India’s 2002/03 tour of New Zealand was one of its kind. To begin with, there were only three individual fifties across the two Tests, from Rahul Dravid, Mark Richardson, and Sachin Tendulkar – all in the first match, in Wellington. Nobody reached even forty at Hamilton.

The series, played on lively, green pitches, was so dependent on seam that Daniel Vettori did not bowl a single ball despite playing both Test matches. Daryl Tuffey (13 wickets at 8.69), Shane Bond (12 at 16.33), and Jacob Oram (11 at 11.81) were ably supported by Scott Styris and Nathan Astle. With 11 wickets at 13.72 apiece, Zaheer Khan put up a spirited show in response, but none of his teammates got more than five wickets. India vs New Zealand Part 13, 1999/00: Dion Nash’s Spell and a Sachin Tendulkar First.

India were bowled out for 161 and 121 at Wellington. Apart from Dravid (76 in the first innings) and Tendulkar (51 in the second), there was not a single individual score in excess of 20. The New Zealand innings of 247 was held together by Richardson, who countered seam admirably for almost seven hours for his 89. Astle, too, got a brisk 41, and New Zealand won by 10 wickets inside three days.

Rain pushed the start of play until the second afternoon at Hamilton. India finished the day on 92/8. Some part of all four innings of the Test was played on the next day. India, all out for 99, bowled out New Zealand for 94 – setting the first instance of both first innings in a match where both first innings ended under 100. India vs New Zealand Part 12, 1998/99: Simon Doull Demolishes, Rahul Dravid Resists.

India folded for 154 later that day, leaving New Zealand 15 overs to bat. They did not lose a wicket, and though they became 105/5 next day, they eventually won by four wickets.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 21, 2021 06:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website