The Indian cricket team’s tour of New Zealand has swung like a pendulum. In the T20I series, the Men in Blue thrashed the Kiwis 5-0, while in the ODI series, the Blackcaps returned the favour, whitewashing the visitors 3-0.
Now, we move to the longest format of the game. India will take on the Kiwis in a two-match Test series, with the first Test starting on the 21st of February 2020.
Over the years, Indian batsmen have played some stunning knocks against New Zealand in white flannels. Sachin Tendulkar’s first double century in Tests came against the Kiwis in Ahmedabad in the year 1999. The Master Blaster used the bat in his hand like a sorcerer and flayed the Kiwi bowling attack. Virender Sehwag bludgeoned his way to a classic 173 off just 199 balls in Ahmedabad in the year 2010, in a drawn encounter.
And, Gautam Gambhir’s valiant 137 helped India save a Test they looked like they would lose. The southpaw’s supreme concentration and resilience came to the fore as he consumed as many as 436 balls in a vigil that will be etched in Indian folklore.
In this article, let us look at three Indian batsmen with the most runs against New Zealand in Tests.
#3 Virender Sehwag
Taking the third place in the list is the most destructive opener India have ever produced. Virender Sehwag is the only Indian batsman to score two triple hundreds in Test cricket and had a whopping strike rate of 82.23 in the longest format of the game.
The Nawab of Najafgarh played 21 innings against New Zealand in Tests and scored 883 runs at an average of 44.15, including two hundreds and three fifties. Sehwag’s first hundred against the Kiwis came in the year 2003, when he scored 130 at Mohali. His second hundred, as mentioned earlier, came in the year 2010, when he scored a whirlwind 173 runs in a drawn encounter in Ahmedabad.
Record against NZ: Innings:21 Runs:883 Average:44.15 100’s:2 50’s:3
#2 Sachin Tendulkar
Batting records and Sachin Tendulkar are almost synonymous with each other. Hailed as the God of Cricket by his vast legion of fans around the world, Tendulkar holds a host of major batting record in Tests, including that for the most runs (15921), most hundreds (51) and most fifties (68). The Master Blaster is also the only cricketer in history to feature in 200 Test matches.
The Little Master played 39 innings against New Zealand in Test cricket and amassed 1595 runs at an average of 46.91. He also scored four hundreds and eight fifties against the Kiwis in the longest format of the game. While his first century against the New Zealand came in the year 1999, courtesy of a splendid 217 in Ahmedabad, his last Test hundred against the Blackcaps came almost a decade later in the year 2009, when he scored a masterly 160 at Hamilton.
Record against NZ: Innings:39 Runs:1595 Average:46.91 100’s:4 50’s:8
#1 Rahul Dravid
Taking the top spot in the list is the greatest No.3 batsman produced by India in Test cricket, Rahul Dravid. Fondly referred to as The Wall, Dravid is the second-highest runscorer (13288) and second-highest century maker (36) for India in Tests after the iconic Sachin Tendulkar. Dravid also scored six double hundreds for India in the longest format of the game.
Dravid played 28 Test innings against the Kiwis and scored a gargantuan 1659 runs at a whopping average of 63.80. He has also scored six hundreds six fifties against New Zealand.
Dravid’s stunning 222 against the Blackcaps in Ahmedabad, in the year 2003 was an innings of immense character and grit. In an innings studded with 28 fours and a six, Dravid flattened the New Zealand bowling attack in a flawless batting display that the connoisseurs of the game will be proud of.
Record against NZ: Innings:28 Runs:1659 Average:63.80 100’s:6 50’s:6
Published 14 Feb 2020, 16:04 IST