|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Encouraged by their convincing five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the third and final Test, and another consolation win in the ensuing one-day series, New Zealand were more at ease against the Indians. A docile Indian seem attack - Manoj Prabhakar had flown home with an ankle injury - doubtless came as a relief after facing the fire of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. They looked less certain against the Indian spinners - Anil Kumble, Rajesh Chauhan and Venkatapathy Raju- but, given that their star batsman, Martin Crowe, was still recovering from his knee operation, and all-rounder Chris Cairns and medium-pacer Simon Doull were also injured, New Zealand did well to draw the one-off Test. That Test - hindered by rain and bad light - was added to the programme at the tourists' insistence: originally the New Zealand authorities had planned only limited-overs matches. The four one-day internationals were shared 2-2.
Interest was heightened by the fact that Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev had recently passed local hero Sir Richard Hadlee's Test record of 431 wickets. Though past his best, Kapil deserved his rousing reception at the Hamilton Test. But the pitch offered little to seamers and he finished with match figures of two for 72. The highlight of the visit for India was the batting of Sachin Tendulkar, which became ever more scintillating as time went on. He reached 2,000 Test runs a month before his 21st birthday and scored a total of 200 in the four one-day games, delighting the crowds. Navjot Sidhu also batted well, though he fell just short of a century in the Test - not an unfamiliar misfortune for him. Nayan Mongia, who had to take over as Sidhu's opening partner at Hamilton after Prabhakar's injury, lived up to the responsibility and also took some brilliant catches.
For New Zealand, Ken Rutherford made two fifties in the Test - the first, in a total of 187, was especially valuable - and Bryan Young followed up his century against Pakistan with 85. But the man who attracted most attention was Stephen Fleming, a 20-year-old left-hander from Canterbury. He missed a hundred on Test debut by only eight runs and followed that with 90 in his first one-day international. His confidence, elegance and wide array of strokes impressed everyone. Danny Morrison, who completed the first hat-trick for his country in limited-overs matches, was the best of the bowlers. He had strong support, however, from Dion Nash and Chris Pringle, and spinners Matthew Hart and Shane Thomson, as the players seized their last chance to impress the selectors before the trip to England.
M. Azharuddin (Hyderabad) (captain), S. R. Tendulkar (Bombay) (vice-captain), P. K. Amre (Rajasthan), S. A. Ankola (Bombay), R. K. Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh), A. D. Jadeja (Haryana), V. G. Kambli (Bombay), Kapil Dev (Haryana), A. Kumble (Karnataka), S. V. Manjrekar (Bombay), N. R. Mongia (Baroda), M. Prabhakar (Delhi), S. L. V. Raju (Hyderabad), N. S. Sidhu (Punjab), J. Srinath (Karnataka).
B. K. V. Prasad (Karnataka) replaced Prabhakar, who was injured after one match.
Tour manager: M. Ranga Reddy.
Cricket manager: A. L. Wadekar.
Match reports for