After the Indian batting line up faltered at Wellington against New Zealand, the bowling attack failed to make an impact as the Blackcaps' tail added 139 runs to bag a lead of 183 runs at the end of first innings. Compared to New Zealand's bowling, the Indian bowling has failed to live up to its expectations that it has set over the years. Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar also observed the difference between the bowling attacks of the competing teams.
Manjrekar opined that New Zealand has been performing as a team while the Indian bowling has been left up to its lone wolf, Ishant Sharma. The commentator stated that Ishant was left to himself to figure out the lines and lengths while Shami and Bumrah too were figuring out a way for themselves. On the other hand, he stated that the New Zealand bowlers have displayed stellar teamwork as the bowlers have stuck to their plan of bouncers.
The first Test against New Zealand at Wellington has put Team India to test its true potential in a format that it has dominated completely in the home season last year. As the overseas conditioned posed a strong challenge for the number one Test side, Team India could have done better than how they have performed so far. Apart from a lone wolf in the bowling attack disguised in Ishant Sharma and one in Mayank Agarwal in the batting compartment, India has failed to assert itself as the number one side at Wellington.
Ishant Sharma raced against time to recover from an injury that he had p[icked up during the Ranji Trophy and had made it just in time to join the Indian side just a day before the game began. The rise of Ishant Sharma as the spearhead of the Indian Test side's pace attack has been gradual and phenomenal at the same time, with the veteran picking up what he had missed earlier in order to improve his game in different areas, thus allowing him to become better with each passing game. Ishant Sharma grabbed a fifer in the first Test recording his 11th 5-wicket haul in Tests.
New Zealand were bundled out for 348 after Colin de Grandhomme (43), as well as tail-enders Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult, made vital contributions lower down the order with scores of 44 and 38 respectively. In reply, India lost the wicket of Prithvi Shaw early but Mayank Agarwal batted beautifully. He scored a half-century and looked solid out in the middle.
However, the visitors lost the prized wickets of Agarwal and skipper Virat Kohli post-tea which opened up the floodgates for the hosts in this Test match. Trent Boult rattled the Indian top-order with three vital wickets including that of Kohli.
At the end of Day 3, India's scorecard read 144/4 with Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari unbeaten on 25 and 15 respectively as Kohli & Co. still trail by 39 runs.