Having been reduced to 205/7, the onus was on Ravindra Jadeja, the last recognized batsman to take India to a good total in the first innings on a tricky surface in Southampton. While Trent Boult was en-route celebrating Ravindra Jadeja’s edge to the slips, Tim Southee’s drop made him livid.
On a day that seemed best for bowling, New Zealand made their actions count more than words, with Kyle Jamieson seeing the back of Indian skipper Virat Kohli and key batsman Rishabh Pant early in the innings. With Ravindra Jadeja walking into the crease, the responsibility was on the shoulders of Ajinkya Rahane, who was standing strong in tough conditions.
While Rahane’s edge was evaded several times during the day, from Jamieson and Trent Boult, he showed steel-sized determination to keep the runs going, with his knock that showed real composure. However, his determination was beaten when the left-arm pacer Neil Wagner had trapped the right-hander in his plan, with a short-ball that went straight into the hands of Tom Latham.
Ravichandran Ashwin showcased his best, with some exquisite drives before edging one to the slip cordon, to reduce India to 205/7. Once Ashwin was out, Jadeja was the last recognised batsman out there, to help India get to a respectable position in the World Test Championship final. However, to the left-hander’s nightmare, he got a peach of a delivery from Boult, only for Tim Southee to hand him a reprieve.
New Zealand, who have a 91% success rate with catches in the slip cordon, made a crucial mistake, with Southee dropping the Indian all-rounder, a catch that might become costly for them. It left the left-arm pacer terribly dejected, with him having a go at fellow pacer Southee, for dropping the simplest of takes on day three.
Here is how Twitter reacted -
BOULT NOT HAPPY!
When SIR JADEJA bats, even the best team in the slips drop a catch.— Mitul (@R3Mitul) June 20, 2021
It took an edge from Sir's bat for kiwis to drop a catch at slips!!— Gagan Chawla (@toecrushrzzz) June 20, 2021
The man...the enigma...the legend!#IndiaVsNewZealand