Ajaz Patel shines for Black Caps but Argawal ton puts India ahead in second test

Ajaz Patel revelled in the delights of the city of his birth but was a lone beacon for the Black Caps on day one of the second test against India in Mumbai.

Opener Mayank Argawal scored a classy unbeaten fourth test century and the trio of home team spinners would have been licking their lips at the turn and bounce Patel got on day one at the Wankhede Stadium.

At stumps on the first day which saw the start delayed by a wet outfield for 150 minutes, India had reached 221-4 – after losing their first three wickets with the score on 80 – with Argawal not out on 120 and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on 25, with the pair adding an unbroken 61 for the fifth wicket.

New Zealand's Ajaz Patel appeals for the dismissal of India's Cheteshwar Pujara.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel appeals for the dismissal of India’s Cheteshwar Pujara.

Hurt by the loss of their captain before a ball had been bowled, Patel shone for the visitors amid the lurid green of the Mumbai outfield – such a contrast after the grey smog of Kanpur where the sides played out a dramatic first-test draw.

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Argawal, who has scored the vast majority of his test runs in India, batted beautifully and remained aggressive even when Patel was picking up wickets, facing 246 balls and striking four sixes and 14 fours to give the hosts the upper hand.

Patel, born in Mumbai before moving to New Zealand with his parents aged six, finished with figures of 4-73 from 29 overs and was unlucky not to collect more wickets.

Along with Williamson’s absence (replaced in the side by Daryl Mitchell), there was another surprise in the NZ XI when Neil Wagner again missed selection. While Patel troubled the home team’s top order, Will Somerville was poor and conceded 46 off eight overs, Tim Southee was again excellent but couldn’t grab a wicket while fellow quick Kyle Jamieson was short of his best and bowled just nine overs.

It seemed a strange move to retain Somerville, who went wicket-less in the first test, as an off-spinner bowling to an all right-handed batting unit, when NZ had a bowler in the wings who has taken 229 test wickets at an average of 26.40.

Williamson was ruled out of the XI with an elbow tendon injury which has bothered him all year, with coach Gary Stead saying his leader will be out of action for “a sustained period”.

It seems certain that will include the two home tests against Bangladesh – starting on New Year’s Day in Mount Maunganui – and four white-ball matches in Australia at the end of January.

“It’s been a challenging year for Kane trying to manage his elbow and it’s important we now formulate a good plan with him to ensure the injury does not continue to plague him,” Stead said.

“While we’ve been able to manage the injury through the year and the T20 World Cup, the shift to test cricket and the increased batting loading has re-aggravated his elbow. Ultimately the injury is still not right and while he got through the Kanpur test, it was clear playing in the second test wasn’t an option.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was ruled out of the second test with an elbow injury and is set to miss a large part of the home international season in New Zealand.

Altaf Qadri/AP

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was ruled out of the second test with an elbow injury and is set to miss a large part of the home international season in New Zealand.

Stead said Williamson will need a lengthy rest, followed by rehabilitation, strengthening and gradual batting loading, which could even rule him out of the two-test series at home against South Africa starting in Christchurch on February 17. The second test against the Proteas will be in Wellington from February 25-March 1.

Patel, after an inconsistent performance in the first test in which he took three wickets, was attacked early by openers Argawal and Shubman Gill, before the left-armer started getting notable turn and bounce.


The Black Caps skipper will miss the second test and possibly a lot of the home summer international programme with an elbow injury.

He got Gill for 44 one ball after a missed stumping by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli for ducks in the following over.

Kohli was given out lbw after facing just four balls, but immediately asked for the DRS (Decision Review System) to check the call from umpire Anil Chaudhary.

The home team skipper, who was rested from the first-test side, believed he had got an inside edge of his bat to the ball before it hit his pad.

The delivery was watched many times in slow motion by TV umpire Virender Sharma – who had been guilty of some poor decisions in the first test when one of the two on-field umpires.

India's Mayank Agarwal hits out on his way to a century during day one of the second test against New Zealand in Mumbai.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

India’s Mayank Agarwal hits out on his way to a century during day one of the second test against New Zealand in Mumbai.

Sharma eventually ruled that there was no clear evidence that the ball had hit Kohli’s bat before it hit the pad and after checking the ball-tracking system which indicated the delivery would have hit the stumps, told his colleague Chaudhary there was no clear evidence to change his original ruling.

Kohli reacted with disbelief and talked with the other on-field umpire, Nitin Menon, before heading to the pavilion – an action that could see him having to front a disciplinary meeting with match referee Javagal Srinath.

Kohli had at least won the toss and chose to bat, meaning the hosts won all five tosses on NZ’s tour, including the T20 series.

India made three changes to their first test team, with batter Ajinkya Rahane, paceman Ishant Sharma and all-rouner Ravindra Jadeja all ruled out through injury. Rahane’s injury gave an easy solution to the Indian selectors as to who Kohli would replace, while Mohammed Siraj and Jayant Yadav were the replacements for Sharma and Jadeja.

With Kohli back in charge and Tom Latham skippering the visitors, it was just the second time in test history that four skippers had been used in a two-match series – the only other occasion was in 1888-89, when South Africa hosted England, according to ESPN Cricinfo.

India 221-4 from 70 overs (M Argawal 120 no, S Gill 44; A Patel 4-73) v New Zealand.

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