New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 2nd day February 15, 2014

India stride towards rare win through Rahane ton

198

New Zealand 192 and 24 for 1 trail India 438 (Rahane 118, Dhawan 98, Dhoni 68) by 222 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

For the first time on the tour, India began the day in ascendency, and they capitalised by making giant strides towards a series-levelling win, which if achieved will be their first overseas win since June 2011. At the centre of India's dominance, of a day during which they threatened to leave the door ajar, was Ajinkya Rahane, who brought up his maiden Test century after enduring moments of drama with the notoriously unhelpful Zaheer Khan for company. When Rahane came in to bat, India had lost two quick wickets to be five down and were still 27 behind, but he soothed nerves and exorcised the haunting memories of Trent Bridge 2011 during a full-of-intent partnership of 120 with MS Dhoni in 24.1 overs, which took India to their seventh-highest lead away from home.

This was only the sixth away century by an Indian No. 7, but also it was a first century for someone who had spent years amassing close to 6000 first-class runs before he was even given a chance to score one for India. Rahane's celebration betrayed no frustration or anger you would associate with a modern batsman who has had to wait for so long. His innings was equally level-headed. He could just as easily have become part of a collapse, and made Dhoni lament another big moment lost, which has happened way too often with India from home.

Despite Ishant Sharma's annoying 40-minute stay in the morning, despite Shikhar Dhawan's continuance of his charge, India had that familiar feeling of an impending collapse when they lost three wickets for 24 runs around the first-hour mark. It included the wicket of Dhawan two runs short of what would have been a third century to a clever scrambled-seam offcutter from Tim Southee. Rohit Sharma had just dragged on a wide half-volley from debutant Jimmy Neesham. India needed something solid especially given how Virat Kohli was not looking his solid self on a day that he would have sensed domination around the corner.

As Kohli played and missed a little in pursuit of that domination, Rahane began a proper Test innings, not playing away from the body, happy to nurdle and deflect, and using soft hands when he did drive. The soft hands showed in how two edges didn't go to hand, either side of his half-century. New Zealand, though, looked happy to give him the singles he could take, and play on India's patience. By the time the lead reached 36, Neil Wagner had frustrated Kohli so much with his dry bowling that the batsman gave short cover a simple catch. Wagner's figures in that spell then: 6-3-7-1.

Rahane was 33 off 71 then, and New Zealand would have been happy to let him score at that rate if they could go through the rest of the suspect batting. With Dhoni, they had another think coming. He came in and launched a calculated assault, hitting Wagner for four successive fours: drive through cover, pull through square leg, cut to point, loft over mid-off . This was a crucial phase because the new ball at that time was only 12 overs away, and if New Zealand could have kept India quiet until then, they would have fancied restricting the lead to around 100.

That initial attack, though, settled things down, and Rahane could continue playing his natural game. And he did so beautifully. The on-drives and cover-drives were sights to behold. The acceleration began to happen without an apparent effort to do so. As Rahane became a little more adventurous, New Zealand set back even more, and by the time the new ball was claimed, his half-century had been brought up and the lead approached 100.

Dhoni managed to attack the new ball too, which was the best possible outcome for India. It travelled faster, and both the batsmen cashed in. It all began with his lashing cut to the second delivery he took with that new ball, and by the time Rahane hit Boult for back-to-back boundaries in the 89th over India had spent their longest in this series without losing a wicket to the new ball. Dhoni, though, had taken a blow to his hand, and Boult followed him there, drawing out a gloved catch down the leg side to end his innings 32 short of what could have been his first century outside Asia.

Rahane, though, kept his head even though all around him were losing theirs. Ravindra Jadeja went bang-bang for his 26 off 16, Zaheer tried his best to get out and leave Rahane in the 90s with the No. 11, and the umpires called a Wagner no-ball that didn't quite look like one after having missed quite a few earlier in the day. Rahane enjoyed a slice of luck, too, when he tried to work the last ball of an over to leg from outside off, and the leading edge flew over gully. The shot, necessitated by Zaheer's presence at the other end, took him to 96, and the hundred came up without further drama.

The drama for the day was not done yet as the struggling Peter Fulton padded up to Zaheer, and was trapped lbw. New Zealand ended the day needing 222 to make India bat again.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Snambidi on February 16, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    In Cricket ,loosing a wicket at the stroke of Lunch is considered to be a bad Omen for the batting side & naturally becomes a good omen for the fielding side. Having lost 4 Wickets before Lunch on third day& 2 full sessions today& Two more playing days left,NZ Is certainly facing a defeat.But as is considered by many enthusisstics as an innings defeat in the offing for them does not appear to be correct. NZ should never be underestimated.in their Soil they are lethal.Maccullum is still there.there are 6 more able players to give him support.We can not ignore Southee who of late is tending to be named as an All Rounder .Above all the record maker Anderson could pause problem for the Indians. So as far as I am concernedI rule out an Innings defeat for the New Zealanders. The Indian when they take the Batting a second time ,should ensure that they meet the Target unlike the First Testwhich was very easy to win& lost

  • on February 15, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    Shami is not hitting the right length. He has got great potential but he is always trying too much by trying different length. He should learn fron kiwi bowlers hw they frustrate Kohli and grab his wicket. Shamm must concentrate on one side bowling.

  • on February 15, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    See what could have happened in Auckland if Ajyinka hadnt been sawnoff by the umpires in the Auckland test. The incompetent umpires gave Dhoni out off a noball. In Wellington Wagner got away with colossal number of no balls due incompetent umpires costing India runs.

  • truecric_fan on February 15, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    only a miracle can save NZ in this test. This young Indian team is peaking and it looks like they will dominate world cricket like the West Indies did in the eighties.

  • satchander on February 15, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    @LAKingsFan: Agreed with you that Nohit sharma should bat at # 6 or even be removed from the team. BUT, i don't agree that Gambhir should be brought in. We have already seen how he failed in 2011 Eng and Aus series and given he is still failing in Ranji (He has not exactly set Ranji on fire with this performances), I do not think he is good enough to come back. We can try other openers maybe who who have been more prolific in Ranji.

  • WC2011Champs on February 15, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    There are a few experiments that have gone wrong and must be put to rest: 1) Rahane as ODI and T20 openers; Rahane as middle order ODI batsman; and now that he was unable to score in both positions, there are repeated calls to bring him back as opener (international cricket is NOT IPL and he is NOT an opener) 2) Rohit from ODI to Test to middle order to an opener. After all these failed attempts it is surprising how he is carrying on. Not just that, people still want to try him out in the middle order all over again. Hello, why can't selectors look back at ten innings and take a decision? Oh wait, his 50-run odd scores had 2-3 lives. 3) D. Karthik kick started ICC CT campaign for the team. But soon after the finals he was lost in oblivion. He has only himself to blame for poor scores. But if Rohit is persisted with for so many years what has Karthik done wrong? He is more consistent and free-flowing batsman than Rohit is at the top. For his height he is a great fit for WC next year

  • LAKINGSFAN on February 15, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    Rahane should bat at #5,period. Nohit Sharma or anyone who's gonna be in the team should bat at #6. I think Gambhir should be brought to open both in test and ODIs.

  • cooljack_143 on February 15, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    Problem is rohit isn't learning from his mistakes keeps poking widths deliveries onto stumps.recently we hav seen that pujara who sort of did the same mistake chasing wide deliveries rectified himself in the next match and scored big, even Dhawan curbed his upper cut & is doing wonders now. Vijay isn't bad either he definitely has solid technique. But rohit is reluctant to learn, but ones he rectifies his mistakes this team sure will do wonders in Eng & Oz.Bowling form is always a plus for Ind.

  • WC2011Champs on February 15, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    RAHANE FOR TESTS!! What a knock!

    He shows his class as a middle order (#5) test batsman. He so belongs here. Why unnecessarily force him in ODI/T20 when there is no dearth of batting talent out there.

    He is NOT an ODI or T20 player and he is NOT an opener. Preserve test cricket and preserve Vijay, Pujara, Rahane with Shikar, Kohli and Ishant forming the core.

    Really impressed with Indian batting in test matches in SA and NZ. The young and not so experienced team has done a fabulous job.

  • gvarun1975 on February 15, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    loved his cover drives.seen his batting first time in test cricket yesterday and impressed with him game

  • Snambidi on February 16, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    In Cricket ,loosing a wicket at the stroke of Lunch is considered to be a bad Omen for the batting side & naturally becomes a good omen for the fielding side. Having lost 4 Wickets before Lunch on third day& 2 full sessions today& Two more playing days left,NZ Is certainly facing a defeat.But as is considered by many enthusisstics as an innings defeat in the offing for them does not appear to be correct. NZ should never be underestimated.in their Soil they are lethal.Maccullum is still there.there are 6 more able players to give him support.We can not ignore Southee who of late is tending to be named as an All Rounder .Above all the record maker Anderson could pause problem for the Indians. So as far as I am concernedI rule out an Innings defeat for the New Zealanders. The Indian when they take the Batting a second time ,should ensure that they meet the Target unlike the First Testwhich was very easy to win& lost

  • on February 15, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    Shami is not hitting the right length. He has got great potential but he is always trying too much by trying different length. He should learn fron kiwi bowlers hw they frustrate Kohli and grab his wicket. Shamm must concentrate on one side bowling.

  • on February 15, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    See what could have happened in Auckland if Ajyinka hadnt been sawnoff by the umpires in the Auckland test. The incompetent umpires gave Dhoni out off a noball. In Wellington Wagner got away with colossal number of no balls due incompetent umpires costing India runs.

  • truecric_fan on February 15, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    only a miracle can save NZ in this test. This young Indian team is peaking and it looks like they will dominate world cricket like the West Indies did in the eighties.

  • satchander on February 15, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    @LAKingsFan: Agreed with you that Nohit sharma should bat at # 6 or even be removed from the team. BUT, i don't agree that Gambhir should be brought in. We have already seen how he failed in 2011 Eng and Aus series and given he is still failing in Ranji (He has not exactly set Ranji on fire with this performances), I do not think he is good enough to come back. We can try other openers maybe who who have been more prolific in Ranji.

  • WC2011Champs on February 15, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    There are a few experiments that have gone wrong and must be put to rest: 1) Rahane as ODI and T20 openers; Rahane as middle order ODI batsman; and now that he was unable to score in both positions, there are repeated calls to bring him back as opener (international cricket is NOT IPL and he is NOT an opener) 2) Rohit from ODI to Test to middle order to an opener. After all these failed attempts it is surprising how he is carrying on. Not just that, people still want to try him out in the middle order all over again. Hello, why can't selectors look back at ten innings and take a decision? Oh wait, his 50-run odd scores had 2-3 lives. 3) D. Karthik kick started ICC CT campaign for the team. But soon after the finals he was lost in oblivion. He has only himself to blame for poor scores. But if Rohit is persisted with for so many years what has Karthik done wrong? He is more consistent and free-flowing batsman than Rohit is at the top. For his height he is a great fit for WC next year

  • LAKINGSFAN on February 15, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    Rahane should bat at #5,period. Nohit Sharma or anyone who's gonna be in the team should bat at #6. I think Gambhir should be brought to open both in test and ODIs.

  • cooljack_143 on February 15, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    Problem is rohit isn't learning from his mistakes keeps poking widths deliveries onto stumps.recently we hav seen that pujara who sort of did the same mistake chasing wide deliveries rectified himself in the next match and scored big, even Dhawan curbed his upper cut & is doing wonders now. Vijay isn't bad either he definitely has solid technique. But rohit is reluctant to learn, but ones he rectifies his mistakes this team sure will do wonders in Eng & Oz.Bowling form is always a plus for Ind.

  • WC2011Champs on February 15, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    RAHANE FOR TESTS!! What a knock!

    He shows his class as a middle order (#5) test batsman. He so belongs here. Why unnecessarily force him in ODI/T20 when there is no dearth of batting talent out there.

    He is NOT an ODI or T20 player and he is NOT an opener. Preserve test cricket and preserve Vijay, Pujara, Rahane with Shikar, Kohli and Ishant forming the core.

    Really impressed with Indian batting in test matches in SA and NZ. The young and not so experienced team has done a fabulous job.

  • gvarun1975 on February 15, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    loved his cover drives.seen his batting first time in test cricket yesterday and impressed with him game

  • on February 15, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    I belive rahane should come at 4 down before rohit sharma.and india should try to give more chances to jadeja to bat up the order to find out if he can fit in to the roll of allrounder.coming at 6 down , he have to go for the shorts and becz of that he is not able to build a long inning.i m not sure abt rohit sharma in the line up becz of his inconsistency n the way he is getting out outside the subcontinent. zaheer too will not last long, so give chance to pandey who can do a simillar job to held up one end with more pace.

  • satishsasikumar on February 15, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane was smooth and in sublime touch..his ton was a classy one...with shades of Sachin and Dravid especially in those cover and straight drives. Above all no boisterous and over the top celebrations, no foul-mouthing unlike one of his team mates from Delhi..way to go!

  • FRpunk on February 15, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Hopefully we Win this Test match and End a Painful Streak of Losing 10 away Test matches with one being drawn . Come on Boys . Lets Do it , Bleed Blue . Well Done Rahane the Internet Darling . He has been Superb as a Test Player but Still i Believe he is a Mediocre ODI player . I Hope Zaheer takes a 5 for or else his place in the team would be Questioned .

  • GRVJPR on February 15, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Vijay palyed a 98 runs knock by opening vs Morkel, and Steyn. He deserves more chances. He never looks in trouble. He always have to play the most difficult period, make no mistake about it!

  • fair_paly_1 on February 15, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    @ Shane Bond

    Why does Tim Southee look so knakard after bowling a short spell?

  • Iceman29 on February 15, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Now where are those regular Indian team bashers.....this shows that they have no guts to appreciate good cricket...if NZ would have been in this position we would have seen a sea of negative comments from them....

  • GRVJPR on February 15, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    Don't underestimate what Vijay is trying to do. He can be selfish and go after bowling and end up with 40 odd runs. He trying to see out new ball. If you don't belive see how grame smith is made to look like by Australia, a sitting duck!

  • Temuzin on February 15, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    Muqtedar Khan: Its not the run, its manner in which Zaheer was playing. It was hit and miss type of game. If he connected its 4 but those shots were risky shots. I guess that's what Sidharth was commenting on.

  • on February 15, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    I find this comment by Monga rather strange and even stupid -- "Zaheer tried his best to get out and leave Rahane in the 90s with the No. 11". I saw the match and I found that Zaheer did give Ajinkya a lot of support, they both play for Mumbai. Perhaps Monga does not know that in this series so far, Zaheer has made more runs than Pujara and Vijay.

  • JRP100 on February 15, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    rahanes place was always relatively secure for another series, it was dhawan who saved his test place with a hundred and a 98 in his last 2 innings. People calling for vijay to be dropped should let him play for the england series as least because india have no other options (gambhir and jiwanjot singh looked useless on the green track in the irani cup match against someone as slow as vinay kumar, how can they be expected to play anderson broad and stokes in england?). Vijay's rope will run out when kl rahul has another season averaging over 50 and gets some decent A tour performances, until then he's relatively secure because its unlikely they will push rahane to open after his middle/lower order performances.

  • hnlns on February 15, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Fabulous performance by Indian batsmen on day 2, they have complimented their bowlers' efforts very nicely. Hopefully, Team India can continue their good work with the bowlers giving their best shot once more like what they have done in 2nd innings at Auckland and the 1st innings here. The Basin Reserve pitch has flattened out a lot, so hopefully some cloud cover or rain to freshen up the pitch would help. Our bowlers will have done their job if they bowl out NZ for under 400. Anything over 450, NZ will start calling the shots again. Team India will have to look at having a maximum target of 150 for their chase, lesser the target better. If by chance they can get NZ all out under 300, that would be really an awesome performance by this team.

  • Temuzin on February 15, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    andaman99@ Dont you think its really too early to start giving excuses? First of all its NZ home pitch. Why they made a pitch that will depend on Dhoni's luck? Second why in the hell NZ dropped Ross Taylor? At least India did not advise them. So think before you start spouting excuses and devalue India's performances. Go India, Go Dhoni.

  • jimmyvida on February 15, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    NZ has entered a new phase. Attack with the new ball and then bowl wide, wide, wide until they get then next new ball. Look how easily they got Kohli with that tactic. Read my blog before the test. I said drop Rohit and Vijay. I said that NZ bowlers keep bowling four balls wide, a short ball and then maybe an attacking ball. Their retired test players believe that NZ should continue that way. You may think that that is negative bowling but it is working. You have to get the Indian batsmen sick and tired of leaving the ball alone. (so says their TV commentators who all represented NZ). How many of you in your lives have seen a 7/2 for fast bowlers, and that was the field placement for most of the day.

  • Temuzin on February 15, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    I really loved the way Dhoni and Jadeja are counter attacking since last few innings. Whenever Dhoni is in this mood, all bowlers look pedestrian. I think Dhoni should mix and match himself and Jadeja in the middle. I suggest Jadeja should go in place of rohit and start his bang bang and then let Rahen stabilize some and then Dhoni should play the way he has played today. Look what happens when batsmen get practice on bouncy pitches, they adjust and start dominating. One by one all batsmen are coming to party now. Keep it up boys.

  • stormy16 on February 15, 2014, 16:37 GMT

    Said this when India went to SA, this generation of Indian batters are going to be different and better at handling at pace conditions. Sure they didnt win in SA and lost the first test in NZ, but for most of them, this is the first tour and all Hholi, Pujara, Dhwana and Rahana have made hundreds. In a few years time these guys will be accomplished overseas performers one would expect. Credit to India for taking the game away from NZ after being 6 down and much ahead but eventually reaching 400+. NZ dissappoing with the bat and ball and would be struggling to save this game from here in.

  • AshwinPandey on February 15, 2014, 16:37 GMT

    Now, even if Indian bowlers dont bowl well and if NZ goes on to score 500 by batting brilliantly, India will have to chase around 250 which is quite chaseable with the amount of time which will be left which i think would be 1 and 1/2 day.

  • DontMessWithZohan on February 15, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    Talking about capabilities, all these players have a lot of capabilities - the players in the squad waiting for their chances by sitting on a bench also have a lot of capabilities.

    But players like Kohli, Pujara and Rahane easily seem to be long term prospect for Indian cricket. I strongly believe #3, #4 and #5 must be composed of these three batsmen for Indian Test team lineup. Maybe, in future, Pujara at #3, Rahane at #4 and Kohli at #5 ??

    Kohli is in his way to becoming the greatest batsman ever (still very very long way to go). But I'd push him down to #5 in Tests as he seems to be made more of limited-overs games. And he is a great finisher. In other hand, Rahane seems he can be solid. He can be a opener as well - so it may be better not to have him below #5.

  • sams235 on February 15, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    I had my doubts about Rahane, but, I believe he is a fantastic player. He cemented his place.

    Vijay and Rohit need to be dropped from the test team and maybe Ghambir should be brought back. We should also try out other players like Rayudu. Like Sunny was saying Jadeja needs to tried down the order. Dhawan, Ghambir, Pujara, Kohli, Jadeja, Rahane, Dhoni, Rayudu, B. Kumar, Shami, Ishant would be a great team I think.

  • venkyind on February 15, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    rahane was the third leading reun scorer in sa and he is also third highest run scorer now in nz series and talking about his failure in odis 1st odi:terrific catch 2ndodi:played well for his 36 (highest patnership for india along with kohli) 3rdodi:bad decision 4rthodi:pressure built by rohit sharma

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    I think we should have Shikar and Rahane as openers, bring Raina back instead of Vijay and bring up Jadeja's order so that there's a good probability that one of the three good left handers (Shikar, Raina, Jadeja) is playing during main batting. Here's my suggested batting order:

    Shaikar, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Jadeja, Raina, Dhoni, Zaheer, Ishant, Shami.

    Even when we think Raina hasn't performed well, he has done better than Vijay, Rohit though not making 50's or 100's. Moreover he's a great fielder and can bowl well.

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    it's amazing to see how every player that enters into Indian batting line up makes impact everytime..... guess Indian batting is in very good hands of pujara, kohli, rahane, dhawan, Rohit....bowling needs more disciplined performance, still we can't count on ishant.... umesh should enter the team now... he is very good test bowler... zaheer can do his mentoring and coaching off the field.... my thinkin is that rahane should bat at 5 followed by jadeja, rohit and dhoni.... rahane was once in news as the one who fills Sachin slot of no.4 , but, now that the force called VK has made forced his way to that position, rahane should play at 5( he plays at 3 for Mumbai) rohit is perfect to play with tail, jadeja is more good batsman than his stats speak (3 triple centuries demands some credit) give him some time to settle instead of slogging, we can expect a mature innings from him ( we saw that in odis) dhoni should come at 8 and play his natural attacking cricket..

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    Vijay and Rohit look like walking wickets at the moment. Zaheer's best is behind him (Fulton lbw is not exactly mind-boggling) and India could do well with another pacer in matches. Drop Vijay, open with Rohit (how much worse could it get?) and get another 2 seam bowlers (Zak rested) in the team to complement Shami & Ishant. Who would those pacers be? Jadeja should bat higher than Dhoni in my opinion.

  • phunny_game on February 15, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    @Gerard Pereira: Correct, Jadeja reminds me of Shahid Afridi. He is happy to be a slogger when he can be much more. But i think it has something to do with Dhoni's favourism. He will surely improve under a stern skipper.

    Also, how many times have i seen Virat getting out caught at short extra or extra cover. Its become a trend now, and to see a player of such caliber getting out to the same shot is annoying. one can understand if there are some technical deficiencies, some players are unable to play incoming deliveries or outgoing deliveries, some are uncomfortable against short stuff.. but this has got nothing to do with that, he can hit those for boundaries in his sleep. Hope he corrects that quickly.

  • gladiatorgannicus on February 15, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    @ Deven Sharma i was replying to @Kavindu Darshana who said "Pujara and Rohit have to go.,, they cant handle the bounce at all" and i was quoting it.if u had read my full comment u would have understood.this is what i said "wait for a year u will see Pujara's name at the top of icc test batsman rankings."Pujara by the end of Ind-Aus series will probably be the best batsman in the world by a mile.Kohli,Rahane behind him and the rest will follow.he is India's best batsman now and in a few months will be the no1 batsman in the world.apologies if u misunderstood.

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    One of the most or best focused and concentrated innings I have seen for a long time. Well time stroke play with so much confidence against quality good pace bowling at 130 to 140 Kmh. If Rahane stay focused and keep away from the 'Bookies', I support Crowe's comments. Another 'stone wall' Dravid in the making. India's batting line up stretches from number seven to nine.

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on February 15, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    Review Part 2:

    Vijay has done well, and while he hasn't mad emuch of an impact outside India, he has occupied the crease, taken the shine off the ball, and plays good foil to Dhawan's aggression. However, he does need to conjure up some big scores to be a long term prospect. There are good domestic players cropping up. The bowling improved a lot, and while the conditions helped them, it is a step forward. It remains to be seen if they can close this or capitalize on the lead, but it is a positive sign. One thing the bowlers back in India aim to do is increase their pace. Now i know that not all bowling is about speed, but it helps a lot. You don't have to be Johnson fast, but 140-145 kph is really good. Thats how Steyn bowls mostly, and with good control, the bowler can do well. Yadac and Aaron can reach that speed but are too erratic. Shami is a 140 kph bowler, and has good control, he just needs more experience. Finally, Ishant, please never lose this form.

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    Vijay deserves more chances

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on February 15, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    Review Part 1:

    Great performance by Rahane and fantastic support by Dhoni. To all those worrying about Kohli and Pujara, relax. Everyone has off days and you can't expect them to perform all the time. WHich is why you need others like Rahane to perform too. Dhawan finally seems to be adjusting to foreign pitches and learning how to use his aggression in a controlled manner. He has the ability and the strokes to cut it internationally, but most importantly, he can play fast, something that, contrary to popular belief, gives a team the edge in Test cricket. Just look at how Sehwag performed for India. His quick scoring often changed the match. Warner is doing something similar for Australia currently. Also, Rohit deserves some chances. This is only his 5th/6th test and he only started playing outside India. He has the ability and should be tried out a bit. But if he can't perform, it shouldn;t take as long as it did to kick him out of the ODI Squad.

  • phunny_game on February 15, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    @Ahmad Uetian : Exactly, so that means Indian batsmen score their runs against some of the best bowlers in the world, thats what u wanted to say, right???...I completely agree with u.

    Rahane played very well, but lets not put undue pressure and claim him as the next big thing. Same thing happened when he made his ODI debut in england. And he has been struggling to cope with the pressure even till this day in ODI's. There is nothing he needs to prove, nor is he the best test batsman. He is a good asset for tests, solid in technique and temperament, like Pujara. But they have a long way to go.

    Rohit can be excused for the dismissal though it was very frustrating, i must admit. But he has been performing well overall, atleast in test cricket. Maybe try him at 6, just like his debut series. Afterall he scored those hundreds at 6, right?? Also that will allow Rahane to come in at 5...!!!

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    It really is amazing how young this Indian team is. I think NZ have more experience. Apart from Dhoni, and Kholi, nobody really has much experience. Dhawan, Pujara, Rohit and Rahane all have little under 10 matches under their belt and Rahane is just in top form after the SA innings. This summer in England and Aus will be amazing. I know for a fact it WON'T be a repeat of the last tour! Even Sir J is cont from his ODI form. If only the bowlers can carry this form into the ODI. Maybe leave Ishant for Tests and pick another seamer along Bhuvi and Shami for ODI??

  • on February 15, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    just my take,vijay has some potential as opener but he needs to practice against deliveries directed into his ribs,the down the legside glance on bouncier pitches has got him out many times,regarding rohit he need to cut down the frills at the beginning of his inning,play straight and in the v,all those who are talking of rohits removal,please name one waiting middle order indian batsman who can play the horizontal backfoot shots on bouncier pitches against fast bowlers 140 kmph,seeing how rayudu or manoj tiwari bats they will definitely struggle overseas(sanju samson may fit the bill but he is only 18-19 years).our bowler need to learn how to bowl patiently bowling 4 good balls and 2 bad ball release the pressure,they also need to learn bowling using the crease,bowling wide outside the off stump,bowling well directed bouncer on batmens legside ribs

  • TRAM on February 15, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Seriously Gavaskar is a 'difficult to understand' commentator. He elaborated Rahane's technical flaw against short pitched deliveries when he was actually playing great. When describing RGSharma, he said he has "immense talent and ability", his usual phrase. But then followed up by describing why RGSharma got out, his wide bat-pad gap and not bending his knees in forward stroke, etc (thank god at least he said that frankly). Now I wonder what is meant by his comment "immense talent and ability". So some one with technical flaws can be called "immense talent & ability" ??

    @ Nikhil A Lokhande, for your comment "I guess ppl dont like the surname... Sharma....." Of course people would like to have any Sharma provided that Sharma is not kept in the team even after umpteen failures.

  • on February 15, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    @gladiatorgannicus - Pujara has to go? Sounds like you started watching cricket from last week. He is one of those rare test players who can easily walk in to ANY TEST TEAM in the world at the moment. And they will welcome him happy with open arms.

    it's better to don't talk about things that you have no understanding of.

  • on February 15, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    With Australia demolishing South Africa we can see what India lack, the ability to play high intensity cricket.Australia did not think twice of replacing Bailey their ODI captain with Doolan and have been instantly rewarded. Similarly Jadeja should be taking a leaf out of Steve Smith's book, a player of similar or even lesser ability. Smith is scoring centuries at will while Jadeja is satisfied with a quick fire twenty. Even Kholi seems to lack the concentration and application and he has a long way to go before he can even be spoken the same breath as Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman.

  • andaman99 on February 15, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Ofcourse.. India stride towards rare win - NZ playing with debut players, no Ross Taylor and also with the openers who never clicked for them and Dhoni lucky winning all the tosses.

  • on February 15, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    dhawan, kohli, pujara, and now rahane...hope they play in 2015 WC...they definitely can play on these pitches against pace and swing...its time to find some good fast bowlers too so that team can be balanced....

  • fair_paly_1 on February 15, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    All those who say, in India's defence, home teams always win what about Aus thrashing SA? I wonder what they could possibly say other than Aussies were way better throughout the whole match in both bowling and batting. Good teams win home and abroad - that's a fact. WI did that when they were the best and so did Australia.

    With Australia's resurgence, it's gonna be tough for SA to stay at the top.

  • on February 15, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    Fulton can kiss his international career goodbye.

  • on February 15, 2014, 14:23 GMT

    Disciplined bowling of Stein can only dismiss poor Asian batsmen ......................Johnson's exploits show how fierce pacy bouncers can intimidate, injure & demolish all team's batting.............

    De Cock was invincible against Indian bowling but all of sudden as the series vs Ind was over his form gone & cannot score even a few runs against SA club bowling. Same is the case always. Now all of a sudden NZ batters have hit prime form. Once india will be gone they will be back to bad form....... that proves how bad is INDIN BOWLING WHICH IS NO BETTER THAN CLUB LEVEL with occasional good performances.

    Unfortunate for Indian batsmen who don't have luxury to boost their international record by batting against indian bowling........Poor Sachin, Kohli !! Got to feel for them

  • on February 15, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    wow these key board cricketers are amaZing...... I saw comment mentioning to drop pujara....lol drop pujara, are u kidding me??? and also I saw.comment saying open with ashwin....lol...

  • on February 15, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    we are needlessly singling out rohit. he did get 72 in auckland. and he is all of 5tests old. give the guy a break.

  • ahweak on February 15, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    Zaheer Khan's effor with the bat was appalling. Though he's a bowler, he has been at this level for so long to not have learnt how to at least hang around. How many tests have hinged on the runs made by the lower order. When there's a proper batsman at one end, the tail ender is expected to hang around....basic cricket.

  • on February 15, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    time to get rid of two meter peter.....lbw twice in this match....not moving your feet mate...gotta go! Rutherford stays....just....nz has never really had a good opening combination. ...hope it changes soon!

  • Princer85 on February 15, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    @IndCrab ha ha ha dont make fun....who is that Anwar Ahmed

  • on February 15, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    dhoni & co should play a test match in australia against johnson, siddle and harris to really let them know where they actually stand....

  • Dhanno on February 15, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    @ultimatewarrior. The reasons are simple, those tests were in india and subcontinental friendly conditions. Where else would you give the fav boys a chance ? Rahane on the other hand was brought in against Steyn and co., so in case there is a failure they can re-instate Raina as the "new hope of Test cricket". we have seen it done for years after years for Yuvi and ignoring guys like Badri who were in their prime 3-4 years ago. But they never got the chance in test matches.

    @Aricent. 17 matches is quite long. A country plays avg 8-9 tests each year.. 17 matches ~ 2 years to try out guys who have FC avg of 43-44. Rahane has played similar number of games and has avg of 60+ in FC. What prompted Indian selectors to think Raina/ Yuvi were ever going to come good in tests ? But still 17 and 40 matches wasted on them. simply stated Rahane should be given atleast 20 tests (including those in flat conditions in India where Raina was "tried") before judging him.

  • IndCrab on February 15, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    Discard falt track bully Rohit Sharma,, he can play only in cement indian highways.... Team must be ::: Dhawan , Ashwin , Pujara , Kohli , Rahanne , Samson , Irfan , Jadeja , Varun Aaron , M Shami , Pandey or Yadav ::::::: 12 th man Ishant , Anwar Ahmed , Manoj Tiwary , Jiwanjot Singh ,

  • gladiatorgannicus on February 15, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    "Pujara and Rohit have to go.,, they cant handle the bounce at all" wait 4 a year u will see Pujara's name at the top of icc test batsman rankings.

  • suresh.sure06 on February 15, 2014, 12:44 GMT

    I'm happy india have played 2 close matches in last 3 tests excluding this with a inexperienced team..India really need to look at the 4 pacer problem..this problem dented our chance in winning the 1st test in SA.. Rohit has to be left out seriously he is gifted but bad attitude.look at jadeja from a mediocre player he succeeded as a bowler in ODI and now proved as hitter. In the recent tests his performance is going up and up..his fielding is a great asset.he brings such a positive energy to the game..when he was fielding and also during batting.i think its good to try him at 5 ,drop rohit and bring in a 4th pacer.this will balance the team well for the away tours..among the fab four pujara is dravid,kohli as tendulkar and rahanae as VVS,only place left is ganguly position and being a lefty jadega fits well and surely he will improve with more games..he has that attitude and hungry for success.Dhoni should play his natural attacking game like today . defence is not his cup of Tea

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on February 15, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Thank you @Sir_Ivor for bringing us some much needed historical awareness by reminding us of the glorious tradition of left arm spinning all rounders that Ravi Jadeja is a legatee to. Vinoo Mankad and Salim Durrani are indeed two forebearers Jadeja could look up to for inspiration. I would add Bapu Nadkarni and Rusi Surti. I guess it is the mercurial charisma of Wing Commander Salim Durrani that Jadeja evokes most poignantly with his daring cameos whether with bat, ball or slip sliding across the tarmac like a skater on ice. Let us hope he is appropriately elevated by the perspective afforded him by being able to perch on the shoulders of these versatile titans to aspire to emulate their deeds of derring do on the field!

  • balajik2505 on February 15, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    I loved the way Rahane celebrated his hundred. It was a big occasion, and the man was so understated. Rohit Sharma needs to really work on his batting. Getting bowled is all right but playing on the way he did with no foot movement was downright appalling. Shikhar Dhawan seems to have done some thinking and it is showing in the last 2 innings he has played. If he continues to do this instead of being as mindless as Sehwag was later in his career, he can go places. Sure, he has his limitations, but he seems willing to work on them.

  • on February 15, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    This will be and should be Zaheer khans last series. He has done well previously and should be given decent farewell. His antics with the bat, slow running is so embarrassing to watch. Bringin Aaron as a regular test bowler to the team. Anyway india is't playing tests till July when they tour England for 5 test matches. Plenty of water would ahve flown by then.

    In the previous tour of England, Zaheer was pretty successful. if Iam not wrong there was this Jellybean incident by English players which infuriated Zaheer and he pickedup plenty of wickets..Thtas all in record books now and he is not the same bowler.. Team for change. If Dhoni survives IPL betting controversy which is threatening to become louder in coming days, he should bringin atleast couple of fresh faces in bowling and batting depts. I do't think anyone calling for Ishants blood anymore now...

  • fair_paly_1 on February 15, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    India produces some of the classiest batsmen and Rahane is one of them with an excellent temperament for a test batsman. Pujara is another one. And with flamboyant Kholi, India, as far as batting is concerned, is in good stead. But what India lacks is good bowlers. This observation from a neutral here.

    India is in a good position here but despite that some typical fans cannot help but whinge about non-issues like no-balls - referring to the one with a long name that ends in Atheist. The point is even IF some no-balls get missed out by the umpires but as long as they keep checking the ones at the fall of every wicket then what's the problem?

  • on February 15, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Pujara and Kohli scored centuries in SA.Now Dhawan and Rahane have scored centuries in NZ.Exciting times ahead for Indian fans .The 5 match test series versus ENG is gonna be a cracker.

  • StreetView on February 15, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    Dhawan seems to be a confidence player ,doesn't he? And Vijay has been unfortunate in all his three dismissals. 1. Beauty from Wagner 2. Wrong decision 3. Peach from Southee. As someone said the Goddess of Luck which was smiling on Pujara n Vijay in Sa has moved on to Dhawan n Rahane in NZ. Anyway good to see them performing as a unit , rather than individual brilliance. If Rohit is replaced (or he miraculously sorts out his mess ) , we have a strong batting lineup.

  • cricketlover111 on February 15, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    India won a very good toss but you still have to perform well which they done. It looks likely the series will be 1-1 after this game. What a shame there isn't a third test. We've had to put up with Australia thrashing England all summer in test after test, and we finally find an even well contested series in this part of the world. Who makes these decisions?

  • on February 15, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    Pujara and Rohit have to go.,, they cant handle the bounce at all

  • on February 15, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    @gundapps; Do't be such a pacimist my friend. I do't think India's attack is thin and neither NZ can score easily as you mention. Indian attack has come of age with lot of confidence, fielding has improved and they are sensing a victory.. There is no other country, perhaps Australia excluding, who can fight the way Indian team does, when they are absolutely corned, which is what happened in this tour. Just watch NZ batsmen foldingup for innings defeat or maybe with less than 50 runs lead, just before tea tomorrow.. India's win guaranteed.

  • on February 15, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    I am wondering that with two knocks now all saying that Dhawan had succeeded, I wonder that many of here are just seeing commentary and commenting. Vijay's out was unfair in all innings of this tour. In first test he got a beauty from Wagner which may even out Dravid and in second innings he was notout but umpire gave him out and yesterday he cant be blamed for that kind of delivery. He was just leaving the ball outside the offstump but the ball bounced and nicked his glove and he cant blamed for that. Even Rahane or kholi would have got out at that delivery.

    so before comment, first watch the match then comment. Just dont comment based on commentary...

  • on February 15, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    Yes, Rahane is the one with the class India was lacking, I always believed that Rahane is best batsmen when compared to Yuvi, Raina, Rohit in test matches. He has very cool head and lots of patience which is required in test cricket. Few more good knocks at No. 6 or 7 will make sure he is permanent member of Indian test squad. He is very good in the field and open the innings too as he has done the same for Mumbai. Dhoni made a great choice of playing Rahane ahead of others. Next India will tour the Eng that will be the real 'monstrous' test Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Vijay and Pujara that will give the answers to the question can these players replace/fill the boots of Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. India should opt for a fast bowling allrounders like Stuart Binny or LRS or Irfan whosoever played Ranji Trophy. I hope the selecters are taking a note of this.

  • remnant on February 15, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    @Bharath, Rohit's scores in away conditions are what are the cause of concern not his subcont record, which is twice as good. But in the NZ/SA/Aus conditions he has not justified his position. No matter how many figures may be quoted.

  • Fan1969 on February 15, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    India is ahead but then so were we when SA needed 460 to chase in 4th innings in the first test in Dec 2013. SA almost won that. Bowlers still need to be accurate and deliver the wickets.

    I think the first session is crucial tomorrow. If NZ lose 1 or less wicket in that session, a fight back will be on and with ball over 35 overs old in 2nd session, swing will reduce. NZ must be bowled out tomorrow. Let the pacers make it the 13th time when they get all 10 wickets of opposition.

    India needs 3-4 wickets in first session. Winning overseas is not easy so let us not assume it will happen. Like Arjun keep your focus

  • remnant on February 15, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    India can play a paceman instead of Rohit S, who is simply throwing his wicket and adding to the wicket count on the scoreboard. It can either be: Umesh Yadav/Bhuwaneshwar or if they want to try a batsman if can be Rayudu or I Pandey, who are all in the test squad. Why not let them have an opportunity. Though Rayudu could be tried but I doubt if Dhoni will even think of that.

  • on February 15, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    177, 111, 14, 6, 0, 25, 72, 19, 0.

    Above are Rohit Sharma's scores in his short test career : Average of around 60. Did someone say drop him from tests? Surely you jest? Drop a player after 5 matches? (as a perspective, Yuvraj coasted to 40 test matches for an average half of Sharma's)

    Drop Sharma from one dayers, of course. But tests???? Shooting from the hip is easy, but do dig a little deeper people.

  • parvinder7 on February 15, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    well done rahane on your first hundred overseas. Very well done. I have to say memories of trent bridge 2011 were right on the cards. Durban 2013 in the first innings. This indian team have to see that in many winning positions, your collapses have really hurt india. Had india got to 380 instead of 330 in durban we could of tested south africa. I have said all along the tail of indias has to contribute. Look at the difference it makes. Come on india wrap this match up tomorrow. To chase 50-80 runs is easy in the 2nd inns.

  • AricentHarish on February 15, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    @ultimatewarrior, Yuvraj only played 17 tests after Dada's retirement. Only the last 3 cost us badly. Same with Raina. He had a bad home series vs New Zealand. Both were dropped then

  • gundapps on February 15, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Quite astonishing the way umpires were constantly missing to declare no-balls when Wagner persisted in cutting the return crease. If this had been done by the umpire meticulously, he would have had to change his attack and would not have been able to frustrate Kohli into the drive that got him out.

    With the way the track is playing now, NZ can easily rack up a massive score against this rather thin Indian bowling attack and put pressure on the Indian batters in the fourth innings.

  • on February 15, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Not gud to see New Zealand in this condition...... As it is said that any thing is possible in cricket then I hope that New Zealand will win this match....

  • Big_Poppa_94 on February 15, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Man some of these comments are mind numbing.

    You have to bear in mind that in terms of Test matches played, this batting line up is fairly young. Not to mention this is now the second time they've played away from home.

    At first, I was very skeptical of Dhawan because I noticed he was very top-handed and would probably struggle against proper short pitch bowling. He struggled in SA, but the 115 in the 1st Test and 98 in this Test has shown he is able to grind out scores when things are difficult. Rahane has cemented his place for now due to his scores in SA and the ton here. Pujara and Kohli have had rare failures, but who doesn't? As for Rohit Sharma, yes he played a lazy shot but I much prefer him in Test matches instead of ODIs. He tries to attack and he is lambasted. Tries to stick it out and is criticised for eating up deliveries. I hope he tries to prove his critics wrong! My only concerns of now are Jadeja and Vijay. Need better pace attack and a better spinner.

  • SA_Ahmadi on February 15, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Hats off dear Rehane,Many congrats, very confident batting, every shot was calculated, and if your ideal is Mr.Dravid or Mr.Sachin I must say that you keep batting like this you surely are a second Dravid or Sachin (With all due respect ,No matter If people says Virat is next Sachin or Pujara is next Rahul Dravid, you can be the combo of both...Let me make sure all Indian Cricket Fans Trusts you,All the best for tomorrow.

  • sumit1982 on February 15, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Gr8 partnership between rahane and dhoni which help India to get a lead above 200.

    Congrats on your first ton rahane.

    I think Dhoni need to have serious talk with Rohit sharma over is overseas performance.

  • ultimatewarrior on February 15, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    I guess firstly we should search for the reasons that had delayed Rahane's Test debut and tried for Suresh Raina 17 Tests & Yuvraj 20+ Tests(After Saurav's Retirement) instead of giving Rahane, Manoj Tiwary or Badrinath a well deserved try......Similarly these forces are resisting I Pandey & Umesh Yadav today in Test matches...

  • on February 15, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    Good inning by Rahane..!! Guys all these matches and series are fix... no truth in it.. all test matches are planned to end on sunday...seriously depressing...that happened in all ashes ..and now here in this series...i have been watching this for few days.How is it possible all matches ending on sunday...trust me India will win this. i will be wrong if this game survives till monday :-)

  • on February 15, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    First of All Let me congratulate my city mate on 1st INTL Hundred.... m so happy for him........ Well Played Dhoni too......... Zak finally got wicket........ Let us Go hard..... for god sake MSD put in attacking positions make slip fielders stand a step forward.... go hard..... u can rest after this match our bowlers...

    And those who are saying drop Rohit.... man he jst made 72 highest score in 1st inning of 1st test........

    I guess ppl dont like the surname... Sharma..... either of them will always be criticized........

    Good Luck India.... to end i feel if this NZ find a player like Flemming to open... they can raffle many top team...!!!!

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    this is the major problem with indian cricket team. even before NZ starts sec inn. pundits have started stories abt winning.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Rahane fantastic Innings. Made me a fan of your style. Love how u showed patience and stillness in your century celebration. A classy player like pujara. One big question for BCCI, Dhoni and team India management staff, how many more hair I will have to pull before rohit is said enough with and given chances to other guys? He is taking spots of other guys. Talent is great but consistency wins matches and rohit may have talent but he has no consistency at all!!

  • Gzero on February 15, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Excellent innings by Rahane, it was a treat to watch. Now-a-days, You don't get to see players like Rahane, Williamson & Pujara who are having such a good technique & patience that is required for test cricket.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    The wicket is good, if NZ don't panic with the scoreboard pressure they should also be able to knock up 400+ on this wicket and give themselves a chance to win. I earlier said if conditions stayed the same NZ would have a good chance of bowling India out cheaply in the first innings, they didn't. Here if the ball does not swing and the wicket stays flat then NZ should be able to do well, they will miss Ross Taylor though

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    The other option is to play Shewag for vijay as we will have a decent part timer. Unfortunately Yuvraj or Raina are not good for tests. Else they could be ideal replacement for Rohit. In other words we need a couple of allrounders and batsmen who can bowl a bit.

  • ashmaugham on February 15, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Giri Jagannathan, I would suggest that we stop looking at the new batch of cricketers to fill the shoes of the old stalwarts. This is a different cricket team, let them find their own identity and style. They want to play for India, not fill someone else's shoes.

  • abhi_242671 on February 15, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Surprising to see so many people hate Rohit Sharma. Only in the last test he scored 72 when India were 10 for 3. His innings atleast made others believe that NZ bowling can be conquered if played merit.Problem is that people tends to bring his ODI's failure into test. He still has a test average of 50+ going with his 60+ average in first class.Yes he played a lazy shots today but it can happen to anyone.This looks a wonderful young batting line up rather than criticizing too much we should support them. Pujara played well in SA but in this series he is a total failure so that doesn't mean Pujara should be dropped. Similarly just before this test series everyone was busy in criticizing Dhawan calling him flat track bully. But everyone now praising him after just two good innings !!

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Oh C'mon people , why you no understand sarcasm ??? I was not denigrating NZ team. Stop being so preachy.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    This Guy deserved his place in both One Dayers and Tests long before the persistence with Rohit Sharma. It is Dhoni's liking to certain players that has resulted in the delayed debut of Rahane and the somewhat ruined career of Amit Mishra.

  • andy2142 on February 15, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    One of the classiest and flawless century I have seen from an Indian batsman for a long time (apart from one shot when he was on 92) . If Ajinkya Rahane keeps playing with the calmness, grace and patience that he displayed today, he and Pujara will become the backbone of this Indian batting line up which will allow Dhawan, Kohli, Dhoni and Jadeja to attack more freely. All these pull and hook shots were missing from Indian batsmen's armoury for a long time.Good to see these young batsmen playing those shots fearlessly on green tracks.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    VJGS you are right..However a few possible alternatives may also be tested.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    India need to make two changes Ist Murli Vijay need to be looked again. The team could call in Gambhir back, and get another nurture another opener. With batting depth Indian team needs 4 pace men on foreign pitches or rather on seaming pitches, as the team India is NOT having world class spinners, Jadeja is not doing that bad. We need a spinning bowling coach so that these spinners learn new tricks . Rohit is simply NOT learning from his experience, he is very lazy in shot selection and at the same time has very lazy approach. Had Indian team fielded 4 pacers things would have been different be in South Africa or New Zealand. The surprise has been Ushant Sharma. After making his impressive against the Australia in the year 2007-08. A veteran of 54 Tests, should had been leading bowler of team India. For the first time after making his debut he is looking threatening.

  • Des_65 on February 15, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    Dhawan=98, Kohli = 38, Rahane = 118, Dhoni = 68, India = 238. Why do they end with an 8? Will India win by **8?

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    finally team india coming good..rahane is a talented cricketer..he has a good temperament and technique.he should be able to fill the void created by laxman's retirement.we need to find a good replacement for rohit sharma.he is talented, but not consistent at this level..he plays a good knock once in a while(unless in subcontinent) and doesn't deserve a place in the team.also since jaddu improving as a batsman team india looks more balanced.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Dhoni should take one bold decision...bring in Binny or an allrounder in place of vijay or Rohit who are inconsistent. Kohli seems to be filling Sachins slot. Rahane for VVS. Pujara for Dravid. Dhawan for Shewag. But Rohit and vijay are not doing much. So if an allrounder plays for vijay and does what shastri, bangar, prabhakar did, India will have a bowling option. Also Rohit and Kohli must bowl more. In India another spinner can play for a fast bowler. Also look at a replacement for Zaheer who is losing his sheen. Irfan Pathan can also play.

  • jango_moh on February 15, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    @VJGS... finally some thoughtful words.... we indians are such lousy fans sometimes... now that rahane has scored, they will continue the rohit bashing.... yes, rohit has been given quite a bit leeway in odis... but not in tests... he's pretty much the best talent we have at the moment for 5-6, so leave him be... a dravid/ganguly/laxman didnt score too well outside india initially either... this is a young team in transition, but alreay 4 of them have scored centuries outside asia and thats extemely encouraging... eventually, we will start winning games... and for some of the non-indian fans who talk about this FTB thing, they are just ignorant... u just cannot apply the 8-0 defeats to this young team, none of them were in those games except kohli in the last games in aus...

  • sachin_vvsfan on February 15, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 How about giving India some credit that is due.If you start giving excuses about toss and green top then you should remember that NZ scored 500 in first test due to poor fielding and dropped catches else they would have bundled out below 300 and we could have won the series.

  • on February 15, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Here's hoping for some heroic batting from the kiwis. I cannot bear to watch Capt Cool play test cricket any longer - he's got to go regardless of the outcome of this match. Somebody has to take the fall for 10-0 so a fresh start can be made around some very promising young players whose abilities Capt Cool will stifle if allowed to go on any longer. Still miffed about Binny's debut in the ODIs and Pandey/Yadav warming the benches in the tests.

  • tom120 on February 15, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Firstly, congratulations to team India for a very good performance with both the bat and ball. Now, all the shortcomings in the past in NZ and SA (In both one day & tests) of India will be washed away in the holy river Ganges after India wins this match. Everything will be forgotten and India will be considered no. 1 team in the world again.

  • ramli on February 15, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    So, we are not going to miss a VVS now that AR has arrived ... this performance by India points to a settled side at last ... looking good on par with NZ by standards ... whether they improve or not, time will tell

  • Guruprasad.S on February 15, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    @Hishon: Relax man. There are fans of every team who over-react, who are very partial, and who disrespect other teams. I don't think any test cricket follower in his/her right mind can call the current NZ team as minnows. Also, the current India cant be called a good test team either. Both test teams are works in progress. Indian ODI team struggled in NZ and now the test team is coming to terms with the bowling attack and conditions of NZ. Similarly, if NZ or any other team comes to India, they too find it a bit difficult to adjust to Indian conditions and Indian spin bowling attack. Remember what Stephen Fleming said, that the beauty of playing test cricket is in experiencing different conditions and cultures. With three days to go in this test, I am looking forward to India chasing a tricky fourth innings target.

  • ramli on February 15, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    "Despite Ishant Sharma's annoying 40-minute stay in the morning", certainly not annoying for India ... "Zaheer tried his best to get out and leave Rahane in the 90s with the No. 11", certainly annoying to India ... why don't the tail-enders learn how to hold the bat properly and above all try to defend good balls ... let the bowler think you out rather than gifting them one ... well done india on the whole

  • umalik712 on February 15, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Win is far away. still Williamson, mac, Anderson left in the linup. 1st hour of 4th is important to indian bowlers need to take 2 wicket in that and attacking feild setting is required. As i have noticed dhoni is too defensive overseas. this time they have runs on board there is no hurry till lead is with india, if NZ take lead then dhoni has to stop run. From this point NZ will go for Draw not for win. We must congrats Rahane & Dhawan for their batting efforts. Rohit again fails, he should not play test now. A spe my view if keeping Vijay in XI 1.Dhawan 2. Vijay 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja .8 Zaheer 9 Ishant 10. Shami 11. Pandey / UT Yadav extra pace in side could change the course of game. Till we got new Medium pace all rounder dhoni will stick to extra batsman= Rohit.

  • yjreddyindia on February 15, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    i have been watching cricket for more than 16 years.i had seen lot of grace when Dravid,sachin,laxman were batting those days.Now i have seen that grace in Rahane.only tests can test the calibre and technique of a batsmen. its pure elegance and technique making him unique in indain batting lineup. he deserves to bat at the top of the order.he can bring the glory for indian team.these days our indian batsmen have the ability to hit the ball brutally.but there is no proper technique.indian batsmen should learn from Rahane.Keep Rocking Rahane..

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 amazing. dhoni and rohit were out to a no balls in first test second innings when india could have won and margin was less then 40. Umpiring mistakes have u considered there were many no balls not called for wegner who bowls only no balls. Besides williamson with all the luck in the world and numerous LBWs which were not given against kiwis. Agree indians are bad but the are consolidating post players retiring and still have put up a good show unlike lots ofteams. Just criticzing for the sake of it simply jealousy

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    since SA tour I always thought Rahane should come at 5 ahead of Rohit.Far too many times in his short career we have seen Rahane stranded at one end because wickets tumble at the other end.He like Pujara can score big hundreds if he comes up the order.

  • satchander on February 15, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    Its been a long wait for Rahane to get his test cap and he had proved that he is good enough at this level. Happy for him though I still don't think he us suited for ODI / T20. Rohit does not seem to know which balls to leave and the one he got out was in the latest innings was such a wide one. I don't think he is good enough for Tests. We should try other players instead of him.

  • batman_gothamcity on February 15, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    Well played India , Rahane after 96 in SA scored a good century in NZ and shows that he can bat in overseas conditions . Now we have Dhawan , Pujara , Kohli and Rahane set for England tour . Hopefully Rohit and Vijay will pull up their socks and deliver . Coming back to this Test it will be hard to get 10 wkts and hope Zaheer can bowl , coz he was seen gingerly on the field . Jadega with his spin could be the trump card .

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on February 15, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @ModernUmpiresPlz: It's been annoying us forever.....we can't do anything when it comes to Khan though. Politics and all......

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    There is always this talk about green tops as the best thing to "finish" the so called flat track bullies. and it often backfires on the hosts. Australia has seen it in Perth, SA almost lost in Johannesburg. Now New Zealand is on the verge of defeat. Yet am sure on India's next tour the talk of using green tops and short balls will surface again.

  • VJGS on February 15, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    +Hishon I couldn't have said it better myself. I am Indian supporter myself, but most other Indian "Fans" have always stymied me. Heroes become villains after a single series and a villain becomes a legend after a single match to most of them. Most of them do not understand the concept of a team in transition and expect sweeping changes to be made after every match and suddenly become admirers of those very same players in a matter of minutes. No wonder countless cricketers have admitted that it is a tough job being a cricketer in India. Worst of all, they fall victims to media's attempts to boost its TRP without taking in a shred of evidence. This victory certainly doesn't mean that India is all of a sudden a good side at all. But the performance of this team over the last two months indicate that it is a team poised for greatness in a matter of a year or two.

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    Let's hpe for a big win for Team Ind. answer to the critics(?) who performed poorly in their playing days and now became so called specialist in TV channels!!!!

  • yjreddyindia on February 15, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Rahane played one of the best knocks in recent years,especially in overseas scoring runs with tailenders and facing second new ball.its not an easy task for a middle order batsmen..but this man has done in sa and now doing in Newzealand..really promising. his technique,composure and elegance making him the best test batsmen in indian side in my point of view.i hope he can many in future for india.

  • abc3 on February 15, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    electric_loco_WAP4 - I beg to differ from your view. Look at how much time is left in the match. Thanks to the rapid pace of Indian batting scoring runs at 4.26 RPO there is still 3 full days to go and NZ is already a wicket down. Even if the pitch has flattened NZ will have to bat out of their skin. Point 1 is scoreboard pressure. Point 2 is even if they survive for a good for a good 5 sessions (day and half) they will still be behind with just a lead of around 200 at the most and a day and half left to go. That lead is not good enough on this pitch as I don't anticipate it will deteriorate enough even on day 5 to cause much trouble for Ind batting 4th (and NZ doesn't have a spinner to take advantage of a say 4/5 pitch).

  • ns_krishnan on February 15, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    @ electric_loco_WAP4 : Sorry, it was New Zealand who wanted a green top. Now you can't whine that the toss went against them.

  • Kamal22 on February 15, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    Rohit is a walking wicket. He needs to be replaced till he sorts out his technique on moving pitches. You cannot falter for so many innings without a problem. Get it sorted, and till then please stop handing the advantage in the middle of the innings with your walking wicket. India should persist with him in ODIs in away conditions to let him get exposure but its costing them heavily in Tests, time and again.

  • Sir_Ivor on February 15, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    I have always been a very big admirer of Rahane because of his distinctive touch play. There are very few international batsmen who revel in this form of stroke play. As we saw today it is a sight to behold for sore eyes.It is just as well that he has sealed his place with this beautiful hundred in an away Test. I remember some people had written that he lacked the required technique when he got bowled on the forward defence,to Finn in the ODIs in India a couple of years ago. I had corrected them then pointing out how effortlessly he had played Md Irfan no ordinary giant quite easily.Secondly,I am really disappointed with Jadeja's hurryand having to go hammer and tongs as much as he did today. he is an upper order bat lie Vinoo Mankad was. Vinoo also started in the lower order but went on to open for India. It was the same with Durrani. I am mentioning these two names because both of them hail fro the place Jadeja comes from. Jadeja could be a great No 5 in my opinion.

  • IndCrab on February 15, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is a passenger along with Zaheer , Vijay , Ashwin. We need Harbajan , Manoj Tiwary , Irfan , Varun

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    problem with indian batting is they are not succeeding as a unit..if 2 batsmen are playing well others failing miserably..similarly in bowling only 1 or 2 bowling better in a match..whoever playing better are not consistent..

  • BustIPL on February 15, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Really nice to see contest between two young sides who despite representing differing ends of the icc ranking are giving each other a close shave. Again today dhoni stamped authority on the game building momentum with rahane. Expectations from rohit and pujara did not materialize but dhoni holds it together when india is slipping. dhoni is the reason why india have been impressive in competitions. Now he is doing same rearguard action in tests. Without him and kohli young indian team is only a symbol. After the first morning wicket has played a lot flatter but holding on to the for many sessions will be difficult. If NZ take lead of say 200 which looks possible from the impression that indian pacers made this evening then NZ will also lose as they dont have a good spinner other than williamson. While india are playing their best team, NZ could have played guptill, ryder, bracewell, mclenigan, ross taylor and then you can understand who is the better team. Anyway, i see india winning.

  • PeterJerome on February 15, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    Been observing Vijay since the tour of SA. He tends to play on overseas bouncy tracks, the same way he would have played on subcont pitches. His wrists do not drop to the risers when intends to leave the ball, but he tends to watch the ball through (which is fine in Indian conditions). That leaves him unprepared for the sharp bounce and seam movement. Secondly, he should be playing with his back straight and head backward backfoot stance(with a longer bat) to tackle the bounce, rather than his haunched backfoot stance. He has an excellent attitude & temparament for a good opener though. Unless he rectifies the above, he is asking for a grave & a coffin in UK.

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    I have said this umpteen no of times but will say it again - rohit is not of any use in this middle order... he s been given so many chances and its disappointing to see his performances... at least they can bring in ashwin so that we will have 5 bowlers and 2 more than handy lower order batsmen... also I m happy with the way jadeja is batting aggressively but he needs to choose the right balls to dispatch so that he can score 50s instead of 20s and 30s..

  • nayonika on February 15, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Rahane....no hopping and jumping or clenched fist punching the air on his maiden century. Just a quiet smile,acknowledge the team mates and get hug from his elder colleague who nearly left him stranded in the 90s. Well done AR, we are very proud of you. You have won the test match for India with your batting.

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    Well well well, when IPL owners put pay cuts on some domestic players than they thought now it's time to perform otherwise bcci will apply same rules or may they thought they won't be in indian team any long. I think it's time to take some strong step for bcci against that players who continually not performing well specially on oversee soil.

  • Sameermahmood on February 15, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Wow, how come suddenly everybody is supporting MS Dhoni.

  • venkyind on February 15, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    rahane is best when it comes to playing new ball in the world(never gets beaten) what an innings brilliant but i think he will not play tests in india because in india u want stroke makers like rohit sharma but best knock i hav seen in 2014 so far

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on February 15, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Though not much has gone NZs way till now -most vitally the v crucial toss- NZ has a great chance to bat on and bat for a huge 2nd inngs. score of 500 odd and see it to a draw safely . I say it because the pitch is only getting progressively better as the game goes on and getting a team all out is going to be tough for both teams. Though Ind have a huge adv. courtesy the toss and have chance to bowl on 1st day pitch at its greenest and trickiest but NZ will believe they an save it. It is only 1 bad inngs. that NZs batting failed while all other times they have barely been tested by the Ind bowlers and put good scores. Also the far superior NZ bowlers were ineffective on the pitch which is flattening out and as their batsmen showed with good application. it is tough to get you out and big scores are therfe to be had. I don't see NZ failing again to this Ind bowling twice on this pitch which now is very good for batting . Expecting a big NZ 2nd inng and a draw.

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    Hishon on (February 15, 2014, 5:49 GMT) : I was being sarcastic mate :) as pointed out correctly by abc3 ... NZ have a very formidable side and will be very tough nut to crack in next world cup. I did not mean to denigrate your team at all. India have decent side too but we are still in rebuilding phase. But some fans have to always criticise our team no matter what. Thanks abc3.

  • on February 15, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Rahane at last! I often wonder how these Mumbai batsmen are different from the rest...hype is it?

  • rajcl on February 15, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    @ Hishon, if u an educated lot of diferent bitween good & better & best,, we indian knew we never best in test, we r saying good , if we find good pace bowlers we r better team in tests , if u take nz series we never had one sided matches we close in all odi & test exept 5th odi & in SA also in test we give them tough & ofcourse we r worst in that odi series,,,, the fact is we r the best opponent beat any team in the world, plz publish

  • SagarV45 on February 15, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    India now have solid batting order. They need to stick up with these 6 for a long time & try to groom Rohit and Virat as good part timers

  • tests_the_best on February 15, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    @hishon, most of the Indian fans commenting so far have either congratulated Rahane or talked about team transformations and potential future combinations. Only a very few are calling nz minnows or mediocre and no one is calling the indian team best in the world so no need to call them "uneducated gits".

    also regarding your comment about "look at new zealands form history of recent", you played well against india, granted, won 2 tests against wi at home but you lost the test series in wi 0-2 when every other top team defeats wi home and away. and what was that with the recent 2 test series in bangladesh which ended 0-0, not to mention losing the odi series there 0-3. NZ are a pretty good side at home and you will do quite well in the world cup but your away record is as awful as most other teams if not worse so better focus on that. I find your fellow countryman kiwicricketnut's comments far more balanced than your own, maybe take a leaf out of his page.

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    i must say..zak is very important for india untill. one of sami or ishant reach the level of zak at his best...we should not again make mistake of ruling out experience

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    this game is india's to loose now. ishant was superb really and have been criticized a while ago but on this tour he has finally picked up. i think he has silent his critics for some time. NZ fell to their own trap of green surface. lead is too much to overcome without taylor. they have to bat deep and well to win it.

    the good thing from india is that they improved day by day. 1st test 1 st innings to this innings, improvements are there in batting and bowling.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on February 15, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    You wouldn't believe it given the comprehensive scoreline taking to account the tour as a whole -the ODIs coupled with tests- where NZ lead Ind 5-0 overall that Ind are the 1s who got the majority of the 'rub of the green'.Apart from 'whitewash' victory in the game of tosses that Dhoni has had over his opposite no. -100% at that- Ind are the 1s who have benefited most from the numerous umpiring mistakes as well . And the scoreline of 5-0 doesn't say about the w/wash in the ODIs and even the win in 1st test was not as close as the margin shows . NZ were always the favs. to win it even though the brave charge at the end by Dhoni,Jad and the tail had a hit out as all hopes were lost made the victory margin smaller in the end. NZ again in this game had no luck with the toss and had to bat on a fresh green top . That has been the single most factor that has had an effect on the game as it stands now. Had it been NZ who got to bowl 1st it would have been Ind fighting for the game.

  • pull_shot on February 15, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    We have bigger chance in 1st test in SAF but bowlers failed lets hope not this time

  • Biso on February 15, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Dhawan has realised he has to make adjustments to his game to get runs on seaming pitches. He has already done it and got reasonably good results. However, that all talent and no application personified- Mr Nohit Sharma has to make major adjustments in his mindset and attitude. Quite a few former players who are from Mumbai are pushing for Rohit, just to ensure that he is given a very long rope. Maybe, Rohit captaining India in future can help entry of some mediocre Mumbai batsmen into the Indian team (masked by truly great batsmen from Mumbai) as has happened in the past.

  • gladiatorgannicus on February 15, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    well played Rahane,an excellent innings and Dhoni took the attack to the opposition.India sitting pretty well.NZ bowlers did well in the 1st session but will have 2 bat now extremely well.M Vijay is doing the hard work but getting out 2 balls on the legside unfortunately.hope he starts scoring more. hope India get NZ all out tomo.NZ still have Williamson and Mccullum,both very good batsmen and score big hundreds.Ind needs 2 get them out early also NZ bat very deep upto no11.

  • MiddleStump on February 15, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    We know New Zealand is in big trouble when Ishant and Zaheer each score more runs than their openers Fulton and Rutherford combined.

  • tests_the_best on February 15, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Amidst all the praise for Rahane, lot of credit should be given to Dhoni as well. When Kohli got out, the lead was just 36 and could easily have been kept down to 75-100. Dhoni's aggressive play and his partnership with Rahane was what truly handed India the advantage. It has often been said that apart from a vital match-saving half-century at Lords in 2007, Dhoni has not played any significant innings outside the subcontinent. If India go on to win this one, this innings of Dhoni could well end up being his most significant outside the sc.

  • abc3 on February 15, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    @Hishon - Yogesh Gupta was not calling NZ as minnow team. He was merely predicting that scores of Pak/SL fans will come here now onto the msg board and undermine the Indian performance as a win against minnows if they go onto win it. All the perennial anti India haters always say this when India does bat good abroad it is termed as either a flat wicket or they won against the minnows which is what Yogesh was merely pointing out to.

  • sohaibahmad on February 15, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    excellent comment Deven Sharma ji

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Some of the criticism leveled against Vijay is a bit unfair. He was probably a touch unlucky in the first innings. He is doing a satisfactory job of seeing the new ball off both in SA and in NZ. A good knock is just around the corner one gets the feeling

  • sergio11 on February 15, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    @Hishon...NZ is not a mediocre side..but this win means a lot to ind cricket..just luk at the number of games played by each players...jadeja,Rohit,Rahane,Shikar,Shami thats 5/11 only played less than 10 test...Kholi,Vijay,Pujar only played less than 25..so going in with 8 inexperince players on an alias condition and doing this...it not a small thing..and about NZ they are very powerfull side at home but am not sure about there record in subcontient...so dont say NZ being playing well,bgn playing decent cricket..but sinc WC in NZ..NZ along with SA are the favourites to win it..no doubt about that...having said that..the wicket gone flat now..i dont think it will assist the seamers or the spinners...still believe its anybodys game even now..

  • stating_the_obvious on February 15, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    @ModernUmpirezPlz: I agree with you. Zaheer' batting is annoying. He may not be in the team as a batsman but as a senior cricketer in the team, he must show some responsibility while batting.

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    @Hishon..nobody called NZ minnow/mediocre,based on one or two comments u generalize every fans,now that is what i call uneducated comments,most of the fans here are concerned about their own team rather than mocking opposition

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    India still have to be very cautious and shouldn't give too many runs away, because they don't have hefty lead on NZ and there's plenty of time in this test match for hosts to comeback if they play out of skin.

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    People who are talking about playing Rahane as an opener knows nothing about cricket. He fits perfectly well for No.5 or No.6 spot because his technique and game suits 50-60 overs old ball.

    He is doing well, so don't experiment with his position, because at No.1 Dhawan is doing well, No.3 Pujara No.4 Kohli and No.6 Rahane are the only spots where dont have to experiment because they have settled in pretty well.

    The only weak link is Rohit Sharma and Vjay, which we need to correct.

    In terms of bowling, We still need a replacement for Zaheer and Ishant may be.because im sure after this good performance by Ishant, he is going to take at least 7-8 tests to again perform well.

  • sid4391 on February 15, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    at last rahene got the well deserved century, a flawless test innings.

  • jimjambimbam on February 15, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    Well played India, especially Rahane. That should be the end of Peter Fulton's international playing days. If Rutherford plays out of his skin tomorrow and notches a decent score I'll forgive him for the moustache - sooo bad!

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    If Rohit sharma was not a class player Dhoni would have thrown him out long time back. He's seen the potential in him and hence continued with players like Rohit, Jadeja and even Ashwin who's not taking wickets these days which he used to earlier. Dhoni believes in giving the max chances to a player. let him decide whom he wants.

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    I agree with streetview that rohit just plays for Mumbai and doesn't play for india

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Dravid has been saying for ages how good a batsman rahane is. Even if you can't believe the assessment by one of the most intelligent batting pundits present, there is no way you can ignore a knock that possibly set up our first overseas test win since the fab four did in their heyday. he needs to bat at 5. I say play rohit at 6 in the first test in england, if he doesn't perform, bring in either bhuvi or ash at 8 depending on the pitch. it will free up a spot for the extra bowler and also push jadeja to 7. Jadeja seems to be in a purple patch with the bat. He could be quite effective when not slogging. With a player of a decent batting ability i.e ash or bhuvi coming in at 8, he can play without the extra pressure of being the last recognized batsman in the lineup.

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Wagner's method of bowling wide of the crease at the risk of resulting in no-ballls is not helping India, rather it is just a loss for NZ. The width of the crease he uses to deliver the ball is not having any advantage to the bowler, because the line of deliveries he extracts from there is either on to the stumps or to the leg side and both these lines are not much wicket producing deliveries against indians. However he risks of bowling no balls and it can affect getting wickets like it happened today against Zaheer Khan and nearly happened against Dhoni the other day and if dhoni survived there NZ might have lost that test too (possibility). My limited point is wagner's bowling method has no advantage to NZ, it can only help the opposition team, however his bowling method is wrong so he need to be reprimanded.

  • BobCo on February 15, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    Great position for Team India now. Can't see how the NZders can wiggle out of this one; would need something extra special.

    Must say Dhawan is starting to convince me he can be the real deal. His innings today, particularly the pace of it, was exceptional and kept NZ well and truly on the back foot.

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    Fulton failed again... He has to be dropped. What's Guptil doing? Is Mitch McClenaghan going to play test cricket or not? His pace and aggression could have helped in this match

  • on February 15, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut - Appreciate the gracefulness. NZ have a great young team with a great future. Its always a privilege watching Williamson bat. One of the best young bats going around. With Kane, Ross, Anderson and bmac you have a good batting order. Even the current dodgy opening pair, hamish has great potential, needs to have more discipline however. Fulton though needs to be replaced from what little i saw of him during the england series' and here. (did not watch the WI series). Hope for a future series between our teams when the youngsters of the two teams have matured into very fine players.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    I think it's time we a get solid left hand batsman in the middle in place of Rohit Sharma. Once in a blue moon inning and then he gets back to his usual lazy shots as if he has secured his place in the team forever.

    We need to groom Vijay Zol and tighten up his technique and then get him in the team in the middle order, he is a lefty and having a solid lefty in the middle order with right hand batsmen will be good. Or Perhaps work on Jadega's technique and have him in the middle order and then play an extra fast bowling all-rounder for him at the bottom.

    Australia did it with Steve Smith, He was Jadega type of player when he arrived in international cricket...and now they have worked on his technique to tighten up a bit, and results are showing.

  • tests_the_best on February 15, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Very happy for Rahane, success finally for someone who was on the bench so long. He should definitely be batting up the order, atleast 5 and maybe further up as his careers progresses but then again Pujara/Kohli seem right for 3 and 4. He was 51 not out in one innings in SA, it seems to me he's going to miss out on a few hundreds by running out of partners if he continues to bat at no 6.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    I suggest BCCI to given Mumbai indians jersey for Rohit sharma...... so that he can hit tons of runs......

  • StreetView on February 15, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    @Francis Mel None ever doubted Rahane's talent. He has the hunger. We only believe Nohit is over-hyped by the Mumbai lobby. Hope since Rahane has made it large, they stop hyping Nohit. He bats his heart out in IPL while just goes through the motions for India.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    where were the bouncers from nzl bowlers??? there were hardly any... bouncers r the most wicket taking balls...for indian batsmen.. very ordinary bowling from nzl today:(

  • Hishon on February 15, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    India are looking like they are going to win 1 game and all of a sudden indians are calling new zealand mediocre and minnows? indian fans have to be the most un-educated gits i have ever seen, when your team loses yous cry and cry to replace the whole team and now your winning its the best team in the world? look at new zealands form history of recent, i think we can forgive them for losing 1 single game. Now look at indias recent form, theres not much more to say. Congratulations one your ONE win, this does not mean india are all of a sudden a good side.

  • abc3 on February 15, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    continuation to earlier post.

    We are talking about a team that in transition in last year. Is there any other team with their entire top 6 being phased out and currently as inexperienced as current Indian top 6. 3 of the top six have played 5 to 6 matches and rest of the three around 20 or less. No other team has such inexperienced batting/bowling top 6 lineup. Only Zaheer, Dhoni and Ishant playing 50+ matches. Yet this team has done an OK job on their first two away tours to SA and NZ which will be a good learning curve for them. This bunch has shown good fight in all their 4 test matches played so far in SA and NZ which even the fab 4 couldn't do in the first few away tours. Give the current some time and I'm sure results will come. This team has lot of fight in them unlike the meek Indian sides of the past decades who used to get rolled over in the 80's & 90's.

  • StreetView on February 15, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    Please drop Nohit Sharma. Please. Even Ishant is better. Include another bowler in his place. In that case , we can play 5 bowlers making our attack more potent. Ashwin and Bhuvi are better batsmen than Nohit. Gavaskar is stupidly hyping Nohit,sitting in that commentary box. Come on Sunny. You already have Mumbaikars in the team(Rahane,quite deservedly) . Let some other deserving Non-Mumbaikar take Nohit's place.

  • abc3 on February 15, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    This to all the Indian fans critics who like to replace player A with B as soon as he fails in one match and then player B with C when ha fails in next match. 80% of Indian/Asian fans have no knowledge of the game and either just talk too emotionally or just support the players from their own region while bringing down the other players. North fans demeaning the south players no matter what they do is prime example often seen on these messages. contd..

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    rahane deserves to play as opener his strike rate 75, drop r sharma and murali vijay , lots of ranji players r waiting to show there talents

  • --.-- on February 15, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    There is some similarity between Wagner and Finn.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    this will be peter fultons last test he has had far too many chances already.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    I m happy with the tails performance Here especially Ishant .

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    I wouldn't change top six for England let batsmen settle at least all have one fifty in overseas test and 4 of them have centuries. Give the same six a chance for England .Of course if they perform horribly in 1 st or 2nd test then get batsman on bench. I still can say this might be the best top six India have at present.As f

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    What a ton by Rahane! This man loves green tops. This one is even better than he played in Durban. Such a class act he is for a short man like him. Kane Williamson and Rahane are made for future greats.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    What a superb test match this has been for India. They are in the best position so far in the twin tours. In technique and temperament Rahane exhibits all qualities of Rahul Dravid. Even in celebrating century he is so low key. Just like Dravid. No punching the air and puffing your chest.. Class Century. Dhoni and Jadeja batted beautifully also.

    Lets congratulate Rahane for your maiden century. Keep it up young man, we expect many more from you.

    India lets go for the kill and give us that win we are desperately searching for. An innings defeat would be icing on the cake..

  • kiwicricketnut on February 15, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    well done india, you finally showed us your class, you have the game in the bag now barring a nz batting miracle that i have never witnessed before, hopefully we can bat well enough to at least give you 200 to chase but the damage is done and you deserve the win really, your bowlers and batters have been better than ours this game and i can't see us worming our way out of this one, i wont stop watching just in case but like i said i havn't seen us do it before, not this far out so well done, shame it took so long.

  • on February 15, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    what many people fail to realise is that most of the members in this XI have barely played 10 mtches....they are getting used to the international test scenario....they will start performing...there has been a vast improvement in batting over the few series but bowling has let us down in some matches and batting equally too in some matches....just give these lads some time they will start winning series....rohit sharma has talent but it wont be justified if he gets out like this....vijay has been unlucky this time..though he is still a liability...dhoni has led as a captain brilliantly in recent odi series and done well today...if players like dhawan rahane score consistently we can win matches big by batting the team out....hope we win this match willl be a stepping stone to this young team...please publish this...

  • humdrum on February 15, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    Wagner is now the great performer (after Swann's departure) for on-field antics.His run-in with Dhoni after being thrashed for 4 consecutive boundaries and send off to jadeja after the latter scored a quick 26 were highly amusing,showed the ruffled feathers. Mercifully,Zaheer also thrashed him and so brought up the Kiwis' 1st century of the match. Dissapointingly.the send off on this occasion was absent.Now,with a deficit of 240 odd,lets see the brave Kiwis step up to the great occasion.Green wickets for India,Shane bond? A pity you cant play any longer,since your coaching has been zilch.

  • abc3 on February 15, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    As soon as the wicket was denied for Wagner, look how he starts bowling well inside the crease for rest of the deliveries. He was let off very lightly untill now without being called fro several no-balls. he took advantage of lax umpiring and kept pushing it time and again. About time he is punished by series of no-ball calls from umpires ala Steve Finn to get him to change the habit and not try to stretch the rules.

  • on February 15, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    NZ pace bowlers are mediocre.

  • on February 15, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    After Kohli it's Rahane's turn to overtake Rohit Sharma. It's pretty evident now that Rohit Sharma is highly over rated.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on February 15, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    It's not really relevant in this match but it was for the last one:

    Do you Indian fans get really annoyed at Zaheer Khan when he tries to slash everything to the boundary when he could just leave the ball, gets out and leaves Ishant and Shami to try and bat with the settled batsman at the other end who is on some decent score (50-100+)? Doesn't he realise that he's a bowler, he sucks at batting, and he should just try and help the guy who can bat at the other end? It just looks like he thinks he's an awesome batter and he can hit everything for 4 and do a much better job than the so called batsman, "Who is this Rahane kid he has no shots, I'll show you how to hit 'em, I'm Zaheer Khan!" It's really starting to annoy me and I couldn't care less how well India do.

  • on February 15, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Watching Rahane's knock was such a treat. I hope those fools who were doubting his ability and class were watching. I doubt it though. If not please catch the highlights. Classy knock. He deserves to bat at no 3.

  • on February 15, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    rahane you beauty.... you deserve to play up the order....you deserve to play at 4 or 5 ..... great knock this.... both his high scores have come away from India....so let's hope he don't get the tag of flat track bully from the so called cricket fans.... jinx... you are there for plenty more....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 15, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    Wagner's no-balls are just getting pathetic. Looks like he already bowled another 30 no-balls in this test match. That's 30 runs lost and 30 balls not re-bowled. Even the commentators (Kiwi Commentators) were shouting that something needs to be done with his no-balls and that this is just unacceptable at this stage of the game or at any stage of the game. Cheers to Commentators for saying the obvious.

  • on February 15, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    Vijay batted well in SA but was perhaps a bit unlucky in NZ. He has also retained his place scoring runs in the home Test series against Australia and WI. However if he loses form in England, we must open with Pujara and bring Rahane up to 3. This will allow us to play an additional allrounder or specialist bowler.

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    worst shot every by rohit

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Now that india is looking very good , suddenly NZ will become a minnow side with pathetic bowling for all non-Indian fans.Also , basin reserve is a FLAT TRACK for now.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 15, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    @ Mervo: The weather in Wellington will be FINE for the next 3 days with bright sunshine, wispy clouds and blue skies. So I say India will win this match quite comfortably by bowling out NZ cheaply second time around.

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:37 GMT

    Rahane has got sound technic to face new ball in all format than any other player in India right now..

  • Resultpredictor on February 15, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    The match will progress like this: India will take lead of 200 plus easily. MSD or Rahane will score century. NZ if possible will score 250-300 or less than 200 giving India innings win. Otherwise India will chase small target easily. Ishant will pick 10wkt haul. Ishant will be both MoM and MoS for his bowling. India will square the series easily. INDIA IN DRIVERS SEAT NOW. Congrats India for victory. This will happen 100% sure and is bound to happen.

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    Great character & Technic shown by Rahane.. Dhoni as well as Rahane must capitalize on the advantage and carry on.

  • on February 15, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    good job dhoni please win this match

  • NelaturiShyam on February 15, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    There is no other international cricket player who is more stupid and dumb like Rohit Sharma of the Indian team. He is absolutely without any cricketing sense and not having any team spirit. The way he got out in the first innings of the ongoing test proves my point. He is just a passenger in the team. He should be dropped forthwith and should not be considered for any international game hereafter.

  • Mervo on February 15, 2014, 0:30 GMT

    Ishant comes good about once a year. Not sure that is enough. For a tallish man with such thin angular features he really needs to think about his hair style. He tends to look like a mop at times. Looks like India may draw this match at least. NZ weather prevents many results.

  • sams235 on February 15, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    I would like to see these 2 changes for the next test. Drop Vijay and Rohit. Whenever I hear of Rohit is so elegant, majestic, etc from Sunny I feel like getting into that commentary room and letting him know -- doesnt matter if you are NOT consistent and dont add value to the team.

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  • sams235 on February 15, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    I would like to see these 2 changes for the next test. Drop Vijay and Rohit. Whenever I hear of Rohit is so elegant, majestic, etc from Sunny I feel like getting into that commentary room and letting him know -- doesnt matter if you are NOT consistent and dont add value to the team.

  • Mervo on February 15, 2014, 0:30 GMT

    Ishant comes good about once a year. Not sure that is enough. For a tallish man with such thin angular features he really needs to think about his hair style. He tends to look like a mop at times. Looks like India may draw this match at least. NZ weather prevents many results.

  • NelaturiShyam on February 15, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    There is no other international cricket player who is more stupid and dumb like Rohit Sharma of the Indian team. He is absolutely without any cricketing sense and not having any team spirit. The way he got out in the first innings of the ongoing test proves my point. He is just a passenger in the team. He should be dropped forthwith and should not be considered for any international game hereafter.

  • on February 15, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    good job dhoni please win this match

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    Great character & Technic shown by Rahane.. Dhoni as well as Rahane must capitalize on the advantage and carry on.

  • Resultpredictor on February 15, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    The match will progress like this: India will take lead of 200 plus easily. MSD or Rahane will score century. NZ if possible will score 250-300 or less than 200 giving India innings win. Otherwise India will chase small target easily. Ishant will pick 10wkt haul. Ishant will be both MoM and MoS for his bowling. India will square the series easily. INDIA IN DRIVERS SEAT NOW. Congrats India for victory. This will happen 100% sure and is bound to happen.

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:37 GMT

    Rahane has got sound technic to face new ball in all format than any other player in India right now..

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 15, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    @ Mervo: The weather in Wellington will be FINE for the next 3 days with bright sunshine, wispy clouds and blue skies. So I say India will win this match quite comfortably by bowling out NZ cheaply second time around.

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Now that india is looking very good , suddenly NZ will become a minnow side with pathetic bowling for all non-Indian fans.Also , basin reserve is a FLAT TRACK for now.

  • on February 15, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    worst shot every by rohit