Murali Vijay and cheteshwar Pujara were solid as India stretched their lead past 200. Both the batsman showed their class and composure to tackle the spin trio of Santner,Sodhi and Craig. Often regarded as the pillars of the current Indian line up both vijay and pujara negotiated the spinners and took India to a position where losing possibility is out of the equation.
Earlier it was the spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja who spun a web around a hapless Kiwi batsman. Resuming the third day of the first Test in Kanpur on 152 for 1, all they could manage was 110 more for the loss of nine wickets as they were bowled out for 262. Nine of them fell for the spinners. Kane Williamson and Tom Latham started off their innings cautiously to avoid opening the flood gates. But with the quality of Ashwin and Jadeja the Kiwi batsman floundered to a web spun by the spin duo. Latham was the first to go, missing the line from a very full, quicker one from Ashwin and was the first to be caught plumb in the innings. Jadeja followed suit with a straighter one in the next over to trap Ross Taylor for a duck.Williamson looked the most assured, but even he didn’t seem too sure of his defence.
Soon Williamson was also sent back to the hut by a beauty from Ashwin. The ball pitched outside off on the rough and spun back sharply to disturb the bails. New Zealand were 170 for the loss of 4 wickets. New Zealand were trying to force some sort of normalcy through Mitchell Santner and Luke Ronchi who played well and settled down a bit while the spinners were tiring a little. The duo added 49 runs before things started to happen again. Four wickets for 86 runs in the session meant that India were wresting control. It was completed in a dominant second session as the spin-rash spread all over. While Ashwin had the stodgy Santner caught behind, Jadeja rushed through the tail with a three-wicket burst in an over that also got him his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests. Ashwin wrapped it up in the next over, finishing with four as New Zealand were bowled out. India took a lead of 56 runs.
India’s batsmen made sure that the advantage didn’t slip away. KL Rahul came out attacking, which allowed the batsmen to dictate terms to the New Zealand spinners against the new ball. The risks being taken were coming off but much like the first innings, Rahul failed to convert the start and edged Ish Sodhi to slip just before Tea. Vijay and Pujara joined once again to take India to a strong position.Both were using their feet to the spinners and were solid in their defence. Neither Mark Craig nor Sodhi could give Kane Williamson even the semblance of control, let alone build pressure. Neither batsmen needed second invitations to cash in as Vijay notched up his second half-century of the game while Pujara got his in the last over of the day. Their unbeaten 107-run stand gave India a lead of 215 and with India on 159 for 1 at the end of day 3.
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