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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Success stories of Ravi Bishnoi and Matt Henry

Did you watch India WI T20I yesterday – elsewhere not often a bowler who has less than 100 ODI and less than 150 International wickets is being talked about today – for his heroics pulled a star team to a less than 100 score in Test !

Christchurch  is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's third-most populous urban area. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast.  The city was named  so in Mar 1848 by the Canterbury Association, which settled the surrounding province of Canterbury. The river that flows through the centre of the city  was named Avon  commemorating the Scottish Avon.  A slippery fast bowler, Matt Henry almost didn't play for New Zealand, as he underwent a major back surgery in 2012, today he played for the main bowler was away on paternity leave and made an indelible impression.

Back home, you would have heard, read and seen some of : Subash Gupte, VV Kumar, BS Chandrasekhar, MV Narasimha Rao, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Narendra Hirwani, Anil Kumble, Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla ……….all leg spinners – who played for India in Tests.  T2oI is a different scenario, only 95 players have played for India thus far and yesterday a young legspinner, a livewire on field made his debut had figures of 4-0-17-2 and was the player of the match.  Of the 95 – there has been only – Piyush Chawla, Amit Mishra and now Ravi Bishnoi, leg spinners who have represented Nation in T20I.

Before you proceed, the first T20I Cricketer for India is – Ajit Agarkar – the protocol is when more than 1 player makes his debut, it is by the alphabetical order !!

At Kolkata, India bowled well to restrict WI for 157/7  and chased with ease, winning with 7 balls to spare – Suryakumar Yadav impressed; contributions from Rohit, Ishan Kishan and Venkatesh Iyer ensured smooth finish.  The debutant was Ravi Bishnoi – a very good fielder fumbled with a  regulation catch at long-off -  Nicholas Pooran hit  turned into a six because Bishnoi's overbalanced foot touched the ad cushions. Even as the umpires conferred to indicate 'out' as the soft signal, Bishnoi knew he had erred. When the big screen merely confirmed what he had known all along, he tried avoiding eye-contact with  Yuzvendra Chahal, the bowler, and Rohit Sharma, the captain. Less than an hour earlier, a beaming Bishnoi had received his first cap from Chahal. He bowled well - Bishnoi's fearlessness, even against a batter of Pollard's repute, was a refreshing sight. He kept delivering his stock ball - the googly - knowing fully well that the batters were expecting it. And therein lay the beauty of his effort.  

We recently saw a spinner Ajaz Patel perform so well taking 10/119 at India, and have experienced Richard Hadlee taking 7/23 against us – today at Christchurch Matt Henry broke South Africa with a spell of 7/23 – bundling out SA for 95. Matt Henry claimed a career-best 7-23 as New Zealand bundled out South Africa for 95 in two sessions to take charge of the opening Test in Christchurch today.

Playing his first Test in eight months because Trent Boult is away on paternity leave, Henry celebrated his return by registering the joint third-best test figures ever by a New Zealander.”Great to do it in front of my home fans, friends and family,” Henry said at the innings break. The visitors were 44 for four by lunch after their top-order had no answer to the relentless New Zealand attack. Henry and fellow pacemen Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson extracted considerable movement in the air and bounce off the pitch, hitting their line and length repeatedly and earning ample reward for their efforts. The first four wickets were caught by the wicketkeeper or the slips cordon.

Matt Henry's career-best  including three wickets in the same over, saw South Africa dismissed for 95 - their lowest total in 23 Tests and lowest against New Zealand on the opening morning in Christchurch. No South African batter scored more than Zubayr Hamza's 25 and the highest partnership was 33 between Hamza and Kyle Verreynne to mark the first time they have been bowled out for under 100 batting first since 1932.

Henry, who has not played in New Zealand's last five Tests and came in as a replacement for Trent Boult, ran through South Africa's top order as the hosts made full use of bowler-friendly conditions on the opening morning in Christchurch. With swing through the air and plenty of seam movement on offer, South Africa's top four were all dismissed for 15 runs or fewer to leave them reeling at 44 for 4. Henry then returned after lunch to claim four more, and leave South Africa shellshocked.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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