Second Test Match

India v New Zealand

Winning the toss again, India outplayed New Zealand as extensively as in the opening Test, but were prevented from winning and clinching the rubber by the resolute defiance of the New Zealand tail-enders in both innings.

In their first innings, India batted for practically two whole days and put up a mammoth total of 524 for nine declared, only 13 short of their all-time record. On the first day, they were 304 for four and so far, only Patel had failed to make a significant contribution.

Gavaskar made 66 after escaping a slip chance off Hadlee and without playing quite as securely as in the first Test. Gaekwad, his opening partner, played with unusual enterprise to make 43 and Amarnath made an aggressive 70.

Although India continued to flourish on the second day, none of their batsmen reached a hundred. The pitch was so bland that even Bedi, at number ten, batted comfortably for his first Test fifty.

As for the New Zealand attack, Hadlee bowled a much better line than at Bombay, but the pitch had nothing in it for him. Troup, a left-arm seamer, provided no extra edge and the spinners, O'Sullivan and Petherick, were, at best, steady.

Starting to bat an hour before close of play, New Zealand finished the second day at 52 without loss, although Howarth had benefited from a dropped chance, at gully. Having failed to counter India's spinners with defence at Bombay, they tried to quell them by force here and met with no greater success.

They were 263 for seven when bad light stopped play on the third day and that in spite of a polished 113 in well over four hours by Turner, who was third out, at 224. He and Burgess, who made 54, put on 106 for the third wicket. Turner had given a difficult chance quite early in the day, off Chandrasekhar, Amarnath being too close in at short-leg to hold the catch.

The time lost through bad light was one of the factors that contributed to New Zealand's escape. It was poor again on the following evening and though it did not this time cause a suspension in play, it prevented India from making an earlier declaration in their second innings.

New Zealand comfortably avoided the follow-on. Roberts, who made 84 not out, showed fine judgement in picking the right ball to hit. He received brave support from all the last three batsmen.

Roberts' overnight partnership with O'Sullivan continued for an hour. Troup stayed for fifteen minutes and then Petherick, who had only once before reached double-figures in a first-class match, held firm for eighty-four minutes while the last wicket added 52.

India, in their second innings, lost two wickets for 45. Still, they would have liked to declare not long after tea and deal New Zealand a shock or two before the close. But had they declared, New Zealand would never have started their innings in the light that prevailed. Despite the gloom and the fact that Hadlee bowled at top speed, Viswanath scored a century, completing it off the last ball of the day.

Inevitably, Bedi declared before the start of the last day. At lunch, New Zealand were 82 for three, the casualties including Turner, who was unhappy at being given out caught at slip. He felt the ball had gone off his boot. Half an hour before tea, Hadlee was seventh out and there was never any question of New Zealand getting the runs.

But India could not take another wicket. Lees and O'Sullivan batted out the remaining two hours, during which India bowled 48 overs, and never gave a chance.

Bedi showed a surprising lack of initiative in this period. He would not take the new ball, nor would he call on all his resources of spin. Gaekwad was not used nor the Ghavri asked to bowl in his slower style, in which he could have been quite effective.

© John Wisden & Co