What a win for New Zealand. They had only 126 runs to play with, but that huddle before the start of the innings meant a lot. Kane Williamson was so focused with his words and his boys were keenly listening to him. Boy, haven't they responded well! They said New Zealand can't play spin, but on a spinning pitch, Williamson and Co. have exposed India's weakness. The spinners took 9 wickets and that tells you the story. Must say that the fielding was spot on too, which made life even difficult for the Indian batsmen.

McCullum opened the bowling and exploited Dhawan's persisting off-spin travails to trap him in front. Encouraged by the turn, Santner was summoned and he struck twice in his very first over making a fool of Rohit and Raina. "Good on New Zealand, they have something to cheer for," I said to myself. Soon, stuff started getting real. 

An astounding inability to tackle quality spin bowling came to the fore and ...not before long... Dhoni was left with Ashwin and an ever-swelling asking rate. His labourous struggles reminisced of the World Cup 2015 semi-final against Australia and once the rate got over 12 - on this pitch - GONE. Make no mistake, New Zealand were brilliant. Especially their tweakers. Any doubts about their quality have been put to bed.

Wow. Whodathunk it? India have been buried by turn. Absolutely buried. It all looks too surreal right now to be honest. That can't happen, can it? It was apparent that this pitch was taking plenty of turn. And New Zealand had 3 spinners up their sleeve. But given their inexperience in Indian conditions, one got the impression that restricting the hosts to under 127 will be improbable. The troika of McCullum, Santner and Sodhi had other ideas though.

Taaza Vaartha

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