2
ODIs: India 3, New Zealand 1, Abandoned 1
Twenty20s: New Zealand 2, India 0
Jamie Alter is a staff writer at Cricinfo