Kohli’s India suffer worst defeat by wickets as New Zealand take 1-0 lead

Written by Abhishek Patil

New Zealand defeated India by 10 wickets in the first Test in Wellington to take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. The seamers trio of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and debutant Kyle Jamieson starred for the hosts as they bowled out India below 200 in both the innings. On Day 4, Southee dismissed Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah to complete his five-wicket haul and bowl out India for 191, with a lead of 8 runs.

Chasing the meagre total of 9, Tom Blundell and Tom Latham stepped out in the middle and completed the chase without losing a wicket in just the second over of their 2nd innings. This is New Zealand’s 100th Test win. They become only the 7th country to reach the mark, after India, Australia, England, West Indies, South Africa and Pakistan.

In just the 3rd over of the 4th day Rahane (29), top-scorer from the 1st innings, nicked behind an outswinger from Trent Boult which pitched just short-of-length. In the very next over Vihari (15) was clean bowled by Tim Southee by a scrambled-seam inswinger which pitched on a length but evaded Vihari’s bat that was expecting an outswinger.

This left the young Rishabh Pant at the crease with only the bowlers for company while his team was still in deficit. He did find an able partner in Ishant Sharma (12) as the duo took India into the lead. A flurry of well-controlled strokes slowly and steadily avoided the innings defeat for India as Ishant was dropped twice in a space of 10 balls by Tom Latham and Tim Southee respectively.

It was Colin de Grandhomme who finally got rid of Sharma by getting him lbw with India just 6 runs ahead. Thereafter it was a matter of just a few minutes as first Pant (25) and then Shami (2) departed to hand the hosts a 9-run target. New Zealand didn’t have any trouble whatsoever in racking up the victory by 10 wickets and bagging 60 World Test Championship points.

It took just 79 minutes for New Zealand to wrap up the Indian innings as Tim Southee (5 for 61) picked up the 10th 5-wicket-haul of his career. Trent Boult finished with 4 for 39.

This is the 11th loss under Virat Kohli for India and curiously all these reverses have come after the captain has lost the toss. But the Wellington defeat is the 1st loss in terms of wickets under Kohli as all 10 other losses have been in terms of runs and/or innings. This happens to be the 100th Test match win for New Zealand and they are now the 7th nation to the feat.

The 2nd Test starts in Christchurch from February 29.

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Abhishek Patil