India captain Ajinkya Rahane has opined that umpires made the right call to stop play due to bad light after playing out a draw against New Zealand in the first Test in Kanpur. Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel saved the Test match for New Zealand playing 91 and 23 balls respectively on the last day.`
India played out a draw in the first Test of the two match series at Kanpur on Monday. It was a display of quality Test cricket as all three results were possible on the last day of the Test. India declared on 234/7 and set a target of 284 runs for the opposition on Day 4 as they were leading by 49 runs. Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha scored 65 and 61 runs respectively and played a vital role in scoring a good total. Also, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel batted well together before the declaration. India captain Ajinkya Rahane feels that the team tried their best for the win.
“Not really, we tried our best,” said Rahane after the match when asked if anything could be done differently. “They played really well. I think the way we came back in the second session was good. The fast bowlers too bowled really well. We wanted to get that partnership going, put some runs on board. Saha and Axar batted really well. Before that Shreyas and Ashwin's partnership was crucial,” he further added.
Chasing the target in their second innings New Zealand were looking good as Tom Latham scored fifty. Also, William Somerville scored 36 runs. Indian bowlers bowled well later and the fall of wickets started from 118/3. Rachin Ravindra played an unbeaten knock of 18 runs from 91 balls while Ajaz Patel scored unbeaten 2 runs from 23 balls. Both the batsmen played a match saving partnershipss together. The umpires were bringing out light meter very often in the last 20-30 minutes and the play was stopped 12 minutes before scheduled close due to bad light Speaking about the stoppage of play Rahane said that the umpires made the right call regarding the light
“We wanted to bowl four overs yesterday and 90-95 in all. I think the umpires made the right call regarding light. Sometimes it feels, am I giving Ashwin too few overs? Am I bowling Axar too much?,” he said.
Shreyas Iyer made an impressive Test debut by becoming the first Indian to score a hundred and following it up with a fifty on the occasion. Also, Virat Kohli will be back in the team and will lead them for the second Test in Mumbai. The team might have a selection headache with his comeback as someone will have to go out of the team to make place for Kohli. Reflecting on the selection dilemma, Rahane said that he won’t be commenting anything about it and the management will take the call.
“I am really happy for Shreyas, the way he has worked on his game. Virat will come back for the Mumbai Test. I will not make any comments, the management will take the call,” he stated.
Earlier in the match, India had scored 345 runs in the first innings while New Zealand had scored 296 in response handing the hosts a 49-run lead. It was a big achievement for New Zealand to draw the Test match. Two pacers, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, were very impressive and picked most of the wickets for the team. Kane Williamson was satisfied with the result saying that all the three results were possible on the last day and the team fought hard to save the Test. He also added that the team will have to prepare differently for the Mumbai Test.
“It has been touch and go around this time throughout this Test.The Indian side is a formidable one, they were on top for the large part but we hung around. All three results were in play but we fought hard and showed the fight on the last day. Rachin is a top-order batter, but is not experienced in these conditions. The two fast players we played were outstanding, kept bowling long overs and kept us in the game,” said Williamson.
“We know this Indian side is a very strong one in all departments, so we have to be at our best all the time. As a bowling attack, getting overs under the belt was good. We will play in Mumbai on a different surface, so we need to prepare differently.”