Debutant Shreyas Iyer came down with guts, aggression and one rolled in an unbeaten 75 that was nothing short of baptizing with fire as India finished at 258 for four on the first day of the opening Test against New Zealand here on Thursday. , On a pitch that had variable bounce and did not provide enough pace, Iyer put his best foot forward, facing 136 balls, hitting seven fours and two sixes on his first day in office in the longest format. At 106 for 3 after the fall of Cheteshwar Pujara (26 off 88 balls), the debutant found, in half an hour, the promising innings of his captain Ajinkya Rahane (33 off 65 balls) in the form of Kyle Jamieson . 15.2-6-47-3) and Tim Southee (16.4-3-43-1) rocked the inspiring middle order in a post-lunch spell.
But with 144 for 4, Iyer took charge for the company along with senior all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (50 batting, 100 balls) as they revived the innings, with the intention of keeping the scoreboard ticking.
Jadeja scored his 17th Test fifty and celebrated with fencing to please the crowd. No one knows whether Sunil Gavaskar had mentioned a very special player while presenting the India cap to Iyer.
Someone who had announced his arrival at the same ground 52 years earlier in 1969 against Bill Lawrie’s Australia. There are very few people in Indian cricket who have received the love of Gavaskar’s great brother-in-law, Gundappa Viswanath.
His century on debut at the same ground is part of the hottest folklore of Indian cricket. He says that every blade of grass at Green Park felt the punch in Vishwanath’s shots and remembered him forever.
He may not be in Viswanath’s class, but from Thursday Green Park will also remember Iyer as proving to the old concrete jungle once again: “A good player, a good player, a good player. “
It doesn’t matter whether one is from the T20 generation or not, what matters ultimately is to be successful at the highest level. Iyer proved that all the hard yards he put up during the Ranji Trophy and during a season of over 1000 runs were not in vain.
It helped that he was looking not only to survive but also to score as there were pull shots, lap scoops, drives down the ground and some tremendous cut shots.
The way he played Jamieson and Southee with caution had the ‘Khadoos’ schooling of Mumbai. A six long on left-arm spinner Ejaz Patel, while giving him the charge, belonged to an old 50-over batsman and left-arm spinner Rachin Ravindra shuffled straight towards the off-stump to play the lap scoop. IPL Play-Book. Iyer had it all and it was on display.
It helped that Patel (21-6-78-0) and off-break bowler William Somerville (24-2-60-0) did not find a way to aid the repeated pressure created by the two pacers. ,
Patel, who literally bowls with a half-step-full-jump run-up, either pitches too low or winds up the ball enough to give the batsmen the option of either cutting them or hitting them. To be run out by being taken down the track.
Shubman Gill (52 off 93 balls) did that on the day he had a century to spare and looked good to reach the landmark before Jamieson exposed the gap between bat and pad.
But there was no stopping Iyer, who saved a strong leg before an appeal from Somerville, which turned out to be the umpire’s call, ready to wait for a loose delivery.
The unbroken 113-run partnership between Jadeja and Iyer could prove to be a win in the final analysis. This is because if India’s batsmen find it difficult to score freely on a two-paced pitch, Black Caps’ Willow Wilder has little experience in handling Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Jadeja in these conditions. It will be doubly difficult for them.
If Iyer’s first innings was the brightest spot, then returning Gill’s first session to take the attack back into the opposition camp also could not be seen in isolation.
It was a phase that was set by Gill and had Jamieson not bowled beautifully with the old ball, he should have completed what was expected to be his maiden Test century.
But more importantly, Gill and Iyer sent another warning signal that day for Pujara and Rahane, who are now on borrowed time.
Rahane was done in low bounce when he was expecting the nearly 7 feet tall Jamieson to back the ball. With 12 Tests (India can’t bat twice) without a big score, Rahane’s record isn’t reading very well for a stand-in captain.
Similarly, Pujara being barred from scoring by the spinners, which young players like Gill and Iyer used to play freely, is a sign that he will either have to reinvent himself or have trouble waiting.
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