Feb 132014

More woes with the coin and lethal bowling from Ishant Sharma have left New Zealand in serious danger of squandering their 1-0 series lead in the two-Test series against India.

The tourists enjoyed the best day of what has been a miserable tour, clamping control of the second Test on the first day in Wellington.

Sharma bowled with venom and bounce in taking career-best figures of 6-51 as the Black Caps capitulated on a green Basin Reserve pitch for 192.

India zipped to 100-2 off 28 overs in response on a surface which should flatten out over coming days under forecast sunny skies.

First-test centurion Shikhar Dhawan survived some early scares to be 71 while nightwatchman Sharma was on three.

Opener Murali Vijay (2) gloved an early Tim Southee delivery behind while Cheteshwar Pujara (19) was trapped leg before wicket by Trent Boult in fading light after sharing the day’s biggest partnership of 87 with Dhawan.

The most decisive moment of the day was the toss, where Indian captain MS Dhoni ensured he will end the tour with a perfect seven-from-seven against counterpart Brendon McCullum.

This was the most important win of the lot.

Not only did the pitch offer plenty but the hosts had selected an all-seam lineup after favouring debutant allrounder James Neesham over legspinner Ish Sodhi.

A New Zealand batting lineup missing expectant father Ross Taylor never looked comfortable against the height and aggression of Sharma on a pitch almost custom-made for the lanky 55-Test veteran.

After grinding an opening partnership of 23, openers Peter Fulton (13) and Hamish Rutherford (12) both failed to pass 50 for the seventh successive time, heaping more pressure on their immediate Test futures.

Debutant No.4 Tom Latham, filling the giant shoes of Taylor, also fell to Sharma without scoring, leaving Kane Williamson and McCullum aiming to repeat their massive first-innings rescue act in last week’s 40-run win at Eden Park.

However, McCullum (8) played a loose shot before Williamson’s streaky 47 provided some support for lively lower-innings cameos from allrounders Corey Anderson (24 off 43) and Neesham (33 off 35), and paceman Tim Southee (32 off 32).

Indian paceman Mohammed Shami (4-70) helped wrap up the New Zealand innings inside 53 overs.


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Feb 062014
Video - 150 Wickets A Big Achievement - Sharma
Thursday 6 February 2014 

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma says he is happy with the way he is bowling after taking his 150th Test wicket, which he says is a ‘big achievement’.

Sharma achieved the feat during the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland when he had Hamish Rutherford caught by Ajinkya Rahane early on.

India reduced New Zealand to 30 for three but they recovered to close on 329 for four.

Nevertheless, Sharma could take some satisfaction in his own performance and reaching a milestone.

“Well obviously it is a big achievement for me to get the 150 wickets in Test matches but I think I have been bowling well,” he said.

“I bowled well in the matches in South Africa as well, so I think I don’t need to worry about my rhythm and everything. I am bowling well and the way I’m bowling I’m pretty happy.”

And after centuries from Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson helped the Black Caps fight back from an awful start, Sharma paid tribute to their batting.

“I think we were still bowling in the right areas but you have to give credit to the batsmen, they played really well and I think the wicket got better as the day progressed.

“So I think on these kind of wickets you need to be patient and keep bowling in the right areas, that’s what we need.”

Video content provided by SNTV and will be available until 7th February 2014, after which time the latest available content will display above. Not available to viewers in New Zealand.

© Cricket World 2014

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Feb 062014
Williamson, McCullum flatten India

Toss India chose to bowl v New Zealand
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ishant Sharma trapped Jacques Kallis lbw first ball, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 2nd day, December 19, 2013

Ishant Sharma was included in the Indian XI ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar © AFP

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MS Dhoni brought his luck with coin tosses from the ODI series to the Tests calling it correctly for the sixth time in a row on this tour and was prompt in opting to bowl under overcast conditions. On a green pitch, India went with the same XI that featured in their last Test in South Africa – Ravindra Jadeja was included ahead of R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma was still the preferred option in India’s seam trio ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Brendon McCullum expected batting first to be a challenge on the green drop-in pitch but the surface is likely to retain its seamer-friendly nature throughout the Test. Simon Doull mentioned in the pitch report that there was ample moisture under the surface to aid seam movement and tennis ball-like bounce.

Despite the pitch, New Zealand went in with one spinner – Ish Sodhi – ahead of Doug Bracewell.

New Zealand 1 Peter Fulton, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt.), 6 Corey Anderson, 7 BJ Watling, 8 Tim Southee, 9. Neil Wagner, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Ish Sodhi

India 1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Ajinkya Rahane, 7 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Ishant Sharma

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