India and New Zealand played out a closely fought game in Kanpur’s Green Park on Monday. The tourists needed 280 more runs to win on the final day of the first Test and India needed 9 wickets to register an emphatic victory. However, a 79-run partnership between Will Somerville and Tom Latham, followed by a 39-run partnership between Kane Williamson and Latham kept the Indians at bay.
With the bad light conditions, India were running out of time to wrap up the New Zealand tail. What kept New Zealand from not recording a loss was a hard-fought 10-run partnership off 52 deliveries between Ayaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra. The Indian spin unit did everything they could to take the last wicket but the visitors had other plans in mind.
Soon, the bad light came into play and stumps was drawn, bringing an end to a fantastic first Test.
“The beauty of Test cricket is that you need to want it. It’s really hard, it’s not one of those formats where you turn up, have a good day, have a good four-over bowl or have a good 20-overs bat,” Ravichandran Ashwin said in a post-match presentation.
“There is a lot of pain, there is a lot of hard work, there’s a lot of tenacity you need to bring into play. Definitely, I am someone who wants to play this format and I enjoy it,” he added.
“Getting down to the last session, last mandatory over, I think it’s played its part, some wonderful Test cricket. The young boy, Ravindra, batted beautifully, showed great composure, Ajaz Patel with his defence,” Ashwin said.
“It just tells you a story. Everybody hangs in there, everybody can defend well these days, so it’s not as easy as it used to be once upon a time getting these tail-enders out. Great day of Test cricket, I hope people who watched it enjoyed it,” India’s premier spinner said.
Among active Test cricketers, Ashwin is the third-highest wicket-taker after English pacers Stuart Broad (524) and James Anderson (632). He surpassed Harbhajan Singh‘s tally.
Ashwin made his Test debut in November 2011 against the West Indies in Delhi. His wickets have come at a strike rate of 52.4 and average of 24.56.
The man from Chennai has also taken 150 wickets in 111 ODIs and is the third-highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is with 61 scalps from 51 matches.