When New Zealand toured India in 1988/89, all focus was on Richard Hadlee. Then on 373 Test wickets, the great man needed one wicket to break Ian Botham’s world record. He got there on the first morning of the series, having Arun Lal caught at slip by Chris Kuggeleijn. Hadlee ended the series with 18 wickets at 14 apiece – incredible numbers for a 37-year-old.
But his heroics were not enough to prevent a 1-2 defeat for New Zealand. On helpful tracks, Hadlee’s effort was eclipsed by the Indian spinners, Arshad Ayub (21 wickets at 13.67) and Narendra Hirwani (20 at 19.50). India vs New Zealand Part 7, 1980/81: History for New Zealand.
Hadlee took 5-65 in the first innings at Bangalore, but India still managed to declare on 384/9 (Navjot Sidhu 116). Part of that was because half the New Zealand team went down with a stomach bug. Things became so dire that former captain Jeremy Coney had to be summoned from the commentary box and Ken Nicholson from the press box to field as substitutes. India won by 172 runs.
New Zealand hit back, winning the second Test match in Bombay by 136 runs. Hadlee played his part (6-49 and 4-39), but the hero of the win was John Bracewell (52, 2-81, 32, 6-51). India vs New Zealand Part 6, 1976/77: Spinners Demolish New Zealand.
But now, on a turning track in Hyderabad, the Indian spinners came to their elements. Ayub (4-55) first bowled out New Zealand for 254. Then India secured a 104-run lead. The New Zealand openers added 47 before Ayub (3-36) and Hirwani (3-43) ran through. India won by 10 wickets.
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