India vs NZ: Ajaz Patel shines; Kohli departs for duck
India were off to a phenomenal start in the second and final Test against New Zealand at Wankhede. Openers Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill dominated NZ in the second session. However, left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel led New Zealand's fightback. India are missing the services of Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravindra Jadeja, while Tom Latham is leading NZ in place of injured Kane Williamson.
How did the second session pan out?
Indian openers Mayank and Gill put the hosts in the driving seat after skipper Virat Kohli elected to bat first. The duo sailed through the first hour, adding 50 runs. Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson started the proceedings for New Zealand. Ajaz, who was introduced in the eighth over, removed Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Kohli before tea. India finished the session on 111/3 (37).
A crucial stand for India
The 80-run partnership between Mayank and Gill headlined the first hour of the second session. While Mayank was watchful, Gill turned out to be the aggressor. He was dismissed by Ajaz on 44 (71). Gill smashed 7 fours and a solitary six. Interestingly, Mayank and Gill registered the first 50+ opening partnership for India at home after 14 Test innings.
Ajaz Patel was the pick of NZ's bowlers
Ajaz Patel struck for New Zealand in the third over after drinks (28th). He got rid of Gill, with the Indian opener getting caught behind. In the very next over, Ajaz dismissed top-order batter Pujara for duck. Indian skipper Kohli (0) departed on the final delivery of that over. The double-wicket maiden by Ajaz put the visitors on top.
Kohli records his 10th duck as captain (Test cricket)
Kohli recorded his 10th duck while leading in Test cricket, the joint-second-most ducks by a captain in the format, with South African legend Graeme Smith. Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming tops this list with 13 ducks.
Mayank, Iyer look solid
Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer, who shone in the series opener, joined Mayank after India were reduced to 80/3. The duo took India past the 100-run mark in the 33rd over. Notably, Mayank received some treatment on his back before the 34th over. However, he looked robust and went on to slam his fifth half-century in Test cricket. He would want to maximize this start.