Will the Kiwis deny India victory?

Published: Monday, November 1, 1999, 5:30 [IST]
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On Monday, in the Ahmedabad Test, New Zealand caught India in two minds. To bat or not to bat the second innings! That was the question. Eventually India batted, and the match took an interesting turn. The home team declared its second knock at 148 for 5 to set the Kiwis a victory target of 424 runs.

New Zealand finished at 21 for no loss. Should India win this Test, which would end on Tuesday, the credit should go to its top order batsmen but for whom an imposing first innings total of 583 would not have been attained. Depending purely on the skills of three quality bowlers in Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Anil Kumble was the risk taken by India in this Test. The trio really overworked to bring about an end to the determined New Zealand first innings at 308.

That effort consumed nearly 142 overs No captain would have taken the risk of enforcing the follow-on thereby offering yet another energy sapping session for his bowlers. So, Tendulkar, despite the huge first innings lead of 275 runs did not ask the rival to follow on. Instead he himself opened India's innings with Sadagopan Ramesh. " Pile up a sizeable second innings score at a rapid pace" was India's intentions. It was obvious that India wanted to declared its innings today itself so as to gain enough time to take a couple of New Zealand wickets by the close of play.


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