Second Test Match

New Zealand v India

At Christchurch, February 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. Drawn. Each side made one change. Bedi returned in place of Venkataraghavan and Roberts replaced Hastings, who had failed a fitness test and who later announced his retirement from Test cricket.

Bedi won the toss and India batted on a good but lively pitch which encouraged the making of strokes but gave lift not far short of a length.

India reached 270 mainly through Viswanath, who applied himself with much more purpose than all his colleagues save Mohinder Amarnath. Viswanath stayed nearly three hours and hit ten 4's in a courageous and cultured performance.

The early batsmen looked decidedly vulnerable with their hooks and firm-footed cuts while Collinge dominated the proceedings. The rest of the New Zealand bowling was mediocre. Richard Hadlee was erratic, when he needed only accuracy to trouble nervous batsmen.

The last thirty-five minutes of the second day were lost to bad light, and New Zealand took five and a half hours to inch forward from their overnight 26 without loss to 237 for two. Turner and Congdon scored 114 for the second wicket; the policy clearly was to bat as long as possible as insurance against a turning pitch late in the match. Just after passing 50, Turner hit a fine lofted drive for 4 off Prasanna to become the first man to score 1,000 runs in a New Zealand season.

By the end of the day New Zealand were strongly placed, and Turner had reached his sixth Test century. In his previous two Tests on the Lancaster Park pitch he had scored two centuries against Australia and 98 against England.

The third day, a Saturday, was washed out and so, under the tour regulations, the rest day, Monday, became a playing day, but more time was lost on Sunday, the game not being resumed until 1.50 p.m. In four hours, only 124 runs were made for the loss of seven wickets.

The pitch had freshened and the ball deviated from it sharply. So for a change, the Indian medium-pacers were more important. Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath, very ordinary bowlers on firm true pitches, made the most of a very rare opportunity, and both gave admirable displays. Madan Lal's stamina was remarkable.

On the fourth morning, Richard Hadlee and Howarth gave New Zealand a bonus of 41 runs for the last wicket. India, 133 ahead, had many uneasy moments before lunch, when several false strokes went unpunished, but in the afternoon, on a pitch now much slower and easier, the batsmen saw the crisis through. Gavaskar after a sketchy start batted soundly as did Viswanath.

© John Wisden & Co