In many ways, the 2nd test match between India and New Zealand at Wellington would have reminded the Indian cricket lovers of the famous win against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2000. India recovered from a huge first innings deficit to script one of the most memorable victories in recent cricketing history. Back then, V.V.S. Laxman had played a mesmerizing knock of 281 to bail India out of trouble and lead them towards an improbable win. This time, however, the tables were turned on team India. A sizable first innings lead and a patchy start to the Kiwi 2nd innings, saw India taking the drivers seat. However, a brilliant triple century by Brendon McCullum coupled with some steep resistance from the tail, turned the tide in New Zealand’s favor. Jiimy Neesham became only the seventh player in test history to have scored a century in debut,batting in the no 8 slot. Just before lunch, when the Kiwis declared at 680/8, many Indian cricket buffs would have had their hearts in their mouth. Would India actually manage to lose this one?
However, India’s new found run machine, Virat Kohli, came to the rescue. Coming in to bat at 13/2, after the sharp Tim Southee had removed both the two openers, he survived an initial scare when he nicked one behind the wicket. The umpire Steve Davis did not hear the sound and Kohli had no intentions of showing generosity to the host nation. After that, he unleashed his full array of strokes and ensured that the test match was devoid of any mishaps. At the end of day’s play, India was at 166/3, with Kohli remaining unbeaten at 105.
Indian skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has come under some criticism for India’s dismal showing in test cricket, especially in abroad. Rahul Dravid felt Dhoni’s captaincy has lacked imagination and decisiveness to a degree. He said,“I think he [Dhoni] doesn’t trust his bowling attack as much as I think he should .I saw that even in the Test match Durban, where he didn’t take the new ball till 146 overs. In fact he was forced to take the new ball. He didn’t trust his fast bowlers to be able to take wickets. He kept playing with the older ball because he wanted to control the runs. So I think that is a slightly defensive mindset that he’s got into.I think he’s got to realise this very quickly, that if he wants to win Test matches abroad, he’s got to risk it all. He’s got to take that chance that he’s going to have to lose some Test matches. The only way you can win abroad is to take a few risks, take a few gambles.”