Black Caps slump to record-breaking defeat

Author
Kris Shannon, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 Dec 2021, 6:41PM
Rachin Ravindra was dismissed on day four. (Photo / Photosport)
Rachin Ravindra was dismissed on day four. (Photo / Photosport)

Black Caps slump to record-breaking defeat

Author
Kris Shannon, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 6 Dec 2021, 6:41PM

Less than 48 hours after making history in Mumbai, the Black Caps are back in the record books.

This time, unfortunately for the brilliant Ajaz Patel and his beleaguered teammates, the new entry wasn't quite so positive.

New Zealand today crashed to their heaviest defeat by runs in test history, as India completed a 372-run drubbing in the second test to earn a 1-0 series win.

The margin surpassed the Black Caps' previous largest loss in terms of runs, a 358-run thrashing in South Africa in 2007, and applied an unlikely footnote to Patel's perfect 10-wicket haul.

The spinner on Saturday became the third man in 144 years of test cricket to bowl out an opposition side on his own.

The first two bowlers to achieve that feat saw their teams, as perhaps would be expected, record crushing victories - Jim Laker's England routed Australia by an innings and 170 runs in 1956; Anil Kumble's India beat Pakistan by 212 runs in 1999.

But not the Black Caps. Their squandering of Patel's exploits, which looked likely when they were summarily dismissed for 62, was confirmed when India declared their second innings at 267-7 to set the tourists a target of 540.

New Zealand last night worked their way to stumps on 140-5 but, on the fourth morning, seemed in a hurry to get back to the monotony of MIQ, losing their last five wickets for five runs.

Patel, at least, earned his second unbeaten 0 of the match as his side were dispatched for 167. It was the least he deserved.

"I'm a bit knackered, but I've got plenty of time in isolation to recover," Patel said. "That's the beauty about spin bowling, you go everywhere and it's different conditions and you're challenged differently.

"So it's just about adapting to the surface in front of you and adapting your game plan accordingly. It's a different role at home but I thoroughly enjoyed the one in India."

He would have been the only one to glean enjoyment from the second test, an emotion enhanced by the fact the Mumbai native was playing in front of family.

His teammates, on the other hand, might want to find some decent distractions during their time locked away in a hotel room. They certainly won't want to spend much time reflecting on this series, with a valiant draw in Kanpur followed by this mauling in Mumbai.

It made for an unfortunate start to the new World Test Championship cycle, as India earned some revenge after New Zealand defeated them to claim the mace in June's final.

But it hardly unexpected, either. Playing India on the subcontinent remains one of the toughest challenges in cricket; there is a reason New Zealand are still searching for their first test triumph in India since 1988.

That was never going to change today, certainly not when Rachin Ravindra's dismissal sparked a 43-minute lower-order collapse.

Ducks for Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee suggested the fast bowlers figured their work was done, while Henry Nicholls' stumping for 44 confirmed it was quick runs or else.

Still, by the time the next series against Bangladesh begins on January 1, this capitulation will be largely forgotten. Except for one thing.

"It was a disappointing performance," said Tom Latham, filling in as skipper for the injured Kane Williamson. "We know over here it certainly gets harder to bat on these sorts of surfaces, and it wasn't the way we wanted it to pan out.

"But it was an amazing game to be a part of and we'll certainly celebrate with Ajaz."