Australia V New Zealand- 2nd Test, Day 1

A rain truncated day will be remembered for three reasons- uncertainty about DRS, Pattinson’s second five wicket haul in his second test and the mental disintegration of Phil Hughes

A few days ago Dhoni said that he would want the pitches in India to turn from first day. Players and critics were quick to pounce him and speak for the so-called betterment of the game. If seen in the same light, the pitch and it’s maker will be under censure in the coming days. He prepared a green top, which made the decision for the captain winning the toss, easy

Taylor couldn’t call correctly and Clarke had no second thoughts about inserting the opposition in. His move paid off 2 overs into the day as Siddle induced a drive from Guptill. The ball straightened after pitching and found the outside edge. The next two dismissals shifted the focus onto the new baby of cricket- DRS. In case of Ryder, it wasn’t clear if the ball thudded onto the pads after an inside edge. Hot Spot which facilitates these decisions, indicated a mark on the bat. In case of doubt, the benefit should go to the batsman but here the opposite happened as the batsman was adjudged out. Commentators on air were divided over their judgement

Ross Taylor – the next man to go can also count himself as unlucky because the ball hit him on the lower part of the thigh pad. It seemed as if the ball would sail over the stumps but the ball tracking found it to be hitting the top of off and middle. These decisions apart, it was a meek batting display by New Zealand. McCullum was troubled in his 98 minutes of stay by the moving ball. He was repeatedly beaten on the drive. For a man who is used to boundary hit every 11 balls, he doubled the average today as he found the going tough. What will bother him is the fact that the time spent in the middle couldn’t quite translate into runs

Williamson was pushed down the order and he too, like McCullum found the going tough. He scored the first boundary of the innings through an outside edge. He looked settled in the middle against the ball swinging away but when the ball was pitched on the middle stump line, his reflexes were uncertain. He departed by getting a fine edge that Haddin had to dive to his left to collect

It was left to Brownlie then to add some significance to the total. He did just that by capitalising whenever the bowlers erred in length. He was quick to pounce on anything that was short. He cut and drove with felicity. His promising innings was bought to end by inside edge

Over the past couple of years Australia found it difficult to dislodge the tail. Many a batsman rallied their lower order batsmen to make significant contributions. Cardiff and Mohali are the two venues that come to mind immediately. Australia seem to have found an answer to that if we are to go by this Test.  Pattinson made inroads into the tail with a double wicket maiden and bought about the end of the innings with two wickets off two balls

All eyes were on Hughes when Australia came back to bat after an extended tea break because of rain. He was picked and marked for this test by Taylor and Martin. He walked straight into the trap as he fell looking to defend a ball outside the off stump. The catch was gleefully taken by Guptill in the slip cordon. It shows that the Kiwis were in his minds as they made no bones about the way they wanted to dismiss him. That he was dismissed in manner that was talked about means that the axes are being grinded

With cloud cover, the first hour will be important for both the teams. The team that walks away with honours in the first hour might as well end up winning the match

Categories: Cricket

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