An hour after lunch on day two of the second test against India, the Black Caps were celebrating as one of their own achieved one of cricket’s rarest feats.
An hour after tea, they had rendered Ajaz Patel’s 10-wicket haul in India’s first innings largely meaningless in the grand scheme of things, by collapsing to 62 all out in theirs – the lowest innings total ever recorded in a test in India.
That left them trailing their hosts, who made 325, by 263 runs. The only saving grace was that India didn’t enforce the follow-on.
The previous lowest total made in India was 75, by the home team against the West Indies in 1987. It was the Black Caps’ sixth-lowest test total, and their worst since they were bowled out for 45 in South Africa in 2013, a match regarded as the turning point that ushered in their recent golden era.
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Mohammed Siraj did the damage with the new ball for India, removing Will Young, Tom Latham, and Ross Taylor to reduce the Black Caps to 17-3 after the first ball of the sixth over.
The spinners took over from there.
Axar Patel trapped Daryl Mitchell, batting at No 3 in place of injured captain Kane Williamson, LBW for eight.
Ravichandran Ashwin bowled Henry Nicholls for seven.
Rachin Ravindra, who had been ill on day one, was the sixth batsman out before tea, caught by Virat Kohli at slip off the bowling of Jayant Yadav.
At the break, the Black Caps were 36-8, trailing by 291.
They were soon 53-8, as Ashwin had Blundell caught at leg slip for eight, and Southee caught at bat-pad for a duck.
Will Somerville offered more resistance, but was out cheaply, caught at mid-on off Ashwin for a 26-ball duck.
Kyle Jamieson was then the last man out, caught in close by Shreyas Iyer off Axar Patel for 17, the Black Caps’ highest score, leaving Ajaz Patel as the not out batsmen.
A total of 16 wickets had fallen to that point on day two.