The Kiwis started the day with two of their senior-most batters in Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor at the crease. It took the Indian pacers about an hour to break that bubbling partnership. It was Mohammed Shami who broke the stand with Taylor’s wicket.
Shami, who had been in form having already elicited a few false shots from the New Zealand batters on Day 3, pitched the ball fuller than the Indian pacers generally did in this game. Taylor, who was under some pressure due to three consecutive maidens preceding the Shami over, went for an off drive with hard hands.
However, he couldn’t keep the ball on the ground and aired it to short cover, where Shubman Gill was smartly placed, and the lanky youngster took a stunning low catch diving to his right.
Fantastic captaincy, a fantastic display of fast bowling: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman says that plenty of credit for Taylor’s dismissal should be given to Kohli as well for the shrewd field setting. The 46-year-old also lauds Shami for his brilliant bowling, in pitching it up, baiting Taylor into the drive.
But, VVS Laxman reiterates, it was the placement of Gill by the skipper which complemented Shami’s plans to bowl full.
“A lot of credit for Ross Taylor wicket should be given to Virat Kohli. Ross Taylor has the tendency to play in the air when he plays the drives and Shubman Gill was stationed there, just parallel to the crease, silly mid-off position and that’s the reason why he caught that blinder. Fantastic captaincy, a fantastic display of fast bowling,” VVS Laxman said while speaking with Star Sports.
“It took a while to take the wicket of Ross Taylor but right from the word go the intensity of the Indian fast bowlers, what we were expecting from Indian fast bowlers, that was to be seen. Fantastic display of fast bowling, control aggression and a lot of discipline and also hats off to Virat Kohli,” he added.
Shami ended with an exciting four-wicket haul. Going into Day 6, the Reserve Day, on Wednesday, India have a lead of 32 runs, with 8 wickets in hand. As it stands, all four results are possible in the 98 allotted overs.