Neither Brendon McCullum’s eighty-four nor Daniel Flynn’s sixty-seven prevent India from a ten wicket resounding victory in the first Test, courtesy Harbhajan Singh.
Trying to overhaul the first innings deficit of 241, New Zealand had already lost three wickets the previous day with only seventy-five on board and were in serious danger of facing an innings defeat at home in the first of the three Tests against the confident and on top Indians.
Indians did face resistance early in the day but it all crumbled away once Harbhajan Singh got into the act. The batsmen wilted in a-dime-a-dozen fashion as Bhajji returned with astounding figures of six for sixty-three in a match abroad, where spinners have traditionally not done well.
What it did do though was allow India a facile victory, their first Test win in New Zealand in thirty-three years, as unbelievable as that sounds. For all of McCullum’s fluidity in the latter half of the fourth day, India were left chasing just thirty-nine runs for a memorable victory.
The procession of wickets that began with Flynn trooped into an abyss and it was only the late order partnership between McCullum and Iain O’Brien that pushed the runs and the time but could not prevent the inevitable. New Zealand made an identical second innings total of 279 but against the Indians, much more was needed to stop them from running away with this victory.
Arguably the strengths in the two opposing teams has now become evident as it was feared earlier. New Zealand will have to rise above their limitations if they are to stop India from setting more precedents in Test in New Zealand.