India escaped with a draw in the second test against the kiwis at Napier through the batting of Ghambir, Laxman and Dravid. India batted out 2 and a half days to save the game which was a great effort but considering that it was a follow up to a thumping win just a week ago was a little disappointing for me. The Indian fielding was mediocre to say the least in New Zealand first innings where they kept dropping catches to let NZ score 619 after reducing them to 23/3 on day 1.
Nothing should be taken away from Taylor and Ryder though; they batted beautifully to get NZ innings on track. Indian batting also was woeful in the first innings. The top order kept playing atrocious strokes to throw their wickets away. It seemed like Sehwag and co thought that they will get to the Kiwi total in 20 overs. India fell 314 runs behind the Kiwi total after the first innings. But resilient batting from Ghambir and the rest of the top order saved India from the blushes.
India now travels to Wellington to play the final test of the series and they will know that this will determine the success of this tour for the team. Dhoni will for sure come back into the side and the rest of the team will remain the same barring any injuries. Dhoni will know that the conditions will be tough in the windy city and the temperatures really low. The pitch for sure will have something in it for the pacers and Dhoni will be hoping to win the toss and bowl first.
If India manage to win or draw this test this will be their first series victory in NZ for 40+ years and it will be a great achievement for the team. The victory will be sweet for the seniors who were humiliated in their previous tour here. Daniel Vettori and NZ will be hoping to stop just that. They would want to carry the confidence of the Napier game and try to go one step better and win the game to square the series.
Let’s hope that we get yet another uninterrupted game and cricket is of the highest standard.