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PIX: Iyer, Jadeja hit 50s to keep New Zealand at bay

Last updated on: November 25, 2021 17:40 IST
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Images from Day 1 of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur on Thursday.

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja hit half-centuries to give India the upperhand on Day 1 of the first Test in Kanpur on Thursday. Photograph: BCCI

Shreyas Iyer sparkled with a half-century on debut, while Ravindra Jadeja also hit an unbeaten fifty to keep New Zealand at bay on Day 1 of the first Test in Kanpur on Thursday.

 

Iyer was unbeaten on 75, while Jadeja made 50 to guide India to 258/4 in 84 overs at stumps on the opening day at the Green Park stadium.

India lost three wickets in the post-lunch session before debutant Iyer and Jadeja put on an unbroken stand of 113 runs for the fifth wicket to give the hosts the upperhand.

Shubman Gill had rallied India after an early wicket, as he stroked 52, but Cheteshwar Pujara (26) and Ajinkya Rahane (35) failed to carry on after getting off to good starts.

Kyle Jamieson (3/47) troubled the Indian batters, scalping three wickets, while his pace colleague Tim Southee (1/43) took one wicket.

IMAGE: Kyle Jamieson celebrates after dismissing India opener Shubman Gill. Photograph: BCCI

Shubman Gill scored a half-century before New Zealand seamer Kyle Jamieson wrecked India's top order to reduce the hosts to 154/4 at one stage.

The towering pacer dismissed Shubman Gill (52) in the first over after lunch and sent back stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane (35) in a terrific display of seam bowling on a slow track.

Jamieson dismissed Gill soon after lunch when the opener dragged a good-length ball from outside the off-stump onto his stumps.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill celebrates after completing his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Southee returned to cut short Cheteshwar Pujara's patient knock of 26 in an inspired bowling change by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

Rahane hit six boundaries and looked in great touch before perishing like Gill, deflecting a Jamieson delivery onto his stumps.

IMAGE: New Zealand's players celebrate after Kyle Jamieson, centre, dismissed India opener Mayank Agarwal. Photograph: BCCI

Morning session:

India, who had elected to bat, suffered an early blow when Agarwal was caught behind off Kyle Jamieson for 13. The tall pacer bowled a probing spell with the new ball, getting it to move, for wonderful figures of 1/12 in six overs.

Gill had also managed to overturn the LBW decision off Tim Southee using the review in the third over after the ball had hit the pads off an inside edge.

Gill was also lucky to survive a leg before shout. The right-hander, on 6, came down the track to left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel but was beaten in the flight and was struck on the pads.

However, he was fortunate that the Kiwis didn't take the review as he would have been dismissed otherwise with the ball tracker showing the impact in line with the ball going on to hit the stumps.

IMAGE: Cheteshwar Pujara bats during Day 1. Photograph: BCCI

Having survived a tough spell from the pacers, Gill played more positively against the spinners. He adopted a positive approach against Patel, taking toll of anything short with the square cut or used his feet to drive the tossed up deliveries.

He was quite severe on Patel, hitting the spinner for a six straight down the ground before cutting a short ball past point for a four, in the 17th over.

Patel was unable to control the flow of runs as he conceded 35 runs in his nine overs. Left-arm spinner Rachin Ravindra did get some turn in the couple of overs he bowled before lunch.

Gill completed his half-century from 81 balls with a single off spinner William Somerville in the 27th over.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill hits a six off spinner Ajaz Patel. Photograph: BCCI

He will be looking to consolidate in the next two sessions and go on to hit a century, which will put India in a commanding position on the opening day.

Earlier, Earlier, India stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat in the opening Test.

Batter Shreyas Iyer makes his Test debut for the hosts, who picked three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja.

Regular India captain Virat Kohli has skipped the opening Test, while several other senior players have been rested from the two-match series to manage their workload.

For New Zealand, all-rounder Rachin Ravindra made his debut, completing New Zealand's three-pronged spin attack with Ajaz Patel and Will Sommerville.

Post lunch session:

New Zealand pegged India back, restricting them to 154/4 at tea after skipper Ajinkya Rahane and his deputy Cheteshwar Pujara failed to convert their starts.

IMAGE: New Zealand's players celebrate after Tim Southee dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara. Photograph: BCCI

Jamieson removed a well-set Shubman Gill (52 off 93 balls) and Rahane (35 off 63 balls) in the afternoon, using the variable bounce to good effect.

Cheteshwar Pujara (26 off 88 balls) was done in by a beauty from Tim Southee that reversed in and then shaped away late to take the edge as the right-hander was caught behind.

Funnily, on a track that kept low and slow and didn't offer much turn, New Zealand spinners Ajaz Patel (0/56 in 15 overs) and Will Somerville (0/28 in 13 overs) were disappointing.

But Rahane would be gutted as he hit six lovely boundaries before dragging one in as he expected the ball to bounce more considering Jamieson's height.

Before that Gill, who hit a sublime fifty, had a big gap between bat and pad which helped Jamieson's incutter breach his defence.

Debutant Shreyas Iyer looked confident in that brief period before tea.

Post-tea session:

On a pitch that had variable bounce and didn't offer enough pace off it, Iyer put his best foot forward on his first day in Test cricket.

Coming in with his team in a spot of bother at 106/3 at the fall of Cheteshwar Pujara's wicket, Iyer saw his team slip further when skipper Ajinkya Rahane's (33 off 65 balls) promising knock come to a halt as Kyle Jamieson (15.2-6-47-3) and Tim Southee (16.4-3-43-1) rocked the middle-order in inspiring post-lunch spells.

Iyer took charge with senior all-rounder Jadeja for company as they resurrected the innings, at the same time batting with a lot of intent to keep the scoreboard ticking.

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Jadeja scored his 17th Test fifty and did his trademark sword celebrations much to the delight of the crowd.

The six over long on off left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, while giving him the charge, was that of a vintage 50-over batter and the shuffle towards off-stump to play the lap scoop off left-arm spinner Rachin Ravindra was straight from the IPL play-book.

Iyer had it all and it was on display.

There was no stopping Iyer, who save a strong leg before appeal by off-spinner William Sommerville that turned out to be an Umpire's Call, was ready to wait for the loose deliveries.

The vital fifth wicket partnership between Jadeja and Iyer might prove to be the winning one in the final analysis.

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after completing his fifty. Photograph: BCCI

Iyer nearly holed out in the deep trying to score his first test runs but soon figured out a safer way to do so.

He hit two sixes and seven boundaries and remained on course for a century in his first Test innings.

Jadeja also proved his worth with the bat, with an unbeaten half-century as the duo forced the Kiwis on the defensive in the final session.

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