Shreyas Iyer shines on debut as India fight back against NZ in Kanpur Test

Hosts post 258-4 on opening day of first Test after fifties from Iyer, Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja

Shreyas Iyer enjoyed a memorable introduction to Test cricket as he scored a composed fifty on day one of the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur on Thursday.

India were in a spot of bother at 145-4 on a sluggish pitch at Green Park that also kept low. However, Iyer (75 not out) and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (50 not out) added 113 runs for the fifth wicket and were at the crease when play was called off six overs early with the hosts recovering to 258-4.

Opener Shubman Gill scored a well-compiled fifty on a day all Indian batsmen got starts but did not capitalise, until Iyer and Jadeja came together,

India are without star batsmen Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, while KL Rahul was ruled out due to injury before the start of the Test. The lack of experience in the top order was a chance for Test champions New Zealand, who were without left-arm pacer Trent Boult themselves.

Tall quick Kyle Jamieson was the main threat, as he extracted movement and also made the most of the indifferent bounce.

Jamieson had opener Mayank Agarwal caught behind in the eighth over after a scratchy 13 off 28 balls. Gill, who looked promising, could not add to his lunch score of 52 and was bowled by the lanky pacer in the first over after the break to leave India 82-2.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson reintroduced Southee in the 38th over and the veteran removed a set Cheteshwar Pujara (26) off his fourth ball, caught behind to Tom Blundell.

India's stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane and Iyer built a 39-run partnership before the former become Jamieson's third scalp. Two quick wickets left India 154-4 at tea.

Then, it was up to Iyer and Jadeja to resurrect the innings. Iyer hit seven fours and two sixes in his innings that took 136 balls. Jadeja scored 50 from 100 balls with the help of six fours.

After the day's play, Kiwi all-rounder Jamieson admitted India were slightly ahead.

"It was nice to find some rhythm. Hopefully the new ball swings a bit in the morning and we can take a few wickets," he said. "India is probably a fraction ahead, but we did well to have them four down."

Updated: November 25th 2021, 11:56 AM
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