India staged a magnificent comeback in the final session of the last day but couldn't convert it into a win as New Zealand eked out a well-fought draw in the first Test at Kanpur on Monday.
India can blame the falling light for depriving them of a win as it disrupted play once again while the hosts looked for that one last wicket to go 1-0 up in the series. Rachin Ravindra, the young debutant and Ajaz Patel, the last man in, fended the Indian bowlers off for close to 8 overs in the end to force India to settle for a draw.
New Zealand were 125/4 at Tea and it looked like the visitors would surely pull off a draw but the hosts turned the tables by picking five wickets in the last session to give wings to their winning dreams. Ravichandran Ashwin (3/35) and Ravindra Jadeja (4/40) were the orchestrators of India's stunning fightback. Even though the outcome didn't go India's way, this show will boost their confidence as they head to Mumbai for the second Test.
He is third on the leading wicket-takers list among Indian bowlers now but for @ashwinravi99 it is more about creating special memories than milestones. 🙌 @Paytm #INDvNZ #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/eLIjzNMeit— BCCI (@BCCI) November 29, 2021
New Zealand started the day on 4/1 and looked comfortably placed with Tom Latham (52) and William Somerville (36) in the middle. The duo put on 76 runs together and tackled the Indian spinners with grace. Umesh Yadav brought the much-needed breakthrough when Somerville hooked one towards the long leg where Shubman Gill took a sunning catch diving forward.
Skipper Kane Williamson spent a quality time with Latham and put on a 39-run stand off 116 balls for the third wicket. All looked pretty sorted for the Kiwis until Latham lost his wicket to Ashwin, followed by Ross Taylor's dismissal just before Tea. India had already sinffed a possible victory with those two quick wickets and what we saw after Tea was their intinct playing out loud and clear.
New Zealand lost 5 wickets for just 30 runs in the last session, ending at 155/9, and it looked like India will run away with a win. But Ravindra's maturity and Ajaz's resilience denied Ajinkaya Rahane and his men the last laugh.