Indian pacer Ishant Sharma has been the only bright light in an otherwise damp performance by the Indians in the first Test match against New Zealand. His five-wicket haul has ensured India take the match to the fourth day. His fifer, paired with Ravichandran Ashwin’s three-wicket haul proved to be vital in restricting the Kiwis.
This five-wicket haul of Ishant was his 11th in Test cricket. With this, he joins legendary Indian bowler Zaheer Khan in the elite list of Indian pacers with most five-wicket hauls. While Ishant Sharma took 97 Tests to reach this mark, Zaheer Khan did it in 92 Tests. Both of them share the second position.
Indian legend Kapil Dev tops the majestic list with a staggering 23 five-wicket haul. Javagal Srinath follows Zaheer and Ishant with 10 five-wicket hauls. Next, come Irfan Pathan and Venkatesh Prasad with 7 five-wicket hauls in red-ball cricket.
Ishant also managed to reach the third position in the list of bowlers with most five-wicket hauls in away Tests. He surpassed Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Zaheer Khan to enter the list. Kapil Dev tops that list with 12, followed by Anil Kumble with 10. Ishant takes the third position, with 9 five-wicket hauls. Chandrasekhar and Zaheer share the fourth position with 8 five-wicket hauls.
Ishant Sharma (5/68 in 22.2 overs) remained the stand-out bowler for India.
Ravichandran Ashwin (3/99) also got a couple of wickets in the morning but not before getting a bit lot of stick from the tail-enders who were in the lookout for quick runs.
At stumps, on day three, India reached 144 for 4 in their second innings as the top-order found Trent Boult's (3/27 in 16 overs) high-quality swing bowling too hot to handle.
India now trail New Zealand by 39 runs going into fourth day, which could well be the final day of this game unless Ajinkya Rahane (25 batting, 67 balls) and Hanuma Vihari (15 batting, 70 balls) show the art of survival that was distinctly lacking in some of the other top-order batsmen.