Well that was a test and a half. Punch, counter-punch, repeat, reapeat. Some sublime cricket (no more so than India’s bowling on Saturday afternoon) mixed with the odd bit of slapstick. All of it played out at a superb arena completely unsuited to test cricket.
And, like the rest of this tour, played against a Soap Opera backdrop. Added to the previous drone of the BCCI annexing world cricket was the combination of drinking stories and a bizarre counter-attacking press conference on the final afternoon.
Putting that aside, this test provided some statistical trivia gems in a sport that thrives on them. Here we go.
When Brendon McCullum brought up his 200 it marked the first time two New Zealanders had scored two double centuries in the same home season.
He then went on to be dismissed for 224; the same number that his on his shirt. This is the highest number of this particular Double.
In the first innings. Wagner 4 wickets, Southee and Boult 3 each.
In the second innings. Wagner 4 wickets, Southee and Boult 3 each.
This was the first time members of a New Zealand bowling attack had taken an identical number of wickets over both innings.
Tim Southee moved into fourth on the lis of New Zealnd batsmen with most sixes in test cricket. He moved ahead of Astle, and is now behind only C Cairns (87), Brendon McCullum(64) and MacMillan (54).
Of all players with over 40 sixes, Southee has fewest runs (812). Next fewest is Shahid Afridi (1716).
The last four home tests when New Zealand has batted first (sent in on every occasion) they have ended up with that tricky conundrum of whether to enforce the follow-on. That is a good thing for people to complain about.
For the record, of those four tests, NZ has enforced the follow-on twice (1W 1D) and batted again twice (1W 1D). Maybe it doesn’t matter that much after all.
BJ Watling’s nine catches in the test was the most ever by a New Zealand keeper.
He also became the first person to take six catches in the fourth innings of a match.
Take out Zimbabwe and Bangladesh tours, and the debut tour from Sri Lanka in 1983, and India have the potential to be only the second side to tour New Zealand without a win. The other one being the West Indians of 1999 / 2000.