Twitter Reactions: Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel play out 52 balls to heroically deny India a victory in Kanpur

Twitter Reactions: Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel play out 52 balls to heroically deny India a victory in Kanpur

There was drama with light fading in the end but credit to New Zealand for hanging on to a draw in the end.

Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra
Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra. (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar)

How good is Test cricket! It never ceases to amaze us. New Zealand are always known to put up a gritty fight and the same was on display on the final day of the Kanpur Test between them and India. All the hard work seemed to have gone in vain when they lost their ninth wicket with 8.4 overs still to go in the day. But Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel played out 52 balls to heroically pull off a draw and deny India a victory.

Earlier in the morning, New Zealand needed 280 more runs to win on the final day while India had to pick nine wickets to win the intriguing Test match. The hosts would’ve hoped to send back the nightwatchman Will Somerville early but he put up a great fight in the middle alongside Tom Latham. Somerville showed great heart in spending time on the pitch which was staying low at times.

Latham, at the other end, was once again at his best keeping the Indian spinners at bay. The duo batted out entire session to deny a single wicket to India. Moreover, at this stage, with nine wickets in hand, New Zealand also had a chance to win the game. However, the home side came up with a plan to trap Somerville off the first ball of the post-lunch session.

Umesh Yadav bowled a short ball to which the batter pulled only to be caught at fine leg by Shubman Gill. Kane Williamson walked out then to stitch yet another partnership. He and Latham hung around for 19.1 overs more with astute defensive play. The latter also got to his second half-century of the Test match but chopped one on to his stumps off Ravi Ashwin to open the floodgates for India.

Just on the stroke of Tea, Ravindra Jadeja caught Ross Taylor plumb in front of the stumps to leave New Zealand at 125/4 and India were suddenly hoping to seal the game in the final session.

Ravindra of New Zealand stands tall

A win for the Kiwis was out of question and the final session was always going to be the battle between the Indian spin trio and the defence of New Zealand with their skipper Williamson in the middle. But it didn’t take much time for India to strike after Tea with Henry Nicholls being trapped in front of the stumps by Axar Patel while Williamson was unlucky as ball stayed low and was adjudged LBW.

New Zealand still had four wickets in hand and they needed to see off around 26 overs. This is when the grittiness in them came to the fore. They stitched crucial partnerships in terms of balls faced to keep India at bay. However, the spin duo of Jadeja and Ashwin kept striking to send back Blundell, Southee and Jamieson.

It all came down to the last pair of Ajaz and Ravindra with 8.4 overs to go and the drama of fading light to add to it as well. The left-handed duo survived everything that was thrown at them by Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar. But they weathered everything while also light started to come into play.

Dramatically, the light improved after 4 PM for the first time in five days to give the hosts a shot at victory. But the defences of Ajaz and Ravindra weren’t to be breached on the day as New Zealand held on to a stunning draw.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: