India won the match by innings and 115 runs. Ashwin took 12 wickets in the match. NZ were all out for 159 and 164. Pujara scored a mammoth 159, considering, he was number three a position guarded by Dravid for so long, along with guarding the top and middle order. Pujara, should look to build on, not only for this series, but also for rest of the season and collect as many runs before Indian team flies abroad. Dhoni seems to be getting his team. He should have got more runs. His pe3rformances will be crucial for team doing well at home.
India batter first, which wasn't much of rocket science. Sehwag and Gambhir started well. Gambhir and Sehwag should have pushed on and got more runs. A bad form and tough opposition are never far away, they did well but more is expected considering the fact the opposition will get tougher and chances of runs lesser as the long seasons prevails Its vital to get into habit of making runs rather than try playing an indifferent rash shot. Infact, Gambhir, Sehwag, Kohli holed out to shots uncalled for. Kiwis dropping catches didn't help matters. Sehwag, Pujara both being let off. Pujara and Kohli added a delightful partnership Many reckon there will be more to come from these two. Kohli made a good 50 and got out when he had a century for the taking. Raina got out caught behind of a glove. Dhoni started cautiously and just when he was about to cut loose, he holed out to mid on. Ashwin with some quick fire runs and Pujara ultimately getting out, Indian posted a very good competitive score of 430 plus.
Kiwis started strong. McCullum looked good, but was caught at cover not keeping an ambitious drive on the ground. McCullum is poor selection on the top. He is more likely to get more runs when Kiwis are 150 for 5 (or less). McCullum is hard to dislodge and Van Wyk although looks good as a keeper doesn't help the balance of the side. Kiwis should change their batting order to Guptill, Franklin, Williamson, McCullum, Taylor, Flynn drop Van Wyk get another batsman, get Southee playing. A bit more responsive and responsible fielding and they should do better. Ross Taylors performance with the bat is crucial. I mean leaving an off spinner of length or line is inviting problem. He should know. Kiwis showed bit of a fight in the second innings following on but then we all now wickets tend to fall in a heap in Test cricket. From 105 for 2 to 164 all out. Kiwis were caught in the spin, literally. The second innings' story is pretty much a repeat of the first. Indians caught well though, some stick some don't but Indians really converted half chances which reflected in the margin of victory.
I don't know if Bhajji is watching it, but Ashwins flight and line looked good. Bhajji is out of the reckoning for tests. I don't know if he would be the first choice bowler in T20. Ashwin and Pujara co-scripted a comprehensive win. But I think I would love to see Ojha and Ashwin inviting the batsman a little more. It's when the batsman obliges to drive can he offer chances of getting out caught with fielders round the bat or getting bowled etc. It is something that Indian teams think tank should take note.
I guess Indians have ticked most of the boxes which had to be ticked at the start of the season. The second test is in Bengalluru, starts this Friday The weather may impinge again.