India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Hyderabad, 2nd day August 25, 2012

Rain respite for New Zealand after follow-on


New Zealand 159 (Franklin 43*, Ashwin 6-31, Ojha 3-44) & 41 for 1 trail India 438 by 238 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Only the combination of torrential rain and New Zealand's best batting form of recent months could possibly thwart India's thunderous march in the first of ten home Tests this season. When a second-session downpour ended play on the third day of the Test in Hyderabad, India had New Zealand following on in their second innings at 41 for 1. New Zealand were all out for 159 in their first innings, losing their last five batsmen before lunch.

Only 38 overs could be bowled today, enough for India to seize control of this game. Play began late on the third day, due to the heavy rains that had beaten down on Hyderbad in the hours preceding the scheduled start time. India, though, made the most of the overs available to them, especially when they had before them the lower order of a team that had come into this series without a warm-up game.

When play was called off an hour after lunch, New Zealand had put in a seemingly more thought-out second-innings batting performance, losing just the one wicket in18 overs. This, after a morning on which their bottom half had fallen over in just 19 in their first innings.

India's spinners picked up nine first innings wickets between them in the first gig, Ashwin finishing with 6 for 31. Both Ashwin and Ojha used the the dipping length of the floated, spinning ball, slow turn off the track and the uneven bounce on one side of the pitch to keep up their interrogation of New Zealand's fortitude in adverse circumstances.

Following on, with Ojha opening the bowling, the New Zealand openers batted like the better of the India middle order had. With circumspection, patience and certainity. Brendon McCullum was batting on 16 off 59 balls at stumps, after unluckily losing his partner Martin Guptill, ajudged lbw off Ojha for 16.

Guptill, New Zealand's in-form batsman on their last tour of the West Indies, had batted for almost an hour with McCullum and hit Ojha for two consecutive boundaries with the spin. He tried to nudge a third past the slip cordon only to nick to Virat Kohli at second slip, but he couldn't seize the chance. Two overs later, Guptil padded up to Ojha, fullstretch to a ball that may have hit him in line with off stump. Replays indicated it was spinning away from the stumps. This has been the only piece of misfortune in New Zealand's batting so far in this Test match. The situation they find themselves in has otherwise been of their own making.

Ashwin had begun the second innings on a hat-trick, introduced only in the 18th over, the last before the downpour. Off the three balls he got in, McCullum spanked one tossed-up, outside-off delivery for his first boundary in 58 balls. It was an unusual kind of McCullum innings, but his approach was not a bad way to attempt to erase the memory of what New Zealand had managed in the previous two sessions.

When play began today Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav opened the bowling in what appeared to be a warming-up formality. Yadav took the only New Zealand wicket that didn't fall to a spinner, Kruger van Wyk leg before in the second over of the day. Yadav made use of the inconsistent bounce at one end, getting van Wyk while he was trying to execute the pull. He was struck above the pad, given out as he crouched - the ball would have hit the stumps as vanWyk is not the tallest of men.

Doug Bracewell survived competently for four overs against the two-man seam attack. The eighth ball that he faced against Pragyan Ojha though, he was in knots, caught between the intent to charge and the necessity to defend. He still scored two with a lofted drive over cover. He followed up by stepping out again, but his heave missed the line completely as the ball looped away. Dhoni's stumping splayed the wickets.

If Ojha got his wicket in quick time, Ashwin, brought on in the 16th over of the morning, needed only three overs to get rid of the three remaining batsmen. Patel reached out for a drive, only to offer a low return-catch to Ashwin's left. A ball turning in front of his bat got Trent Boult inside edging to shot leg Gambhir. The No. 11 Chris Martin did defend, but only got the thin air in front of his bat as Ashwin's off-break cannoned into the stumps.

All that stands between India and New Zealand and their varied hopes in this Test match, now, is the weather.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kelvin on August 26, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Am disappointed at the lack of comment on the poor umpiring decisions that have impacted severely on NZ in this test match. Out of 12 wickets, 4 have been from POOR umpiring. Taylor should have been given the benefit of the doubt (as per the rules) as there was no CLEAR evidence the catch was taken cleanly. Daniel Flynns LBW on front foot by Ohja was a joke. He was way down the pitch and the ball struck him on the outside of his pad just in line witht he outside edge of the off stump. Taking into account the prodigious spin Ohja was getting on EVERY previous delivery there is no way the ball was going to hit the off stump. (DRS would have fixed this). Van Wyks LBW hit him on the thigh pad. The ball was plainly going over the top of the stumps (DRS would have fixed this). Guptills was a shocker. Padding up is not an instant dismissal. The ball still has to hit the stumps and this was not. Getting sick of this DRS rubbish from India. Get it sorted ICC and be fair to all teams.

  • SRINIVASAN on August 26, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    Ravi ashwin is clearly another flintoff in the making. He has a good technique and his quality of strokes sometimes reminds me of laxman and amla. Regarding our future batting line up, i foresee a very bleak one! A champion team should always have a very witty captain and a team which follows his instructions, like ganguly. but dhoni is a bit too defensive and he is sure to falter against top teams.he doesn't give chances to merit players. A good team should have 5 specialist batsmen, a wkeeper, a bowling all rounder, and 4 bowlers. India have that rite now and its disheartening

  • Sami on August 26, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    lmao That's why Test Cricket is boring and dead too much rain fact :)

  • VIJAY on August 26, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    Not sure, Why the matches are scheduled in south India during rainy seasons. Its currently raining in Bangalore & Chennai. Sad with the schedule.

  • Dummy4 on August 26, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    As a neutral, I declare myself astonished at the lack of appreciation shown towards Ravi Ashwin by so many Indian fans. Here's a guy who, halfway through his seventh Test, already has 37 wickets at 29 apiece. He also averages 35 with the bat. Nor is this just beginner's luck: a quick glance at his first-class record will reveal that his F-C stats are identical to his Test ones, i.e. 35 with the bat & 29 with the ball. The only other spinning all-rounder in Test cricket who even comes close to rivalling that level of performance is Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan (batting average: 34; bowling average: 31). As to the forthcoming spinners' battle between Ashwin/Ojha & Swann/Panesar: I think it'll be a lot closer than many Indians seem to assume, although I still have grave doubts about our batsmen's technique against top-quality spin. Hopefully our selectors will have the good sense to drop the ineffectual Strauss once & for all, & thus ease KP's return to the team.

  • TRIN on August 25, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    @ Srikanth Konde: gentleman if you don't understand the term Whitewash better not to use that ,the last time India got a whitewash was in way back 2000 when the fav4 were playing inAustralia.after that we lost a test series in Westindies in 2001 ,draw the test series against England in 2002 ,lost the test series in newzealand(2002)it was a whitewash , won in pakistan ,lost to southafrica (2006 ) and won a series in both England and westindies(2007) again won a test series in New Zealand (2009). and after that we have the whitewash 8~0 .so in the last 12 yrs there have been 4 white washes. u should remeber that out of the last 2 whitewashes we were palying with the India B team(vs England)hell lot of injuries ,yeah we were bitten comprehensively in Australia.

    It is really sad to read ,whatever u have posted ,which is not correct about Indian cricket. I request you to be just fare enough before posting ,if not sure about stats check it over internet and post it. Thanks....

  • Prashan on August 25, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    @Imsrk, I am sure Pakistan would have achieved it in the 70s or 80s if not for Windies rocking non stop at that time. Pakistan's overall test match win loss ratio is better than that of South Africa if you look at cricinfo stats. Hopefully Pakistan can beat South Africa next year when they tour there and be no.1 in tests!

  • moginraj on August 25, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    For those who are talking about "what more does sachin need to prove to anybody, so why is he playing"... u dont play cricket to prove anything to anybody, if a player is good enough to play with nobody better to replace him, then he should play.... if form is the factor, why is gambhir, sehwag and dhoni in the team?? two of them play rash shots, the other cannot put bat to ball outside india!!!! sachin got a good ball.... dont forget how he played against steyn the last time in SA!!! its on youtube, go watch!!! im not a hardcore sachin fan, but he way some ppl bash him is just unbelievable...

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    Let the weather favour INDIAN TEAM !!! Thumps up :)

  • Rahul on August 25, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Can somebody tell me if any other subcontinent team has ever achieved number one spot in test other than India ever

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