India and New Zealand have squared off quite a few times in Test cricket. Indian batsmen have played some exciting innings against the Kiwis over the years. We will look at the top 5 innings by Indian batsmen against New Zealand:
5) Ajinkya Rahane: 188(381) – 3rd Test, 2016
One of the greatest knocks played by Ajinkya Rahane in his Test career. India was reeling with 100 runs on board at the loss of three wickets. He joined captain Virat Kohli at the crease, and made sure India had a good first innings total on board. India could not manage anything above 350 in the whole series, but this innings, along with Virat Kohli, Rahane made sure that India has something more than just respectable numbers on the board. He faced more than 380 balls, and was there to frustrate the New Zealand bowlers. This knock proved his capability as a batsman and as vice-captain of the side as well.
4) Virat Kohli: 211(366) – 3rd test, 2016
Virat Kohli was in the form of his life when he entered this Test match, and he knew that the pitch is flat, and if he stays and faces some balls, he can control the innings after that. Along with Ajinkya Rahane, he put up a whopping 365 run partnership that set the tone for the match. The Kiwis didn’t know what hit them. This was the start of his brilliant run in Tests, where he hit six double hundreds in six test series.
3) Shikhar Dhawan: 115(211) – 1st test, 2014
Shikhar Dhawan was one of the prime openers for India at that time. He had a great year before in all formats, and was destined to continue his blistering form in tests as well. This knock came at a much needed time when India needed to score 407 runs. Along with Virat Kohli, he stitched an essential partnership, and made sure India was in the contest for a long time. He faced more than 200 balls, and wanted to take the match till the end. His wicket meant that India lost the game by just 40 runs, but this innings proved that he is more than capable of producing in Test cricket, even in harsh conditions.
2) Gautam Gambhir: 137(436) – 2nd Test,2009
Gautam Gambhir was a classic left-handed batsman who had emerged on the test scene a couple of years ago. He had a good series against Australia, but these innings proved that he could produce when the going gets tough. India was on the backfoot when the second innings started, they needed to put a stamp on the match after a disastrous first inning, and New Zealand put Indian batsmen back after they enforced a follow-on. Gautam Gambhir played more than 400 balls, and stayed on the pitch for more than 650 minutes, and such things are unheard of in these times. His partnerships with Dravid, Laxman, and Sachin ensured that India drew the match and won the series for the first time in the 21st century.
1) Sachin Tendulkar: 160(260) – First test,2009
No list is complete without talking about the master blaster and god of Cricket, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Tendulkar ensured that India had a crucial first-innings lead over the opponents after the Indian bowlers bundled them out for a cheap 279. Tendulkar made sure that he, Gambhir, and Dravid took India to a respectable position and did so when they took a massive lead of 241. All of this was possible thanks to a batting masterclass by Tendulkar, this set the tone for the match, and India was able to win the test comfortably.
India would be hoping for more such innings by their batsmen when they face mighty New Zealand in the World Test Championship final starting on June 18.