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Dismal tour puts Indian team on self-test

Brendon McCullum reached the highest individual score for a New Zealander with his 302 runs, helping the Black Caps draw the second cricket test match against India at Wellington .on February 13, 2014.

The New Zealand team took out the two-test series

It was the first time since 2002 that India had lost a test series to New Zealand.

The boys in Blue appeared to be in great shape and on the ascent during the first three days of the match. Put into bat on a seaming green Basin Reserve pitch, Ishant Sharma picked up his career best figures of 6/51 to skittle out the Kiwis for 192.

Record partnership

Ajinkya Rahane scored his first test century to help India gain a lead of 246 runs. The Black Caps were in deep trouble at 94 for 5 in the second innings, when Northern Districts B.J Watling joined McCullum. They put on a world record 6th wicket partnership of 352 runs.

New Zealand eventually set India to chase 435 runs on the final day.

Indians predictably played out a tame draw.

McCullum batted more than 12 hours to achieve a herculean knock, creating a record for a New Zealand batsman to score a triple century.

Incidentally, the highest score by a Kiwi batsman before McCullum’s heroics was Martin Crowe, who scored 299 runs against Sri Lanka in 1991, at the same ground.

Memorable summer

This has been a memorable home summer for the Black Caps. They beat West Indies in Tests and T20s and rendered the much-fancied Indians winless on the tour.

New Zealand now possesses a team of experienced hands and exciting new talent. With the World Cup fast approaching, Kiwis at home will be a dangerous proposition.

Hard questions

For India this means 14 test matches and three years without a victory on overseas soil. But the bigger worry amongst Team India fans is to answer the following questions:

Will something be done to stem this rot?

Was this just another tour, quickly forgotten in India’s breakneck cricketing schedule?

Are the batsmen ready to admit and work on their shortcomings against the seaming and bouncing ball?

The opening partnership for India is not clicking in Tests and One-Day International matches. Will selectors show some gumption and drop batsmen who are effectively flat track bullies?

Why is a country with a rich history of producing world class spinners, struggling to find a decent tweaker who can pick wickets? Is the glitz and glamour of the Indian Premier League (IPL) bright enough to hide these failings? The answer is a resounding no.

The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) should look beyond milking more revenue from the gentleman’s game. Before enacting more measures off the field to take control of World Cricket, they should look in their own backyards.

Indian cricket is facing major issues on the field.

They must be acknowledged and tackled with utmost priority.

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