The New Zealanders, in a tour of Pakistan and India during which half the sixteen matches played were Tests, achieved results much below the level which had been hoped for, but circumstances were against them. The frequency of the Tests, the first of which, in Pakistan, came after only one game, gave almost no opportunity for players out of form to find their touch, especially as many matches were played on matting pitches.
The heat and strange food, too, proved handicaps to several of the players who suffered from stomach trouble and other illnesses. Among them was J. R. Reid, yet he contrived to score the most runs and take the most wickets. This splendid all-rounder showed particularly impressive form with the bat.
B. Sutcliffe, the left-hander, after a comparatively disappointing time in Pakistan, ran into excellent form in India, particularly in the Tests, and his 230 not out at New Delhi constituted an individual record for New Zealand
Apart from these experienced campaigners, the two most impressive players with the bat were J. G. Leggat, a determined opener, and J. W. Guy, a 21-year-old left-hander, the youngest member of the touring team. He concentrated splendidly and coped better with the leg-breaks of S. P. Gupte, of India, than most of his colleagues.
A. R. MacGibbon, one of the successes of the 1953-54 tour to South Africa, began in excellent all-round form but fell away later, when hampered by illness. Other batsmen who lived up to expectations were S. N. McGregor, N. S. Harford, a hard driver, and P. G. Z. Harris.
Among the faster bowlers, apart from Reid, H. B. Cave and J. A. Hayes did quite well, Hayes making good use of the new ball, and Cave bowling with remarkable ecomony. The spin bowling of A. M. Moir and J. C. Alabaster, however, met with little success against batsmen thoroughly comfortable in their home conditions. Alabaster, aged 24, went on the tour with no previous first-class experience.
E. C. Petrie and T. G. McMahon kept wicket adequately, but disappointed with the bat. In general, the fielding might have been better, and too many catches were missed.
For Pakistan, Hanif Mohammed, Imtiaz Ahmed and Waqar Hassan all did splendidly with the bat, and the varied bowling of Fazal Mahmood and Khan Mohammad (both fast), and the spin of Zulfiqar Ahmed was effective. In India, V. Mankad, P. R. Umrigar and V. L. Manjrekar batted splendidly and fully demonstrated the limitations of the New Zealand attack. Kripal Singh and N. J. Contractor batted with great promise for the future, but the main feature of the Test series was the superb performance of Gupte, the leg-break bowler, who took 34 wickets, average 19.67.
Matches--Played 16, Won 3, Lost 6, Drawn 7
Matches--Played 3, Lost 2, Drawn 1
Matches--Played 5, Lost 2, Drawn 3
Match reports for
Match reports for