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The Electronic Telegraph 1st Test: India v New Zealand, Match Report
18-22 October 1995

Day 1 Report

First day of five: India (81-3) trail New Zealand (145) by 64 runs

It should have been a momentous day for Lee Germon, captaining New Zealand on his Test debut at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Instead India turned it into a near-nightmare for him.

Only Germon's timely 48 prevented disintegration yesterday as New Zealand were dismissed for 145 on a pitch already puffing up dust.

He won what had seemed a crucial toss, but he was needed at the crease shortly after lunch, with the scoreboard 71 for six.

He countered the spinners expertly and later provided the breakthrough with a lovely catch to dismiss Manoj Prabhakar when India replied.

In the morning New Zealand were rocked by the two local players Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble, whose four wickets included a distinguished 100th Test victim in Martin Crowe.

Srinath had Mark Greatbatch fending desperately before sending his off-stump on a spectacular tumble. He took three for 24 from 14 overs as India discovered the rare joy of a quick bowler getting wickets at the start.

Day 2: NZ falter as India keep up pressure

Second day of five: New Zealand (145 & 124-5) lead India (228) by 42 runs

The wicket at the Chinnaswamy Stadium continued to produce an unequal contest between bat and ball on the second day of the first Test, and New Zealand have emerged a definitive second-best so far, at 125 for five and only 42 ahead.

They did well in the morning to restrict India to a lead of only 83 as the bowling, led by Chris Cairns, caused India to collapse sensationally from 211 for four to 228 all out.

Ajay Jadeja and Mohammed Azharuddin had looked untroubled in their partnership of 95 until Danny Morrison induced an outside edge from Jadeja, who had hit a career-best 59.

But Azharuddin was in top form yesterday, his silken deflections repeatedly finding gaps, and he looked set for a 15th Test century when Cairns slipped in a well-disguised off-break to knock two stumps over. In a low-scoring match, Azharuddin's 87 might just prove to be the match-winning innings.

The seamers bowled outstandingly for New Zealand on a surface that grows increasingly spiteful. Unfortunately for them, the batsmen have not quite played the supporting role and the second innings was as dismal as the first.

Fleming and Cairns will have to produce a big effort from here if the match is to go into a fourth day.

Day 3: New Zealand are humbled in three days

Third day of five: India (228 & 151-2) beat New Zealand (145 & 233) by 8 wkts

New Zealand will leave the friendly climate of Bangalore for steamy Madras, still reeling from a technical knock-out. A Test match that ends in three days has either been completely onesided or played on a beastly surface.

This match had a touch of both. New Zealand, resuming at 125 for five yesterday, needed a colossal effort from Chris Cairns and Stephen Fleming. In the first 20 minutes, both were gone, and with a pre-lunch result looking possible, the New Zealand lowerorder once again demonstrated its character.

Lee Germon, who has carried himself, and indeed performed, with great dignity, led the little revival with another solid innings of 41. The last three wickets produced 99 runs as the Indian bowlers once again showed an inability to shut the door on the opponent.

Mohammad Azharuddin had to turn once more to Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble and while they delivered again, Kumble getting nine in the match, the rest of the bowling must cause worry in a more equal contest: 151 was a tricky target on a wicket that was distinctly two-paced.

India needed a sound start. They got a blazing one as Ajay Jadeja, in the side only because Navjot Sidhu was unavailable, produced the most charming shots to score 45 out of the first 50 in under 12 overs. His wonderfully fluent batting - he scored 73, to go with 59 in the first innings - gives India even more batting options, while Manoj Prabhakar's typically gritty innings of 43 means another chance for him at the top of the order.

Though two teams in the last 12 months have won a three-Test series after being down 1-0, it will require a staggering transformation from New Zealand to become the third.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk