India and New Zealand had a rich history of thrilling encounters. Both sides will face each other in an ICC Final for the first time. Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli will lead the sides in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship. India and New Zealand had a tremendous campaign in WTC. Both sides faced each other in one Test series in WTC where Kane’s New Zealand had a laugh with 2-0 success. In this segment, we pick the top three memorable Tests between India and New Zealand.
Mumbai Test (1969) - India Won by 60 Runs
Let me take you to 52 years back when India were not a great side and just started building a team. The test match was the only format during that phase and New Zealand toured India for the 3-match Test series. The first match was held in Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium and it was a pure low-scoring contest. India were bowled out on just 156 and Ajit Wadekar was the top-scorer with 49. Indian bowlers fought hard and managed to bowl out Kiwis on 226, despite Congdon’s 78 in top-order. Erapalli Prasanna scalped 4 for 97.
India needed a solid comeback with the bat in 2nd innings. The skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi scored 67 and Wadekar contributed 40 to take India 260. Hosts set a target of 188 for New Zealand which was competitive in the 4th innings. Bishan Bedi thrashed New Zealand’s batting lineup with a 6-wicket haul and Prasanna claimed 4 for 74. Pataudi tried these bowlers mostly from both ends. New Zealand were bowled out for just 127 and India won this match by 60 runs.
Auckland Test (2014) - New Zealand won by 40 runs
This game is known for Team India’s fightback in the big chase. New Zealand were asked to bat after losing the toss and they posted 503 on the board, courtesy of Brendon McCullum’s 224 and Kane Williamson’s 113. Corey Anderson also scored a quick 77. India failed to deliver with the bat as well and bundled out on just 202 and Rohit Sharma was the top-scorer with 72.
It was a cakewalk game for Kiwis but Indian bowlers added a twist into it and bowled out the hosts on just 105. Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma both picked up three wickets each. The huge lead in the first innings haunted India’s chances in the chase. Chasing 407, opener Dhawan scored a fine hundred and Virat Kohli scored 67 to lead the fightback. India missed out the glorious chance of scripting the biggest chase and fell short of just 40 runs.
Wellington Test (2014) - Match Draw
It was a competitive series and after losing the first Test with a narrow margin, India came strongly in the second Test. Dhoni again asked Kiwis to bat after winning the toss but this time, the decision worked for India as Ishant’s 6-wicket haul helped Team India to bowl out the hosts on 192. India’s batting unit showed their best game. Ajinkya Rahane scored 118 and Shikhar Dhawan missed out a hundred by just 2 runs. India finished their first innings on 438 with a lead of 246. It was a game of India and victory was assured for them but as we saw earlier in the first Test, the twist was left in the game.
New Zealand lost their 5 wickets on just 94 and New Zealand pulled off a great comeback riding on Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling’s record-breaking 352-run stand. McCullum scored became New Zealand’s first-ever triple centurion. Debutant James Nisham also scored a hundred and New Zealand declared on 680 with a lead of 434 runs. Virat Kohli scored a century and India ended the game with 166/3. Match ended in a draw and New Zealand managed to win the series 1-0.
Special mention: Dunedin Test (1968), the last time India won a Test series in New Zealand.
Score - New Zealand (350 & 208), India (359 & 200/5) India win by 5 wickets