Indian batting crumbled on a decisive third day’s play to put New Zealand in winning position. The Indians have been forced to follow on in their second innings and have already lost the big wicket of Captain Virender Sehwag by stumps. It was a forgettable day for India as they lost 8 wickets for not many runs in both the innings combined. The visitors now face an innings defeat after a massive deficit of 314.
Morning Session: Sachin falls to the innocuous Jeetan Patel
The start was promising for India with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar finding the bowling pretty easy on the flat track. India was all set to repair the damage done yesterday before stumps, the first hour went by smoothly with India at 121 for 3. But after a while, Sachin Tendulkar made the fatal mistake of going hard at a ball outside the off to edge Jeetan Patel in the slip where Taylor hung onto a good catch. Sachin by then was looking very good with his 49 (from 65 balls with 7 fours and a six). By lunch, the old pair of Dravid and Laxman ensured no further damage to take the team to 189 for 4 in 53 overs with Dravid on 57 and Laxman on 21.
Afternoon Session: India lose Dravid and Yuvraj
Dravid and Laxman batted nicely to take India to a relatively safe position in the afternoon session. It was only a run against play moment that broke this 5th wicket partnership when Rahul Dravid went after a very wide delivery from Jesse Ryder to nick his cut behind. Dravid was totally upset at himself as he was looking batting like a rock for his 83 (from 206 balls with 12 fours). He put on 81 runs for the 5th wicket with Laxman. In the last over before tea, Yuvraj Singh showed that he was not temperamentally good for test cricket when he played a loose drive outside off to be caught in the slips. Yuvraj was out for a duck to the second new ball to leave India at 253 for 6 in 82.2 overs. Laxman with 58 is now the only hope for India in killing time.
Final Session: Kiwis enforce follow on after India’s surrender
Dinesh Karthik started the final session on a bad note for his team by getting out just like Yuvraj did, playing a loose stroke outside off. The next man in Harbhajan Singh played his natural game but was over burdened by the early loss of VVS Laxman, who lost his patience finally to be caught driving to the slips. Laxman departed having made 76 (from 149 balls with 14 fours). Harbhajan Singh followed him in the very next over in the 94th after playing a cameo of 18 with 2 fours and a six. The innings was wrapped up in 93.5 overs for 305. Chris Martin picked up three wickets while Vettori, O’Brien and Jeetan Patel shared two wickets each.
India was asked to follow on and they seemed to be ending the third day’s play with all the 10 wickets intact. But once again Virender Sehwag showed his arrogance in giving no respect to a spinner. This time he went for a rash sweep shot off Jeetan Patel only to miss it and get lbw. Sehwag made 22 from 21 balls with 4 fours. Fortunately for India, the pair of Gambhir (14) and Dravid (11) saw through the rest of the session to take India to 47 for 1 in 17 overs.