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Cheteshwar Pujara, ICC Test Championship, India
Photo Credit: AFP.
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Dilip Vengsarkar Reveals How Cheteshwar Pujara Can Release The Pressure

Ahead of the Christchurch Test against the hosts New Zealand, the former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar has given crucial advice to the experienced Indian batsmen, including Cheteshwar Pujara.

Indian batsmen mostly surrendered to the host bowlers during both innings of the previous Test at Basin Reserve (Wellington). It was the first game of the two-match Test series between New Zealand and India where the visitors India scored 165 and 191 runs. While the hosts scored 348 runs in their first innings, they won by ten wickets after reaching the nine runs target without losing their wickets.

While there are some new cricketers in the Indian batting unit, Cheteshwar Pujara (11 & 11) and captain Virat Kohli (2 & 19) failed to perform in that Wellington Test match.

Dilip Vengsarkar, Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dilip Vengsarkar: Cheteshwar Pujara has to be able to rotate the strike

Dilip Vengsarkar feels that the senior Indian batsmen have to take responsibilities as they haven’t the settle opening partners in this series. While Pujara was heavily criticised for his slow non-responsive batting, scoring a total of 22 runs in 123 balls, Vengsarkar believes that Pujara has to rotate the strike to help the team.

The Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane scored 46 and 29 runs in the last game. Dilip Vengsarkar pointed out his performances too as the former Indian cricketer believes that Rahane failed to convert his starts.

Dilip Vengsarkar, Cheteshwar Pujara
Dilip Vengsarkar (Image Credit: Google)

Vengsarkar told according to Times Now, “He (Pujara) has scored a lot of runs, but he has to be able to rotate the strike, otherwise his batting partner will be in trouble as he will lose the rhythm being stranded at the other end for long periods. Pujara can’t get bogged down. Also, Ajinkya Rahane was not able to convert his starts.

“They have not allowed the team to settle down. The opening combination is not settled, and so is the middle-order.”

The second and final Test series will be played at Hagley Oval (Christchurch) from 29th February. While India can only save this Test series, they must have to win this game to fulfil their only wish.

ICC, World Test championship 2019-21, postpone
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Wasim Jaffer Expecting Strong Comeback From India In Christchurch Test

The veteran Indian opening batsman Wasim Jaffer feels that the Indian batsmen have to score enough runs to put the team into the challenging position in the ongoing Test series against New Zealand.

India are currently busy in the two-match away Test series against the hosts New Zealand. The visiting batsmen surrendered in both the innings of the last game at Basin Reserve (Wellington) which the home side won by ten wickets.

The second Test of this series will begin on this Saturday (29th February) at Hagley Oval (Christchurch). It is the must-win game for the visitors to save this series.

While there are some inexperienced cricketers in the Indian batting line-up, Wasim Jaffer feels that the captain Virat Kohli and the experienced top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara have to take crucial responsibilities to build up the strong total for the team. Jaffer believes that India can’t win these Tests after scoring just 200-250 runs, they have to score at least 400-450 runs.

Wasim Jaffer, India, Christchurch Test
Wasim Jaffer (Image Credit: Google)

He said according to PTI, “Virat has a lean patch for a while, so I am expecting him to come back stronger. Pujara needs some runs under his belt. Most importantly they need to convert their starts into three figures, if that doesn’t happen and if we don’t put score of 350-400 runs then it is difficult.

“In 200-250 (runs) you can’t win a Test match unless there is much help from the pitch. When we bat first or bat second, we need to score 400-450 runs.”

To get out both times under 200 is unlike the number one Test team: Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer admitted that the first innings was favourable for the bowlers, but India should have batted better in their second innings when the condition was better. The 42-year-old feels that India didn’t bat like the no.1-ranked Test team in that game.

Boult
New Zealand bowlers bowled very well in the Wellington Test (Image Credit: Twitter)

He added, “They kept our run-rate in check and kept our batsmen under pressure for long periods. I felt that in the first innings the conditions were favourable for bowlers, but they worked out a strategy of bouncers and we should have batted better in the second innings. To get out both times under 200 is unlike the number one Test team.

However, Wasim Jaffer in confident enough that the Indian team will bounce back in the final Test of this tour, like the past times.

Jaffer said, “There is no doubt that they India will come back hard in the next Test (at Christchurch), which they should and they have always done that in the past. Whenever they have been put under pressure, they have bounced back very strongly. I’m expecting the same thing.”

Wasim Jaffer also believes that India missed Rohit Sharma in the Wellington Test. He feels that the Christchurch Test will be important for the youngsters like Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill.

India, Christchurch Test
Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

Jaffer quoted, “Rohit (Sharma) is not there and he is a seasoned player and India actually missed him. Anybody who gets a chance, Shubhman or Prithvi, it’s a crucial very Test match for them.”

According to the latest media reports, Prithvi Shaw is likely to open with Mayank Agarwal in the Christchurch Test.

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Ajinkya Rahane Defends Cheteshwar Pujara Before Christchurch Test

Ahead of the second and final Test of the series against the hosts New Zealand, the Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane spoke about their planning for this upcoming Test match.

The no.1-ranked Test team India is currently under pressure after losing the opening game of this away Test series at Wellington in a poor way. From the very first morning of that Test match, the visitors failed to put the strong fight against the hosts.

The last game of the Test series will be played at Christchurch from 29th February. While some haven’t been impressed with Cheteshwar Pujara’s batting approach in the last game, where the right-handed batsman scored 11 runs each in both the innings after 42 and 81 balls respectively, Rahane is backing his teammate. The Indian Test vice-captain feels that the Kiwi bowlers bowled so well to him as they didn’t deliver any loose deliveries.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rahane said, “I thought personally New Zealand bowled very well in the first well. Pujara did not get stuck according to me. He was trying to score runs. All their bowlers did not bowl any loose deliveries. It can happen, any batsman can go through this phase. Everyone’s game is completely different. As a team, we have to figure out how we actually play in the middle.”

Talking about the upcoming Christchurch Test, Ajinkya Rahane believes in moving on and not think the Wellington Test. While India are leading the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship points table with 360 points, they are focusing on adding another 60 points in this tally by winning the upcoming Test.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rahane added, “Whatever we got in Wellington, we got the same. India A played here. Hanuma told us that this wicket plays much better, there is a good pace and bounce on this wicket. The important thing would be to trust ourselves and not think about the first Test match. Sixty points would be at stake in the World Test Championship.

“Staying in the present really matters. Every Test is crucial as WTC is going on. So if we win even one Test here, we will be far ahead as 60 points are at stake. We are playing here after a long time. It is important to understand what we feel as a unit.”

Ajinkya Rahane talks about the bowling unit

One of the biggest questions for the Indian team selection ahead of the Christchurch Test is the spin-bowling option. While the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/99) bowled well in the Wellington Test, the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja can provide the strong left-handed batting option which is also important for this visiting side.

Ajinkya Rahane Defends Cheteshwar Pujara Before Christchurch Test 1
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rahane claimed, “We have not made a decision yet. Ashwin bowled well looking at the conditions in Wellington. Jadeja is also a quality-bowler. It is a good sign that we have two quality players. The selection will depend on how the wicket looks tomorrow and what the captain and coach think.”

Among the Indian pacers, the tall and experienced right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma bowled very well in the Wellington Test as he took five wickets (5/68) during New Zealand’s first innings. However, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah failed to provide enough support to Ishant as both of them picked up only one wicket each in that same innings. However, Ajinkya Rahane is confident enough in their present form.

Ajinkya Rahane Defends Cheteshwar Pujara Before Christchurch Test 2
Image Credit: Twitter

Rahane said, “Ishant bowled very well. Shami and Bumrah have been consistent. It was just this game. We have to adapt to the conditions, I am sure they will adapt. We do not have any doubts about Bumrah and Shami. If we bat first here, we have to play really well in the first session. Having a clear mind and intent will help us.”

The Wellington Test was the first defeat for India in the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship. Before that defeat, they won all their seven matches of this competition.

Virat Kohli, Prithvi Shaw, New Zealand vs India 2020
Prithvi Shaw (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
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New Zealand vs India 2020: Virat Kohli Backs Struggling Prithvi Shaw

The youngster Prithvi Shaw, who has been known for his remarkable performances, is now struggling to give a good start to Team India in New Zealand. His poor run of form continued in both innings of the first Test match at Basin Reserve in New Zealand. Before playing the Test series, he was also the part of the ODI series where he had also struggled after getting a start. But the Indian captain Virat Kohli has thoroughly backed Shaw, and he is hopeful that the best is yet to come from the latter.

Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli, New Zealand vs India 2020

In Wellington, Prithvi Shaw scored 16 and 14 in first and second innings respectively. He was exposed in front of pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Shaw looked totally uncomfortable on the bouncy Basin Reserve surface which further put India into a spot of bother early on.

Virat Kohli backs Prithvi Shaw:

Speaking to the same, Kohli doesn’t want to put pressure on the youngster and also don’t want to judge the player by one or two innings. Kohli believes that the 20-year old is a ‘destructive’ batsman and just needs some time to bring out his best.

“I don’t think at this stage, we need to sit down and discuss what’s going wrong because I don’t see anything wrong. It’s the execution of things which was not there,” Kohli said.

New Zealand vs India 2020: Virat Kohli Backs Struggling Prithvi Shaw 3

“It is just a matter of understanding the pace of the wicket and conditions as soon as possible. Again, when he is in a clear frame of mind, he is very, very destructive. Once he feels that he can do it, I think it will be a different ball game. The mindset can shift very quickly,” Kohli said.

“Prithvi obviously wants to perform and no doubt about it, every batsman wants to. We need to give him that time to get used to the conditions a little bit and once he starts scoring, he will feel more confident about it,” the captain added.

Kohli’s statement hints that Shaw will be given a chance in the next Test match which will commence from February 29 in Christchurch.

Virat Kohli, 1st Test, Fans, Kyle Jamieson
Virat Kohli and Kyle Jamieson (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rashid Latif Points Out Reasons Why India Failed In Wellington Test

While the Indian team was outclassed by the hosts New Zealand in the Wellington Test, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif feels disappointed with the performances of the Indian cricketers.

Wellington Test was the first game of the two-match Test series between the hosts New Zealand and the visitors India. The hosts won the toss and decided to field first in that game.

While the no.1-ranked Test team was bundled out for just 165 runs in the first innings, the hosts replied with 348 runs in their first innings. The visiting batsmen again failed in their second innings as they managed to score 191 runs in that innings. New Zealand chased down the nine runs target in the fourth innings without opening their wicket column in that innings.

Wellington Test, India
Image Credit: Twitter

Talking about India’s poor performances in that entire Test match, Rashid Latif pointed out India’s failure in the planning.

Rashid Latif believes that the Indian batsmen should have attacked the Kiwi bowlers in the first innings as the visitors left many boundary balls.

Rashid Latif, Wellington Test, India
Rashid Latif (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The former Pakistan captain told on his YouTube channel, “India’s record in overseas conditions is not too good. India did not play their natural game, they were bogged down in both the innings. This is not how India play, when you leave so many boundary balls and keep leaving balls, there will be one ball with your name on it.”

India should have attacked in their first innings: Rashid Latif

Also, Rashid Latif pointed out that the Indian bowlers disappointed by targeting stumps in the seam and swing bowling conditions while outside the off stump bowling could be more effective. While the experienced Ishant Sharma took five wickets during New Zealand’s first innings, the other Indian pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami only managed to pick up one wicket each.

Rashid Latif feels that the right-arm fast bowler Umesh Yadav would have achieved success in that condition than Bumrah and Shami.

Umesh Yadav,
Umesh Yadav (Image Credit: Twitter)

The former Pakistan skipper added, “India should have attacked in their first innings, batting disappointed but bowling was also disappointing. Umesh Yadav would have succeeded here, Bumrah and Shami kept targeting stumps. In Test cricket, especially when conditions are conducive to seam and swing, you have to target outside the off stump and get the batsmen driving.”

New Zealand and India will play the second and final game of this Test series at Christchurch from 29th February. It will be the must-win game for India to save this Test series.

ICC, World Test championship 2019-21, postpone
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VVS Laxman Praises New Zealand Team But Confident About India’s Bounce Back In Final Test

While the hosts New Zealand provided no chance for the visiting side India in the Wellington Test, the former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman praised the Blackcaps for their dominating effort. Laxman is also confident about India’s positive return to the series in the next game.

The Wellington Test was the first game between New Zealand and India in the two-match Test series. After the hosts won the toss, they sent the visitors to bat first. While India were bundled out for just 165 runs in the first innings, New Zealand replied with 348 runs.

India, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test
Image Credit: Twitter

In their second innings, India were bowled out for just 191 runs. In the fourth innings, New Zealand didn’t lose a single wicket to chase the nine runs target.

With that ten wickets victory, New Zealand became the seventh team to win the 100 Tests.

In the entire game, the New Zealand bowlers didn’t give any opportunities to breathe the Indian batsmen on the Basin Reserve pitch. While most of the Indian batsmen failed to perform well, the Indian pacers mostly disappointed due to inconsistent bowling performances, excluding the performance of the tall experienced right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma.

After this victory, New Zealand have taken the 1-0 lead in this two-match Test series with one to go. While the hosts can’t lose this Test series, India must have to win the second and final game of this series only to save this series.

Emphatic win for the @BLACKCAPS: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman lauded the New Zealand team for their dominating victory in the Wellington Test. However, the former Indian cricketer is confident enough about the visitors’ strong bounce back in the last game of this series.

VVS Laxman, India, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test
VVS Laxman (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Laxman tweeted, “Emphatic win for the @BLACKCAPS. They showed a lot of discipline and patience in executing their plans and outplayed India in all departments. India will be disappointed with their performance and I am sure they will introspect and bounce back strongly in Christchurch. #INDvNZ.”

New Zealand and India will play the last game of this Test series at Hagley Oval (Christchurch), and it will begin on 29th February.

Image Credit: Twitter
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Scott Styris Reveals Why Indian Bowlers Failed But New Zealand Bowlers Successful In Wellington Test

In the Wellington Test, the New Zealand bowlers outclassed the Indian batsmen while the Indian bowlers failed to perform consistently. Former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris has pointed out the difference between New Zealand and Indian bowlers in that Test match.

It was the first game of the two-match Test series between the hosts New Zealand and the visitors India where the home side won by ten wickets. The hosts won the toss and decided to field first. New Zealand bowlers dominated from the beginning of the match and bundled out the visitors for just 165 runs in the first innings.

Indian bowlers, New Zealand bowlers, New Zealand vs India
Kyle Jamieson (Image Credit: Twitter)

The hosts managed to earn the lead of 183 runs after scoring 348 runs in their first innings. Though the Indian pacers created the pressure, they failed to perform consistently, and the Kiwi tailenders took the game away by providing the big lead.

Indian batsmen once again failed to play better cricket in their second innings as the New Zealand bowlers bowled out the no.1-ranked Test side for just 191 runs. At the end of the game, the Black Caps chased down the nine runs target without losing any wicket.

Tim Southee, Indian bowlers, New Zealand bowlers, New Zealand vs India

Among the New Zealand pacers, the Player of the Match award winner Tim Southee took a total of nine wickets. Meanwhile, the Test debutant Kyle Jamieson scalped four wickets (all in the first innings), and the left-arm pacer Trent Boult bagged a total of five wickets.

On the other hand, the experienced tall Indian pacer Ishant Sharma claimed a five-wicket haul during New Zealand’s first innings. But the other pacers failed to take more than one wicket in that innings. Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three wickets in that same innings.

Indian bowlers, New Zealand bowlers, New Zealand vs India

Indian bowlers were looking for seam movement off the pitch and there was none to be had: Scott Styris

Talking about the major differences between the two bowling units, Scott Styris pointed out that the Indian bowlers tried to get seam movement off the pitch but failed in their plan while the Kiwi bowlers were successful due to getting enough swing assistance.

Scott Styris, Indian bowlers, New Zealand bowlers, New Zealand vs India
Scott Styris (Image Credit: Twitter)

Scott Styris said, “There is a difference in style of the Indian bowlers and the New Zealand bowlers. The New Zealand bowlers look to swing the ball more and as you saw they got swing in the second innings also.

“Indian bowlers were looking for seam movement off the pitch and there was none to be had. That is the reason the likes of Kane Williamson could hit through the line of the ball. He was not troubled a lot right up till the point when he was dismissed. Even when Ross Taylor was batting it didn’t look like there were too many demons in the pitch.

“Virat Kohli though said that he was very happy with the character his bowlers showed in coming back into the match.”

The second and final Test of this series will be played at Christchurch from 29th February.

New Zealand, Wellington, Statistical Highlights
Image Credit: Twitter
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New Zealand Vs India 2020: 1st Test, Wellington – Statistical Highlights

The hosts New Zealand comfortably beat the visitors India in the first game of the two-match Test series at Basin Reserve (Wellington). With this ten-wicket victory, the hosts have taken the 1-0 lead in this series with one Test to go.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bowl first. While India were bundled out for just 165 runs in their first innings, the hosts scored 348 runs in their first innings and earned the lead of 183 runs.

In the second innings, the visitors were once again bowled out for 191 runs. The hosts chased down the nine runs target without losing any wicket.

Brief Scores: India – 165 (Ajinkya Rahane 46, Mayank Agarwal 34; Kyle Jamieson 4/39) & 191 (Mayank Agarwal 58, Ajinkya Rahane 29; Tim Southee 5/61)

New Zealand – 348 (Kane Williamson 89, Kyle Jamieson 44; Ishant Sharma 5/68) & 9/0 (Tom Latham 7*, Tom Blundell 2*)

The Result – New Zealand won by ten wickets

Here are some of the important statistical highlights of this Test match:

(Teams’ stats)

India

i) The visitors India lost this match by ten wickets.

  • It was India’s first defeat in the ICC World Test Championship history. Before this match, India played seven matches in the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship and won all those matches.
  • Since the Perth Test in December 2018, it was the first Test defeat for India. Between this period, India played nine Tests (won eight and drew once). This defeat also ended India’s seven-Test winning streak. 

New Zealand

i) It was the 100th Test victory for New Zealand.

  • New Zealand became the seventh team to win 100 or more Test matches. 

ii) New Zealand beat India by ten wickets.

  • It was the third time in Test cricket history when New Zealand beat India by ten wickets. The other two times happened at Christchurch in February 1990 and at Wellington in December 2002. 

(Players’ stats)

New Zealand

Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor, India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, stats
Image Credits: ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT

i) It was the 100th Test for Ross Taylor.

  • Ross Taylor became the fourth New Zealand cricketer to play 100 Test matches. The other three New Zealand cricketers in this list are Daniel Vettori (112 Tests), Stephen Fleming (111 Tests) and Brendon McCullum (101 Tests).

Kane Williamson

i) As a captain, Kane Williamson has scored 7,075 international runs.

  • Kane Williamson became the second New Zealand captain to score 7,000 runs in international cricket. Stephen Fleming was the first Blackcaps captain to reach this milestone as he scored 11,561 international runs as a captain. 

Tim Southee

Tim Southee, India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, stats
Image Credit: Twitter

i) Pacer Tim Southee has taken 304 international wickets at home.

  • Tim Southee became the first New Zealand bowler to claim 300 international wickets at home. During this match, he surpassed the former left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori (299 wickets) and became the most international wicket-taker for New Zealand at home. 

ii) Tim Southee has taken 166 home Test wickets.

  • It is the second most home Test wickets for a New Zealand bowler. During this match, Southee surpassed Daniel Vettori (159 wickets) in this list. Only the former right-arm fast bowler Sir Richard Hadlee is ahead of Southee in this list with 201 home Test wickets. 

iii) Tim Southee had the match bowling figures of 41.1-11-110-9.

  • It was the second-best Test match bowling figures by a New Zealand bowler against India in New Zealand. The record is 22.3-1-58-11 by Sir Richard Hadlee at Wellington (in February 1976).  
  • It was the fourth-best Test match bowling figures by a New Zealand bowler against India at the overall venues. 

iv) Tim Southee has taken 42 international wickets against India at home.

  • It is the most international wickets for a New Zealand bowler against India at home. The previous record-holder was Sir Richard Hadlee with 40 home international wickets against India. 

v) Tim Southee has won his fifth Player of the Match award in Test career (all in the home venues).

  • It is the joint second-most Player of the Match awards in home Test career for a New Zealand player. While Daniel Vettori also won five Player of the Match awards in home Test career, John Wright is leading this table with six Player of the Match awards in home Test career. 

Kyle Jamieson

Kyle Jamieson, India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, stats
Image Credit: Twitter

i) Test debutant Kyle Jamieson hit four sixes during New Zealand’s first innings.

  • It is the joint-second most sixes in an innings for a Test debutant as he became the third batsman in this list to hit four sixes. The record-holder is New Zealand cricketer Tim Southee who smashed nine sixes in an innings on his Test debut (against England at Napier in March 2008). 

Trent Boult

Trent Boult, India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, stats
Image Credit: Twitter

i) Coming to bat at the no.11 position during New Zealand’s first innings, Trent Boult scored team’s 100% runs before losing his wicket. The right-handed batsman scored 38 runs.

  • It is the highest individual Test score for a batsman who scored all the runs for the team while he was at the crease in an innings. The previous record-holder was the former Indian captain Kapil Dev with 36 runs (against Sri Lanka at Colombo, SSC in 1985).

India

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, stats
Image Credit: Twitter

i) By the end of this match, Virat Kohli has taken 250 international catches.

  • Virat Kohli became the fourth Indian non-wicketkeeper to take 250 catches in the international career. The other three Indian non-wicketkeepers in this list are Rahul Dravid (335 catches), Mohammad Azharuddin (261 catches) and Sachin Tendulkar (256 catches). 

Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma, India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test, stats
Image Credits: BCCI Twitter

i) The tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma has taken 122 Test wickets in the SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia).

  • It is the second most Test wickets for an Indian bowler in the SENA countries. During this match, while Ishant surpassed the former left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan (119 wickets) in this list, only the former leg-spinner Anil Kumble is ahead of Ishant with 141 Test wickets in the SENA countries.  
ICC World Test Championship, ICC World Test Championship Points Table
Image Credit: ICC Twitter
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ICC World Test Championship Points Table After Wellington Test

The no.1-ranked Test team India suffered their first defeat in the ICC World Test Championship history after losing the Wellington Test against the hosts New Zealand on Monday (24th February).

The hosts New Zealand outclassed the top-ranked side in the Wellington Test and won the match by ten wickets. After the hosts won the toss, they sent the visitors to bat first. While India scored only 165 runs, New Zealand replied with 348 runs in their first innings.

Trailing by 183 runs at the start of their second innings, India were bundled out for just 191 runs. In the fourth innings, New Zealand chased down their nine runs target without losing any wicket.

Before the Wellington Test, India played seven matches in the ongoing 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship and won all those matches. Despite the latest defeat in the away Test, the Indian team is still leading the Test Championship points table with 360 points.

Test Championship, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test
Indian national cricket team (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Australia are in the second position in the ongoing Test Championship points table with 296 points. The Australian team has won seven matches out of 10 games in this contest.

Test Championship, Wellington Test
Australia cricketers (Image Credit: Getty Images)

After England (146 points) and Pakistan (140 points), New Zealand are standing in the fifth position in the ongoing Test Championship points table. The Wellington Test victory was their second victory in the ongoing Test Championship. Their first victory in this tournament was against the hosts Sri Lanka at Colombo (PSS) in last August where the Blackcaps won by an innings and 65 runs.

Test Championship, New Zealand vs India, Wellington Test
New Zealand cricketers (Image Credit: Twitter)

After the Wellington Test, New Zealand have earned 120 points in the ongoing Test Championship. Though the Blackcaps are in very close of England and Pakistan in the ongoing Test Championship points table, they are still far away from the two finalists’ positions of this competition.

Latest points table of 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship 

Position Team Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied Points
1 India 8 7 1 0 0 360
2 Australia 10 7 2 1 0 296
3 England 9 5 3 1 0 146
4 Pakistan 5 2 2 1 0 140
5 New Zealand 6 2 4 0 0 120
6 Sri Lanka 4 1 2 1 0 80
7 South Africa 7 1 6 0 0 24
8 West Indies 2 0 2 0 0 0
9 Bangladesh 3 0 3 0 0 0

(Note: Updated till 24th February 2020).

Virat Kohli, Alex Tudor, England, New Zealand vs India 2020
Kyle Jamieson and Virat Kohli. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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New Zealand vs India 2020: Virat Kohli Opens up on His Poor Run of Form

India had lost the first Test match of the two-match series against New Zealand by 10 wickets in Wellington. The Test match didn’t go in Virat Kohli’s favour. He lost his wicket cheaply in both the innings at Basin Reserve. Post the game, Kohli said that three-four bad innings can not demoralise him.

In the first innings, India had lost two wickets when Virat Kohli came to bat. The skipper had the responsibility to set up a partnership and to boost his team. But Kohli struggled to amid the condition of the sturdy winds in Wellington. The debutant Kyle Jamieson bowled a wide bowl to the No.1 Test batsman while Kohli misread it only to hand a simple catch at silly point. The Indian skipper was out after scoring just two runs.

However, Kohli believes that he is not lacking in batting whereas he expressed everything is going in his way.

“I am absolutely fine. I am batting really well. I feel that sometimes scores don’t reflect the way you are batting and that’s what can happen when you don’t execute what you want to well,” optimistic Kohli stated.

Virat Kohli is not affected by his poor show:

New Zealand vs India 2020: Virat Kohli Opens up on His Poor Run of Form 4

In India’s second innings, the batters again failed to deliver after conceding a massive 183-run lead to Kiwis in the first innings. Well, like the first essay, India’s top order got derailed. This time Indian skipper lost his wicket after scoring 19 runs.

Calculating his performance on this New Zeland tour, he has scored only one fifty in the last nine innings across formats. While Kohli believes its normal for a batsman when it comes to the poor run of form in three to four innings. Further, he went on to express that outsider’s opinions don’t matter to him much.

“Look when you play so much cricket and you play for so long, obviously you will have 3-4 innings that don’t go your way. If you try and make too much out of it, it’ll keep piling on,” Kohli said.

It’s all about if the team wins: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli isn’t at his best. Credits: Twitter

“I think it’s about staying in a good space and I know the chat on the outside changes with one’s innings. But I don’t think like that. If I thought like people on the outside, I would probably be on the outside right now,”

Further, Kohli said that scoring a century is irrelevant if it didn’t help in winning the game. He further asserted that he is playing for the team’s cause.

“It’s all about if the team wins, even a 40 is good. If the team loses, then even a 100 is irrelevant for me, and I’m going to stay in that mindset,” he stated.

Meanwhile, India will head to play the second Test match at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch from 29th February.

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