New Delhi: Legendary Sunil Gavaskar slammed New Zealand for their timid batting in the second innings of the first Test at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur. Despite Tom Latham and William Somerville setting up a superb platform for their team in the second innings, Gavaskar said the visitors were not playing for a win; they just managed to hold on to a draw.
India were just one wicket away from victory, but New Zealand batsmen Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel played out over 50 deliveries to help the Kiwis draw the Test.
“New Zealand managed to hold on by the skin of their teeth at Kanpur. Their timid batting after a terrific first session on the final day brought India back into the game, and once they started to get wickets in the second session, they simply piled on more pressure as they realised that the visitors were only keen on survival and not looking for a victory,” Gavaskar wrote for TOI.
Gavaskar is of the opinion that New Zealand pulled the shutters down completely and that allowed Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane to set an attacking field.
“At lunchtime, Rahane and Dravid would have been a touch worried, for Latham and Somerville had set up a perfect platform for the following batsmen to play their normal game and take New Zealand home. Then, inexplicably, the shutters were pulled down, and all that it did was allow Rahane to keep men in catching positions,” added Gavaskar.
The 72-year-old Gavaskar concluded by stating that this draw will make a difference as the Test series rolls on, as a place in the final of the second cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) is at stake.
“There is a place in the finals of the World Test Championships at stake for both these finalists, and so sharing the points will certainly make a difference as the series goes on,” he said.