India vs New Zealand 1st Test: Virat Kohli’s team will have to do something never done before by an Indian team if they are to maintain their perfect World Test Championship record by emerging winners in the ongoing Wellington Test.
India have their task cut out in Wellington Test vs New Zealand (Reuters)
- India were bundled for 165 in the 1st innings in Wellington on Saturday
- India have not won a Test away from home after scoring 165 or less in their 1st innings
- New Zealand’s openers also failed to put up 50 runs vs India for the 18th time in a row
After being dismissed for just 165 in their 1st innings on Saturday in Wellington, the writing seems to be on the wall for India in the ongoing 1st Test vs New Zealand. The Asian giants have never been able to win a Test away from home after being dismissed for a 1st-innings score of 165 or lower in their entire history.
Overall, there have been only 3 instances in Tests when India have come back to win the game after being bowled for 165 or less in the 1st innings but all those wins have come at home.
In a total of 59 Tests (excluding the current Wellington match) in which India have been bundled for a score of 165 or less in their first outing, they have ended up losing 40 of those matches while drawing 16.
Away from home, this record becomes worse as India have been on the losing side on 23 out of 29 such occasions with 6 remaining matches ending in draws.
Considering the overall record, India’s probability of winning the 1st Test vs New Zealand is currently at a lowly 5%. Their chances of escaping Wellington with a draw are a bit higher at 26.67%. If we only consider India’s away record, if they win from here, Virat Kohli’s side will become the first in the nation’s to do so after being bowled for 165 or less in the 1st innings.
If India go on to lose in Wellington it will be their maiden defeat in the inaugural World Test Championship cycle following a run of 7 wins since the WTC came into the picture last year.
New Zealand’s opening conundrum
In reply to India’s below-par total, New Zealand too endured a tricky start losing opener Tom Latham (11) to the guile of Ishant Sharma with the team score reading 26. The dismissal meant that the Kiwis haven’t had a 50+ opening partnership against India at home since 1994.
In these 26 years which have spanned across 18 innings and 4 bilateral series between the countries, New Zealand’s openers have failed to repeat the feat of Bryan Young and Blair Hartland, who were the last Kiwi openers who had put on 56 for the 1st wicket in Hamilton in March 1994, which was also Kapil Dev’s last Test appearance.