Statistical Highlights : New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, Day 2
Shikhar Dhawan (98) became sixth Indian opening batsman to be dismissed in nineties against New Zealand.
Ajinkya Rahane (118) made his maiden Test century in his fifth match. His previous best was 96 against South Africa at Durban in December 2013
Rahane is the sixth Indian to score a century at number seven in an away Test. The last batsman to do so was Mohammad Azharuddin (115 vs South Africa at Cape Town in 1996-97).
The 120 run-partnership between Rahane and Dhoni is India’s fourth century partnership for seventh wicket against New Zealand.
India’s total of 438 is their highest in an away Test since December 2010. Incidentally this is India’s highest total in their first innings outside the subcontinent since March 2009 when they made 520 also against New Zealand at Hamilton.
BJ Watling took five catches in Indian innings. He had also taken five catches in India’s second innings of Auckland Test. Watling thus became only the sixth wicketkeeper to effect five dismissals in two consecutive innings after Ian Healy, Jack Russell, Adam Gilchrist, Kamran Akmal and AB de Villiers.
The 246-run first innings lead India have gained in the Wellington Test is the highest they have ever gained in a Test in New Zealand. The previous best was 241 at Hamilton in 2008-09. India went on to win that match by 10 wickets.
The 246-run lead is also India’s eighth highest in a Test outside the subcontinent.
Rahane-Dhoni stand hurt us: Watling
Kiwi wicketkeeper credits Indian batsmen for their uninhibited performance
BJ Watling, New Zealand’s wicketkeeper, was a disappointed man after his team conceded a 247-run first-innings lead to India on the second day of the Wellington Test. He said the bad day in the field means the Kiwis have three days of hard work ahead of them.
"It was not really an ideal day for us,” Watling said. “We got ourselves into situations where, if we had taken another wicket or two, we could have been chasing 100 or 150. Obviously, it was a disappointing result in the end but we have still got three days to grind it out here. The pitch is definitely looking a lot better to bat on.”
Watling gave all credit to the Indian batsmen who played uninhibited brand of cricket to pile on 438 runs. "Credit must go to their batsmen,” he said. “(Shikhar) Dhawan obviously played really well at the top and got them off to a good start and (Ajinkya) Rahane's hundred was pretty good. He played very well. Then, (MS) Dhoni's counter-attack hurt us and that partnership was probably the difference between an okay day and a good day for them. If we had taken a wicket there, we could have been right in the hunt,"
At the end of the day, New Zealand were 24 for 1, trailing India by 233 runs. Watling said he was confident of an improve show with the bat since the wicket has settled down well.
"The wicket has definitely improved. On day one, it was pretty green and doing a bit,” Watling said. “Today, there was still enough in it for the bowlers but it has browned off and looks a pretty decent batting track now. We are looking forward to getting out there and taking on the challenge and trying to bat for a long time as a group. It's going to be a huge challenge. We are going to have to bat long here to get ourselves back in the game.
"(Ishant) Sharma is bowling really well, so is (Mohammad) Shami and Zaheer (Khan) is an experienced bowler. He will hit some good areas too, so we got to soak it up in the morning for an hour and then bat for a long time. But I don't think there are too many demons in the wicket at the moment, and it should be at its best tomorrow.
"There is still good attitude in the dressing room. The bowlers ran in hard today and bowled well and we appreciated their effort. Now, it's an opportunity for the batsmen to try and grind out as many runs as they can and bat for a long time. We know what's ahead of us and now it's time to try and push back," Watling said.