With New Zealand scheduled to play India in a Test Series later this month, here are ten interesting facts about the contest between the two teams:
1. Winless for a decade: New Zealand have not beaten India in a Test match since 2002. Their last win over the sub-continental giants came when India toured New Zealand in December 2002. The Kiwis beat them 2-0 including a 4-wicket win in the second Test at Hamilton. The match will be remembered as it was a rare instance when both teams were bowled out for less than a hundred in their first innings. Zaheer Khan's five-wicket haul and Daryl Tuffey's eight wickets were the highlights as New Zealand chased down 160 on a pitch that was breathing fire for the bowlers.
2. Last win in India: The last time the Kiwis beat India in their own den was way back in November 1988 at Mumbai. India were set a target of 282 to win after Arshad Ayub had demolished New Zealand with five wickets. But John Bracewell and Richard Hadlee shared 10 wickets between them and skittled out the Indians for 136 runs. Bracewell picked up six wickets in a match-winning performance.
3. Run Penalty: In the first Test at Ahmedabad in 2003, Sourav Ganguly was penalised two runs for running on the pitch. This was the first time the then Indian skipper faced such a penalty from the umpire. He, however, scored a century and with Dravid's double ton India piled up 500 runs in the first innings. The match, however, ended in a draw, thanks to a rearguard action by Craig McMillan and Nathan Astle.
4. Bundled out at home: During New Zealand's tour of India in 1999, the first Test in Mohali saw Dion Nash destroy India's famed batting line-up with 6 wickets as they collapsed for 83. India recovered and scored in excess of 500 in the second innings to force a draw.
5. Mount 200 for Sachin: Sachin Tendulkar was arguably the best batsman around as the nineties drew to a close but he had till then never got past 180 in a Test innings. The third Test in the 1999 series at Ahmedabad saw this monkey off his back as he hit 217 runs against the Kiwis. In company with centurions Sadagopan Ramesh and Sourav Ganguly, Sachin guided India to 583/7 that shut New Zealand out of the game.
6. Back to the whites: The first Test beginning on August 23, 2012 at Hyderabad will be India's first Test match after nearly seven months. It is also the first time Team India shall put on the whites since the retirement of Rahul Dravid. Knowing his value to the team and his excellent record against the Kiwis, India know they have a huge void to fill.
7. The Wall stands tall: India were down 0-1 when the two teams went into the third Test at Hamilton in January 1999. This was Rahul Dravid's game as he struck a valiant 190 in the first innings to give India a lead. But the Kiwis fought back and India had to play out for a draw. Again Dravid came to the party hitting an unbeaten 103 becoming only the fifth time that an Indian had scored a century in each innings.
8. Umpire blunder: In the second Test at Christchurch on India's tour of New Zealand in 1976 Glenn Turner finally found form and was nearing his century. As he ran for his hundredth run school children stormed the ground to celebrate. This distracted both the umpires and while Kirmani dislodged the bails when Turner was short of the crease none of them saw it. The batsman got the benefit of the doubt and reached his century.
9. He's bowled but is he out?: Perhaps the best note of sarcasm used by a bowler on an umpire. In the first Test at Auckland in 1976 the umpires were refusing to give lbw and bat pad decisions in India's favour. It reached such a point that when Bhagwath Chandrasekhar bowled Ken Wadsworth in the second innings he kept on appealing. The umpire said "He is bowled". Chandrasekhar then posed the classic question, "I know he's bowled but is he out?"
10. Age does matter: When Kane Williamson played the first Test against India at Ahmedabad he was playing against a man who made his debut before Kane was born. Sachin Tendulkar made his debut in 1989 while Williamson was born in 1990. A rare instance in international cricket and not one heard of too often.