IND vs NZ: 2nd Test, Day 3 Review – Indian bowlers continue to dominate faltering Kiwis

Ravichandran Ashwin

India continued to dominate proceedings in the 2nd Test against New Zealand on Day 3, declaring their innings at 276/7 to set them a mammoth 540-run target. The hosts resumed play with a lead of 332, and the batters continued to pile on the misery. New Zealand need 400 runs over the next two days, with only five wickets in hand.

Here are the talking points from an absorbing third day of Test cricket at the Wankhede stadium:

Mayank Agarwal continues to impress

After a forgettable comeback into the Test side in Kanpur, Mayank pounced onto the opportunity in Mumbai, even though he would not be the first-choice opener in the team once KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma return. Agarwal struck 150 in the first innings and backed that up with another aggressive 62 in the second. His knock was laced with 9 fours and a six.

Ajaz Patel’s exceptional performance

After creating history in the first innings of the Test, Ajaz continued to display his fine craft. The spinner was once again at the forefront, scalping four wickets to return with match figures of 14/225.

Ashwin brings his A-game

Ravichandran Ashwin was on top of his game right from the moment New Zealand batters stepped in to bat. He provided the first breakthrough for India, getting rid of Tom Latham. Ashwin then followed it up with two quick wickets, including that of veteran batter Ross Taylor. The number of plays-and-misses he sent down to the Kiwi batters brought out all the oohs and aahs in the stadium, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats.

Virat Kohli’s search for century continues

Virat Kohli came into bat at No. 4 after Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal opened the innings for India in the absence of injured Shubman Gill. However, Gill returned to bat on the third day and was sent ahead of Kohli at No. 3.

Kohli, who scored 36, hit a four and six in his innings before playing Rachin Ravindra onto his stumps. His search for the elusive 71st international continues, as his last triple-digit score in the longest format dates back to India’s first-ever pink-ball Test in November 2019, against Bangladesh in Kolkata.