India had a dismal outing in the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. The Indian batsmen faltered against the Kiwi pace attack while the Indian bowling was surprisingly far from impressive.
The only positive for the Indians appeared to be Ishant Sharma's scintillating performance. Sharma picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings while Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah could only manage one wicket each. On a pitch that had become easier to bat on, Sharma kept running in and bowled great lines and lengths to startle the Kiwi batsmen.
What was more impressive was that Sharma had been advised to rest for six weeks after he injured himself during a Ranji Trophy match and was believed to be out of India's Test series. However, with great resolve, he trained hard at the NCA, got fit in time, travelled and bowled extremely well.
"Ishant has a lot of experience, the way he’s comeback in the last couple years, its been impressive. I thought his career might have been finished at international level, but he has reinvented himself and he is bowling well.”
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Although India had a poor outing with the ball, McGrath understood the injury woes that they have faced and believes that the team will bounce back strong in the second Test at Christchurch on February 29. He said:
“I still have total faith in the Indian (bowling) lineup. They had a few injuries off late. Sharma is coming back and he did get five wickets. Bumrah had a couple of injuries and he is coming back. So, yeah, I think the Indian bowling attack is world class and there is no doubt about that.”