Day 3 of New New Zealand vs India test match at Kanpur was marked by collapse of New Zealand batting, superb bowling by India spinners and fine display of batting by Indian batsmen. It was once again proved that Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. NZ let the match drift away in favor of India.
NZ began the day at 152/1 but, the batsmen never looked comfortable against R Ashwin and R Jadeja who began rattling wickets at regular intervals. The innings soon folded at 262. From 219/4 in 79 overs, NZ were bundled out for 262 in 95.4 overs. Scoring just 43 runs and losing 6 wkts in 16.4 overs was a pathetic display of batting by the Kiwis. They showed lack of application and focus.
India began well and sensibly enough to pile up 159/1 in 47 overs. M Vijay 64 and C Pujara 50 appeared set for a huge total. NZ bowlers were struggling.
Day 4- Possibilities
Pre lunch session will be crucial and decide the course of play. If Kiwis get about four wickets in this session, Indian innings may fold around 300 runs setting up a target of 360 runs for NZ which appears difficult on a turning wicket. With some serious and classy batting, this is not impossible too.
If India survives 60- 70 overs and piles up say 360 runs to set up a total lead of 430 odd runs (incl first innings lead of 56 runs), the match could take an interesting turn. It would be very difficult (though not impossible) for NZ to score these runs in 110- 120 overs on a turning wicket spreading over Day 4 and Day 5 with R Ashwin and R Jadeja having tasted blood earlier on in the match.
An Indian collapse, which is a rare possibility will tilt the match in favor of NZ.
Can Indian batsmen mould the innings for a good score and give their bowlers a golden chance to bowl out opponents on Day 4 and Day 5 to register a win in this three match Test Aeries? That’s a big question.
Just wait and watch. Let the better team win. And rain gods should focus elsewhere.