New Zealand XI v Indians, Whangarei, 2nd day February 3, 2014

Rohit, Rahane make fifties in draw


New Zealand XI 262 for 9 dec (O'Donnell 80, Pandey 3-42) drew with Indians 313 for 7 (Rohit 59, Rahane 60)

The first five Indians in the batting order in the Whangarei practice game will all be part of the first Test XI in Auckland. Of them, the first three fell after getting starts, and the next two made fifties before retiring. All five spent at least an hour each in the middle but the Indians would have wanted the top-order batsmen to have had a longer hit on the flat pitch before the side heads back to Auckland.

M Vijay went in the second over of the second day, losing his off stump as he tried playing a pitched-up delivery from the crease. Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara carried on without any trouble but Dhawan ran himself out, going for a third run after punching through extra cover.

Pujara was quite solid in his first outing after arriving in New Zealand. He left well, pushed forward to defend confidently, and cut in his vigorous fashion whenever he got width. Having motored to 33, he missed an incoming delivery off the back foot to be trapped in front.

Vijay played 56 deliveries, Dhawan 68 and Pujara 66. While none could reach the point where they had the luxury of retiring, whatever practice time they managed before the first Test was still better than falling early.

Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane helped themselves to some more batting practice, making 59 and 60. Rohit had a few unconvincing slogs at the spinners, but none of the mis-hits was realistically a chance. Both batsmen were hardly bothered against an attack comprising fringe domestic players. After these two walked off within a few overs of each other, Ambati Rayudu, the reserve Test batsman, put in an unbeaten, two-hour stint that fetched him 49.

Wriddhiman Saha did not last long but R Ashwin came in to play some outstanding strokes. He hooked successive sixes when he was bounced and pulled as convincingly. Ashwin cracked 46 off 51, and the match was called off soon after his dismissal.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    For all those folks who say no Ashwin, is it fine if your employer sacks you for a bad patch you go through for months?

  • Naresh on February 5, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    @al_bundy1 - agree with you Pandey is a better bet, although he is not experienced. He had such a great outing in SA with INDIA-A. Ishant has a problem - not able to use his height as an advantage.

  • Dhairy on February 5, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    Amit mishra: played 13 tests took 43 wickets avg 43.30

    Ravi Ashwin: played 19 test took 104 wickets avg 28.50

    Mishra wickets: 37 from 21 matches 18 from 5 matches v/s Zim 11 from 5 matches v/s WI 3 from 2 matches v/s Ban 5 from 9 matches v/s strong team.

    Aswin wickets: 97 from 75 matches 25 from 16 matches v/s Eng 24 from 15 matches v/s Sl 16 from 13 matches v/s Wi 12 from 10 matches v/s NZ 12 from 11 matches v/s Aus 6 from 5 matches v/s Pak 2 from 5 matches v/s SA+Ban+Zim

    So you can decide what is the fact.

  • Al on February 4, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Please, no more Ishant or Ashwin in any Indian team. Ishwar Pandey is way better than Ishant. The last time Ashwin played as a spinner against South Africa, who are known as bad players of spin, he failed to take a single wicket. Even a part time spinner like Duminy took 2 wickets.

  • sridhar on February 4, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    @all_after_rayudus_average_in_india: Must keep in mind he plays in Baroda which is not really a road. (scores of less than 200 all out more than six times this ranji season). Plus, anyones whos watched Ranji would agree that he is among the best in getting teams out of trouble in difficult situations. Multiple match saving fifties last season were testament to this. Most were in low-scoring games on green and turning pitches. Plus, he has almost single-handedly carried Barodas batting for the past three years. No one bet

    Give him a chance before judging the man. He deserves his place in this side more than most. No one better to bat at 5-6.

  • Bingo on February 4, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    since everyone's got a team, here're my improbables:Harbhajan Singh (capt.), Jiwanjot Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawne, Dinesh Karthik, Amit, Mishra, Pankaj Singh, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Parvez Rasool, Anureet Singh, Natraj Behera, Mandeep Singh

  • Bingo on February 4, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    @Shane BOND HiyaShane! See that y're back up to no good! go at it. How's the back? Bowling at the Indians anytime? Talk to you soon

  • Bingo on February 4, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    @ black_bird SO he (STROMBRINGER) MADE A mistake regarding the BOULT. Given that O'Donnell mentioned his delivery swinging in from off to leg while remarking on swing bowlers it is easy to make the mistake. while he just made the mistake of mistaking a bowler's name, you are making the mistake of pretending to be a new Zealander. why? Stand up for your country man! India has achieved a lot more than a few cricketers. Whoever wins or loses at Auckland , it is a five day game that may be forgotten in five weeks. But we who live in "Our" countries shall do so for our forever. why do you have to pretend (goes for everybody who has decided that their original nationality is shameful or disgraceful for the sake of a GAME!!) you are a white man of another nationality. Specially if you act SELECTOR FOR INDIA IN THE SAME PIECE? Many good Indian writers here with good command of English. India has the largest English speaking population in the world and the largest amount of English publication!

  • Street on February 4, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    @joe232 Looks like you misunderstood my comment. I was also criticizing Nohit and his fanboys. @Night Angel And why are many people hyping up Rishi Dhawan? He has decent Ranji stats but they cant be considered good enough. Its like Sir Jadeja having Ranji triple hundreds despite him being a below average batsman. Dont prop Rishi up just because he plays for your favorite IPL Team.

  • David on February 4, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    black_bird predicts "Innings victory for india is on the way. my prediction is 2-0 in favor of india. Dhawan, rohit, dhoni, kohli will make 100s. Mark my word. Due to poor umpiring decision, india lost the odi series. but test cricket is different. and india will trash nz like they do everyone at overseas."

    Dude, do you know which planet you are on. India gets beaten overseas by everyone, including NZ, as we recently saw. India lost the ODIs - plain and simple - & it had nothing to do with umpiring decisions. Nothing at all. That is such a pathetic excuse, it is like Nohit batting. New Zealand were better with the bat and with the ball, just like SA were. India can't win a match overseas.

    Dhawan and Nohit will fail. Kohli & Pujara will be India's main hope, with Rahane as backup. Dhoni rarely scores much in tests. Shami will bowl well (I think,) and the other guys will not. India will lose. End of story.

    Time to wake up man.