1st Test: India declare; NZ require 284 runs to win
India made a turnaround after losing successive wickets in the first two sessions on Day 4 of the ongoing 1st Test against New Zealand. Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer led the fightback with another 50+ score in the series opener. Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha also chipped in with crucial runs. India declared on 234/7. New Zealand require 284 runs to win.
India resumed on their overnight score of 23/1. They had lost opener Shubman Gill yesterday. In the second session, India lost as many as four wickets, including skipper Ajinkya Rahane. However, Ashwin and Iyer took India past 100 in the session. Saha then joined Iyer, making a brief recovery. The duo registered half-centuries. Saha and Axar Patel remained unbeaten as India declared on 234/7.
Iyer smashed his maiden Test ton in the first innings. The middle-order batter followed it up with another 50+ score in the second. Iyer has become the first Indian to register a ton (first innings) and fifty (second innings) on Test debut. He is the 10th player overall to achieve this feat. Iyer smashed 65 off 125 balls (8 fours, 1 six).
Dilawar Hussain (59 and 57 vs Eng, 1933/34) and Sunil Gavaskar (65 and 67* vs WI, 1970/71) are the only Indians to have scored fifties in both innings on Test debut. Meanwhile, Iyer is the only one on this list with a ton.
Cheteshwar Pujara couldn't fire in the second innings as well. He has now played the joint-most consecutive Test innings (39) without a hundred at number three (2019-21), with Ajit Wadekar (1968-74). Pujara's previous such run came between 2013 and 2016, where he played 37 innings without scoring a hundred. He last slammed a ton in January 2019 (193 vs Australia, Sydney Cricket Ground).
New Zealand pace spearhead Southee completed 50 wickets against India in Test cricket. He is only the second Kiwi bowler after Richard Hadlee to reach this landmark. Southee is now the second-highest wicket-taker for New Zealand against India (Tests).