Kanpur : The India spinners finally came to the fore on Day 3 morning, picking up three wickets in a hurry, but then New Zealand showed, again, why they are such a difficult team to play against by digging in with an impressive fifth-wicket partnership, before spin came to the home team’s rescue again. The first Test match in Kanpur remains anybody’s-game-really poised at Lunch on the third day.
An early start, after the entire third session on Day 2 was lost due to rain, was just the tonic India needed as R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowled with a purpose and plenty of venom. The fact that the ball was taking off and turning quite a bit helped, but, unlike yesterday, the two spinners put the ball in the right areas consistently.
As a result of that, Kane Williamson, untroubled in his innings on the second day, and Tom Latham equally impressive, could not rotate the strike, kept getting stuck at one end, which in turn built up the pressure, and as a result brought on the wickets.
The first to go was Latham, who was struck in front by an Ashwin delivery that went in with the arm. Latham (58, 151b 5×4), so good in defence in this innings, just caught his bat on his right pad as he was going in to defend and by that time, he was plumb lbw.
Four ball later, Ross Taylor was walking back as Jadeja got one to drift in and straighten just enough for the umpire to give another lbw decision.
The big man was still at the crease, though, and as long as Williamson (75, 137b, 7×4) was there, New Zealand would remain in control, but that went out of the window when Ashwin bowled an absolute ripper, one that turned square to knock off the stumps.