Creditable show by the Kiwis

Mohandas Menon

V. V. S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid were the batting heroes for India. -- Pic. V. V. KRISHNAN-

THE last time the Kiwis managed not to lose a Test series in India was in 1969, when Graham Dowling's team drew the three-match series 1-1. On this occasion, Stephen Fleming's team emulated the 1969 Kiwis, drawing the two-match series 0-0.

Both the Tests, played at Ahmedabad and Mohali, were drawn. Listed below are the several individual and team milestones that were either equalled or surpassed.

First Test at Ahmedabad

Akash Chopra and L. Balaji became the 245th and 246th players respectively to represent India in Tests.

Rahul Dravid (222) registered his 15th Test hundred in his 70th match. It was also his 40th first-class hundred in 180 matches. Among the Indian batsmen Dravid now has the most number of hundreds against the Kiwis in Tests. It was his fourth hundred in eight matches against New Zealand. He went past the tally of Vijay Manjrekar and Sachin Tendulkar, who have three hundreds each against the Kiwis.

It was also Dravid's third 200-plus score of his career. Among Indian batsmen only Sunil Gavaskar (four) has more 200-plus scores in Tests. Dravid, meanwhile, became the 15th batsman in Test cricket history to register three or more double hundreds. Among contemporary players, only Sri Lankan Marvan Atapattu and West Indian Brian Lara — five each — have more double hundreds, while South Africans Gary Kirsten and Graeme Smith have three each.

Dravid recorded the highest Test score of his career, surpassing his previous best of 217 against England at The Oval in September last year.

His score was also the highest at this ground, bettering the 217 by Sachin Tendulkar also against the Kiwis in October 1999.

The 182-run partnership between Dravid and Sourav Ganguly was India's best for the fifth wicket against New Zealand bettering the 127 runs between Vijay Manjrekar and G. S. Ramchand at Delhi in December 1955.

Ganguly's unbeaten 100 was his 10th Test century (in 68 Tests) and his third against the Kiwis (in eight Tests). It was also his third as captain in 33 matches.

During his above knock, Ganguly reached a personal milestone of 10,000 runs in first-class cricket, when he was on 73. He now has 10027 runs (avg. 43.59) in 168 matches, with 18 hundreds.

Ganguly now joins two other Indian captains to record a hundred while batting at number six. Pataudi Jr (three hundreds) and Mohammad Azharuddin (two hundreds) are the others to do so. For the record, Ganguly's previous highest score as captain at number six was the 84 he made against Bangladesh at Dhaka in November 2000, which incidentally was his first Test as Indian skipper.

Nathan Astle's 103 was his ninth Test hundred (in 58 Tests) and his first against India. His previous highest against India was 74 at this very venue in October 1999.

Interestingly, Astle's hundred was the first by a Kiwi batsman in India in 27 years since Glenn Turner's 113 at Kanpur way back in November 1976. Since then Mark Greatbatch's unbeaten 90 at Hyderabad in December 1988, was the highest.

It was Astle's 17th hundred in his 127th first-class match. During this knock he had the distinction of reaching a personal landmark of 7000 runs (when on 51) in first-class cricket.

The wicket of Jacob Oram was Anil Kumble's 350th of his Test career in 77 matches. He became the second Indian (after Kapil Dev, 434 wkts in 131 Tests) and the 14th bowler in Test history to reach this milestone. Incidentally Kumble is only the third spinner after Australian Shane Warne (491 in 107) and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (459 in 82) to reach this figure.

Kumble became the sixth quickest (77th Test) among the 14 bowlers to reach the 350-wicket mark. Murali (66th Test), Richard Hadlee (69), Dennis Lillee (70), Glenn McGrath (74) and Malcolm Marshall (75) are the only bowlers to reach the milestone quicker than Kumble. For the record, fellow-Indian Kapil Dev needed 100 Tests to reach this figure (against Pakistan in 1989) — the most Tests taken by any of the 14 bowlers.

Daniel Vettori (60) became the 35th New Zealander and 388th batsman overall to reach 1000 runs in Tests. Playing in his 47th Test match he now has exactly 1000 runs (avg. 17.24) with six fifties.

By achieving the above landmark, Vettori also became the fourth Kiwi all-rounder (after Richard Hadlee, John Bracewell and Chris Cairns) and the 41st overall to do the Test double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets. Vettori now has 1000 runs and 145 wickets to his credit.

Sachin Tendulkar, during his knock of seven runs in the second innings, became the first Indian batsman to reach 1000 runs against the Kiwis in Tests. Playing in his 15th Test match he now has 1006 runs (avg. 50.30) against New Zealand. For the record, 14 other batsmen have made over 1000 runs against the Kiwis, with Pakistani Javed Miandad making the most runs — 1919 (avg. 79.96) in 18 matches.

Rahul Dravid's match aggregate of 295 runs (222+73) was the third best by an Indian in Tests. Only Sunil Gavaskar (124+220=344 v West Indies, at Port of Spain, April 1971) and V. V. S. Laxman (59+281=340 v Australia at Kolkata, March 2001) have made more runs than Dravid in a Test match. Incidentally, Dravid bettered the 293 runs he made against New Zealand (190+103*) at Hamilton in January 1999.

Second Test at Mohali

Rahul Dravid, playing in his 71st Test match, became the 28th player to captain India in Tests.

Craig Mcmillan topped the batting averages for the kiwis. -- Pic. AP-

After appearing in 73 LOI matches, Yuvraj Singh became the 247th Indian to appear in Tests. Yuvraj fell short of the record of appearing in most LOIs before Test debut, currently held by Australian Adam Gilchrist, who had appeared in 76 LOIs match before playing a Test match in November 1999. Yuvraj, however, went past the Indian record held by Robin Singh (Sr), who appeared in 60 LOI matches before his Test debut in October 1998.

With Yuvraj's father Yograj Singh also appearing in a Test match (also against New Zealand at Wellington in February 1981), they became the eighth father & son combination to represent India in Tests after the Amarnaths (Lala; Surinder & Mohinder), Pataudis (Iftikhar Ali Khan and Mansur Ali Khan), Mankads (Vinoo & Ashok), Gaekwads (Dattaji & Aunshuman), Roys (Pankaj & Pranab), Manjrekars (Vijay & Sanjay) & Kanitkars (Hemant & Hrishikesh).

The 231-run stand between Mark Richardson and Lou Vincent was the third best for New Zealand for the opening wicket in Tests after the 387 put on by Terry Jarvis and Glenn Turner against West Indies at Georgetown, April 1972 and the 276 between Stewie Dempster and John Mills against England at Wellington in January 1930.

The Richardson-Vincent partnership was only the third 200-plus stand for the first wicket by a visiting team in India after the 239 runs between West Indians Jeff Stollmeyer and Alan Rae at Madras in January 1949 and the 236 between South Africans Gary Kirsten and Andrew Hudson at Kolkata in November 1996.

However the pair managed to surpass the following landmarks during their stand:

Previous best partnership for the first wicket by a visiting team at Mohali was 98 between Sri Lankans Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya in November 1997.

Previous best partnership for the first wicket for New Zealand in India was 131 between Gary Stead and Matt Horne at Ahmedabad, November 1999.

Previous best partnership for the first wicket for New Zealand in the sub-continent was 136 between Terry Jarvis and Graham Dowling against Pakistan at Lahore in April 1964.

Previous best partnership for the first wicket by any team at Mohali was 137 between Devang Gandhi and Sadagoppan Ramesh against New Zealand in October 1999.

Previous best partnership for the first wicket for New Zealand against India was 149 between Trevor Franklin and John Wright at Napier in February 1990.

Mark Richardson (145, when on 121) became the 21st New Zealander and the 222nd player in Test cricket history to reach 2000 runs. By reaching this landmark in his 44th innings (and 26th Test) he equalled the Kiwi record of reaching 2000 runs in least number of innings. Former middle-order batsman Andrew Jones also needed 44 innings to reach 2000 runs in 1992-93. However, Jones, needing just 24 Tests, remains the quickest in terms of matches.

Richardson, meanwhile, also recorded his highest-ever Test score, surpassing his previous best of 143 made against Bangladesh at Hamilton in December 2001.

Richardson's 145 was also the third highest score made by a New Zealander in India after Bert Sutcliffe's unbeaten 230 (at Delhi, December 1955) and unbeaten 151 (at Calcutta, March 1965).

The wicket of Nathan Astle was Harbhajan Singh's 150th in Test cricket in 35 matches. He became the 10th Indian and 70th bowler in Test history to do so. Incidentally, only E. A. S. Prasanna and Anil Kumble have taken lesser matches (34) than Harbhajan to reach this milestone.

The wicket of Robbie Hart was Anil Kumble's 50th against the Kiwis in 11 Tests. He now joins Bishan Singh Bedi (57 wickets in 12 matches) and E. A. S. Prasanna (55 in 10) to become the third Indian bowler to take 50 or more wickets against New Zealand.

New Zealand (630-6 declared) recorded its second highest total in Tests after the 671-4 it made against Sri Lanka at Wellington in February 1991.

Anil Kumble the best bowler for India. — Pic. AP-

The previous highest total by the Kiwis away from home before this one was 553-7 declared against Australia at Brisbane in November 1985.

Incidentally the last time any visiting team had made a 600-plus score in India was England at Chennai in January 1985. The Englishmen had made 652-7 declared.

New Zealand achieved its highest ever total in the sub-continent, bettering the 515-7 it made against Sri Lanka at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo earlier this year in April.

The team also went past its previous highest total against India, which was the 502 at Christchurch in February 1968 and also its previous highest total in India — 462-9 at Calcutta in March 1965.

The Kiwi batsmen provided the 10th instance in Test cricket when four or more hundreds had been scored in the same Test innings. New Zealand had achieved this feat once before, when four of its batsmen had made hundreds — against Australia at Perth in December 2001.

India has now conceded four hundreds in an innings on five occasions, a dubious distinction for any Test team. Australia has conceded this twice, while West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have done so once each.

Daryl Tuffey the best bowlers for India and New Zealand respectively. — Pic. AP-

The only other occasion this had occurred on Indian soil was when the West Indians did so at Delhi way back in November 1948.

Sehwag, during his knock of 130 (when on 82), became the 48th Indian batsman to reach 1000 runs in Tests. He was appearing in his 16th Test and 24th innings.

The wicket of Yuvraj Singh was the 50th for Daryl Tuffey in his 16th Test. He became the 24th New Zealander to reach this landmark.

When Stephen Fleming enforced the follow-on, it was the fourth time that India had to suffer this ignominy against the Kiwis. The earlier occasions being: at Bombay in 1964-65 (drawn) and at Christchurch in 1967-68 & 1989-90, which were both won by the home side.

Rahul Dravid completed 1000 runs against New Zealand when he opened his account in the second innings. He thus became the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar (who achieved this distinction in the Ahmedabad Test) to do so.

<%/COL> India — batting & fielding M<%/TD> I NO Runs HS Ave. 100 50 0 Ct St Runs Venue <%/COL> M I NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 0 Ct St Runs Venue M Balls Md Runs W Ave. Best 5 10 S/R E/R

D. R. Tuffey 2 498 17 231 8 28.88 4/80 — — 62.25 2.78

P. J. Wiseman 2 491 13 276 5 55.20 4/64 — — 98.20 3.37

S. B. Styris 2 294 14 127 2 63.50 1/40 — — 147.00 2.59

D. L. Vettori 2 834 41 333 5 66.60 2/84 — — 166.80 2.40

J. D. P. Oram 1 246 8 134 2 67.00 1/39 — — 123.00 3.27

I. G. Butler 1 240 8 128 1 128.00 1/116 — — 240.00 3.20

C. D. McMillan 2 66 4 21 0 — 0/6 — — — 1.91