India reach 258/4 on day one of 1st Test at Kanpur against New Zealand

unnamed (4)
India batsman Shreyas Iyer scored a superb half-century on his Test debut on Thursday

Shreyas Iyer scored a vital unbeaten half-century on his Test debut while Ravindra Jadeja and Shubman Gill brought up their own fifties as well to power India to a strong position of 258/4 on the first day of the first Test match being played against New Zealand at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Thursday.

After 84 overs on the first day, India were in a strong position having recovered from a flurry of wickets in the afternoon session, thanks to a brilliant partnership of 113 runs not out between Iyer and Jadeja, which helped them gain control of the contest. Iyer was batting on 75 from 136 balls with the help of seven boundaries and two sixes, whereas Jadeja was on 50 not out from 100 balls with six boundaries.

On a tough wicket which neither assisted fast bowlers nor the spinners on the opening day of the two-match series, New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson produced a spectacular spell of fast bowling to take three wickets and hand his team some sort of advantage during the play. However, India showed no discomfort against Jamieson after being reduced to 145/4, losing their big guns in Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession.

Jamieson provided New Zealand with the first breakthrough early in the first session when he had a right-hand opening batsman Mayank Agarwal got for 13 by wicket-keeper Tom Blundell. The dismissal of Agarwal brought Pujara at the crease as he teamed up with Gill to take India ahead.

Pujara and Gill added 61 runs for the second wicket in which the former was batting slowly compared to the young opening batsman. Gill made most of the opportunity of opening for India again, as he scored 52 from 93 balls with five boundaries and one six to make a strong case for himself. But Pujara was guilty of batting slowly in favourable conditions, scoring 26 from 88 balls with the help of only two boundaries. He was dismissed by veteran New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee.

The stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane look good initially but he was troubled by variable bounce on the wicket. Rahane cracked six boundaries to make 35 from 63 balls before his innings was cut short by Jamieson, who had him play one on to his wickets.

The pair of Iyer and Jadeja took matters in their own hands as they forced New Zealand to bowl a negative line outside the leg stump, through their spin bowler Ajaz Patel. However, none of that had any impact on India’s charge as Iyer and Jadeja took the home team to a position of strength when the stumps were drawn for the opening day.

Jamieson was a pick among the bowlers for New Zealand as he returned with 15.2-6-47-3, bowling two more balls to complete an over for Southee who was struggling with an injury during the first day’s play.