Ajinkya Rahane was played by Kyle Jamieson© BCCI
Ajinkya Rahane’s joy at being saved by the DRS was short-lived as he was knocked down by Kyle Jamieson on the very next ball in the first India vs New Zealand test in Kanpur. Rahane, India’s substitute captain for this test match in the absence of titular captain Virat Kohli, appeared to have left his demons behind as he appeared in full control against the New Zealand bowlers on Thursday. But just when things were looking good for him, Rahane cut one off his stumps in the second session of Day 1 on Thursday. Perhaps the DRS’s survival in the previous ball played a role as it was a loose shot from the experienced right-hander.
The fifty or so Indian races were quite eventful. It all started with referee Nitin Menon giving Rahane a grab by the side of the leg, but the Indian skipper was quick to see him again. Replays confirmed there was no inside edge and the decision had to be overturned. Rahane survived but the right-hander’s luck is such today that he was returned to the next ball.
To be fair to Rahane, the ball was there to cut. It was wide, it was short, but where the Indian captain went wrong was that he went there with hard hands. He wanted to force things instead of just using Jamieson’s pace and rebound to guide the ball through the gap. And he paid the price. Rahane has reclaimed an interior advantage over his stumps.
He had to make the long march home for 35 of 65 balls. The 33-year-old has hit six limits in his innings.
In the after-lunch session, India lost Shubman Gill (52), Cheteshwar Pujara (26) and Rahane. (35) – all three failed to make a big score after spending a lot of time in the middle. Shreyas Iyer (17 v 55) and Ravindra Jadeja (6 v 13) held on for the home side at the break. New Zealand runner Kyle Jamieson troubled the Indian hitters again, bringing his innings total to three wickets. After choosing to beat, India lost Mayank Agarwal’s opener (13 of 28) before the hosts reached 82-for-one at lunch, thanks to a 61-point stand between Pujara and Gill.
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