New Zealand faced-off against India in the first Test of the series at the Basin Reserve, Wellington and on a greenish wicket, and quite expectedly, Kane Williamson elected to bowl first. On a rain curtailed day, India managed to score 122 runs for the loss of 5 wickets after the end of 55 overs. Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant will be on the crease for India tomorrow and New Zealand will be looking to get into India's tail very quickly.
The Kiwis are on top at the end of day 1 and here, we are going to take a look at the three talking points from the day's play.
#3 India's surprising team combination
Before the start of the match, India was expected to play at least 5 bowlers because of the cloudy conditions and the green pitch. But instead, India went with 6 batsmen plus a keeper and 4 proper bowlers.
Furthermore, the selection of Rishabh Pant over Wriddhiman Saha was also surprising as Saha is one of the best wicket-keepers in the world and on a swinging and seaming wicket, it would have been better if Saha would have been selected. Hopefully, the combination works but India don't really need this kind of depth in the batting department as it puts too much pressure on 4 bowlers.
#2 Kyle Jamieson's perfect line and lengths
As he did in the ODI series, Kyle Jamieson troubled Indian batsmen on day 1 and that's because of the fourth-fifth stump line and length he continuously bowled. The pitch was helping the New Zealand bowlers but that should take nothing away from Jamieson, who was extracting pace and bounce, largely because of his height and perfect lengths. He dismissed Hanuma Vihari and Cheteshwar Pujara with two absolute beauties, while the prized wicket of Virat Kohli was taken by him as well. It was a brilliant day for the debutant, to say the least.
#1 Indian batsmen struggle on a seaming wicket... again
It's not even surprising anymore, is it? Whenever the Indian batsmen come across a pitch that is green and assists seamers, they seem to struggle to get going and that's because there is a clear lack of defensive game in almost all of the Indian batting contingent.
Barring Cheteshwar Pujara - who forces bowlers to bowl close to his body - everyone else goes chasing for balls outside off-stump, which is something you cannot do a green top. On day 2, expect the conditions to be quite similar and if India don't reach at least 250 in the first innings, they will be on the backfoot and if would be very difficult for them to come back into the match.