First Test Match


Toss: India. Test debut: India - C.P.S.Chauhan, A.V.Mankad, A.M.Pai.

This first Test was due to be played at Ahmedabad, but rioting there made it necessary to transfer the match to Brabourne Stadium. On a turning wicket, Prasanna and Bedi usually held command. There had been only three days to prepare the pitch, and Pataudi gained a considerable advantage by winning the toss. With his fastest and most accurate bowling of the tour, Hadlee made a big impression and India were soon in swift retreat. Wadekar battled grimly for two and a half hours, Pataudi and Mankad stayed an hour and three-quarters for 18 and 19 not out, respectively. The Indian batsmen showed little ability to play the faster bowling, although the wicket was much more suited to spinners.

A fine innings of 78 by Congdon, who batted three hours, was the basis of New Zealand's innings and India's score was passed with only four wickets down, but clever bowling by the spinners kept the lead down to 73. India's second innings of 260 took almost nine hours. Pataudi, all determination, batted four and three-quarter hours for his 67 and he was helped in a seventh-wicket stand of 64 by Mankad, who finally fell victim to an astonishing caught and bowled by Howarth. New Zealand needed only 188, but Bedi was too good on the last morning. Dowling fought hard for two hours and a half and Hadlee hit two 6's, but India won, just over an hour after lunch. New Zealand's total of 127 was the lowest by any team in a Test at Bombay.

© John Wisden & Co