Shreyas Iyer, on his Test debut, followed up an undefeated 113-race partnership with Ravindra Jadeja to place India in a dominant position on the stumps on day one in Kanpur.
India and New Zealand entered the game with a similar roster, opting for three spinners and two pointers on a wicket that was supposed to help turn.
Invited to play first by India, New Zealand made full use of the conditions to extract movement with the new ball. Kyle Jamieson drew first blood for the Black Caps, dismissing Mayank Agarwal in the round of 16. Bowling down the lane of uncertainty, Jamieson forced Agarwal to play and induced a slim advantage in Tom Blundell’s gloves.
Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara took their time in the middle before the former decided to attack the bowlers. Gill targeted Ajaz Patel, hitting his first innings limit in the 11th before crushing the left arm spinner for a six and a four in the same.
Gill quickly referred to the fourth half-century of his Test career. On the other end, Pujara was stronger than ever, tiring bowlers in the hot and sweltering conditions in Kanpur.
The two hitters took India to safety for lunch at 82/1.
The break turned out to be exactly what New Zealand needed as they hit first after lunch. Gill failed to negotiate a bright ball moving towards him, leaving a huge gap between the bat and the pad as Jamieson struck wood to claim his second wicket of the day.
Captain Ajinkya Rahane and vice-captain Pujara looked solid in the middle, putting away the wrong balls for the limits to take India past the 100 point mark.
Kane Williamson’s bowling change turned out to be a masterstroke as Tim Southee broke the 24-point bar, inducing an outside advantage over Pujara’s bat with a wonderful seam on the outside.
The wicket brought debutant Shreyas Iyer into the crease, who was nervous at first but led throughout the period. Just as Rahane started to look confident and stroked the ball with impeccable timing, Jamieson broke through, forcing the Indian captain to play on his stumps, just a ball after Rahane had a rightly knocked back catch. by the DRS.
At 145/4 India was in slight difficulty. Ravindra Jadeja and Iyer faced a tricky seven-overs to make sure they didn’t lose wickets in the second session of the day.
India came out after the break with intention, scoring steady limits to put the pressure back on New Zealand. Iyer, in particular, took a liking to the spinner operating on both sides as he hit four limits in the first eight overs after tea and referred to his first Test Fifty in his debut, becoming the 30th Indian to achieve the feat.
Both hitters made the entire Kiwi bowling ineffective with the old ball, with the crimps and spinners looking helpless in difficult air conditions. India continued to rack up points as the Black Caps waited for the new ball to be available.
The new ball didn’t really cause too much of a problem for Indian hitters. Ravindra Jadeja spoke of the 100 point partnership with Iyer with a four on the hips and quickly hit her 17th test fifty as well.
India ended the day on 258/4, with Iyer 25 escaping a century in her early days while Jadeja was the 50 *.