The Test series between India and New Zealand may not go down in history books as one of the classics but a few players from either side made the most of the opportunity granted to them. Shreyas Iyer made his Test debut in the first Test at Kanpur and had a memorable one. Will Young was granted the opportunity to open the innings for New Zealand with Devon Conway out with injury and the young right-handed batter impressed everyone with his temperament in the first Test.
Along with the two players mentioned above, there were a few others who had a good time in this two-match Test series. These are the four players who surprised us in the IND vs NZ Test series.
SHREYAS IYER (India)
Shreyas Iyer may have been lucky to get a chance to make his Test debut in Kanpur but he sure did make the most of the opportunity. He was by far the best batter in the first Test and his century at Kanpur was absolutely scintillating. Iyer was given the chance to bat at number five in this Test series and in two matches, the middle order batter scored 202 runs and finished as the second-highest run-getter of the series. He was awarded the Man of the Match award in his debut Test, one which he’d remember for a long time.
RACHIN RAVINDRA (New Zealand)
When New Zealand went with the all-round option of Rachin Ravindra in the first Test above a tried and tested Mitchell Santner, one could understand that the team management rates the youngster highly. In his debut game, he became the difference between a draw and a defeat for the Kiwis as he stood tall for 91 balls on a tough fifth-day wicket at Kanpur.
Rachin is also a talented left-arm spinner. He went wicketless in the first three innings of his Test career but made up for it with his three-wicket haul in the second innings at the Wankhede. The three wickets included the prized scalp of Virat Kohli as well.
JAYANT YADAV (India)
Seems like Jayant Yadav loves turning up for Team India at the Wankhede. In the first innings, he didn’t have much to do as the Kiwi batters bundled out in 28 overs but still ended up picking one wicket. It was the second innings where we saw the best of Jayant. It is difficult being in Jayant’s shoes as he has Ravichandran Ashwin, one of the all-time greats bowling off-spin at his peak for India. So getting a spot in the XI becomes difficult for Yadav. But whenever he has been called up for the Indian team he has delivered. He picked up a crucial four-wicket haul in the second innings to wrap the Test up for the hosts.
AJAZ PATEL (New Zealand)
The man who will have fond memories of this series going forward would be New Zealand’s, Ajaz Patel. Not just him but the whole cricketing world would remember his exploits on the second day of the Mumbai Test where he managed to pick up all ten wickets in a single inning. Patel had a special homecoming to Mumbai and was fantastic in the first innings. He gave all the Indian batters plenty of issues on the red soil of Mumbai where he got bounce and turn. He has created history in Mumbai as he became just the third bowler to pick up ten wickets in an innings in Test cricket.
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