If you bet on India winning the test series against New Zealand, you will be highly disappointed. India were under pressure going into the second test at Christchurch; they had lost the first test and needed a win to square the series.
Some bookmakers strangely had India as the favourite going into the second test; they expected Virat Kohli and his team to bounce back. However, the Kiwis are a very formidable test team especially in their own backyard. They used the momentum of winning the first test to their advantage and never let India get on top. The visitors folded.
Experienced Batsmen Fail India
India batted poorly in the first test; it was up to the senior players to make big scores and set an example for the younger players. The bulk of the runs were supposed to come from Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane but they did not deliver. Pujara made 54 in the first innings but could not convert that into a three figure score.
The Kiwis had a strategic plan to get Kohli out cheaply and they executed it brilliantly. Kohli got out for 3 and vice-captain Rahane followed soon after scoring just 7. India could only get to 242 in the first innings thanks to a fighting innings by Prithvi Shaw who made 54 and Hanuma Vihari who top scored with 55.
Bowlers Rescue India
The bowlers got India out of a hole as they managed to bowl the Kiwis out for 235 and secured a 7 run lead. Mohammed Shami took 4 wickets and Bumrah finally found some form and picked up 3 crucial wickets. Ravindra Jadeja who came in for Ashwin also contributed picking up 2 wickets.
The good bowling display in the first innings was undone by the batsmen failing yet again.
India Show No Fight In Second Innings
The batting line-up collapsed very quickly in the second innings, with Pujara being the top scorer making just 24. Kohli was dismissed cheaply yet again for 14 and Rahane continued his poor run of form getting out on 9. India was dismissed for just 124 as the experienced pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult shared 7 wickets among themselves.
The tail had little to no confidence seeing the top order collapse so easily and it made things easy for the Kiwis. They had to chase down just 132 to win and got off to a good start that did not give India any chance. They lost three wickets in the chase but ended up with a comfortable win!
Lots Of Weaknesses Exposed
India in many ways will be happy that their tour of New Zealand is over. They had suffered a 3-0 ODI series whitewash ahead of the 2-0 Test series whitewash. They certainly did not play like the number one test team in the world as a number of weaknesses have been exposed in all three departments of the game.
Ravi Shastri generally likes to sweep losses under the carpet and chalk it down to a bad day. But now, it will be interesting to see how he reacts following successive whitewashes.
BCCI President and former captain Sourav Ganguly is known to be a man of action and one who sets high standards. Shastri and Kohli will have to some explaining to do; the manner in which the team lost is a cause for concern. Moreover, with the 2020 IPL a few weeks away, it is possible that this whitewash could be brushed aside for now!