Posted On September 25, 2016 By In Sport And 436 Views

India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Kanpur, Day 3

KANPUR: On the eve of the first Test, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson had said that the first hour on Day 1 would make a lot of things clear about how the conditions were and how his team was going. Well, the first hour on Day 1 didn’t offer much insight but the first sixty minutes on Day 3 did, much to his chagrin. And the damage came from wholly expected quarters – the spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The twin terrors took only a few overs in the morning to establish their control over the game and make it obvious that there was no escaping the spin threat here in India. By the end of the day, India were well in command at 159 for one, having already gained a lead of 215 after Jadeja (573) and Ashwin (493) had skittled the Kiwis for 262 in their first essay. The hosts are well on their way to yet another spin-fuelled Test romp at home. However, some thundershowers are predicted over the next two days in Kanpur and there lies New Zealand’s big hope of saving this Test. After two days of absorbing contest, the tone changed completely at the Green Park on Saturday. As batting coach Sanjay Bangar had said on Friday, on wickets like these, one wicket can lead to many more. India knew they needed to break the Kane Williamson-Tom Latham partnership. Ashwin masterminded the breakthrough by slipping in a straight one which caught Latham right in front of the stumps in the fifth over of the day. Four balls later, Ross Taylor became the umpteenth victim of a Jadeja straight one before Ashwin produced a magical delivery to gobble up the big fish, Williamson. The world’s top-ranked Test spinner spun the ball viciously from well outside off and a befuddled Williamson could only watch it crash into his stumps. From 152/1 to 170/4 in a matter of 20 minutes – the die was cast. Luke Ronchi (38; 83 balls, 6×4) and Mitchell Santner (32; 107b, 5×4) put up some stout resistance but the floodgates opened once Ronchi became one of the six leg-before victims. He paid for playing an ill-advised sweep to an overpitched one.

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