An unbroken century partnership between Virat Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled India out of a sticky situation on Day Two of the second Test against New Zealand here on Saturday.
There was another significant association between Kohli and Suresh Raina that missed the hundred mark by just one run. Not only did it rescue the Indians, who were tottering at 80 for four, but also did the confidence of Suresh Raina a world of good.
Raina, who is playing his first Test series for India after a highly forgettable tour of England in 2011, compiled a quickfire 55 before being caught by wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk off Tim Southee for 55.
“I am keen to do well in Test cricket. I am learning from the senior players. I started my innings in an aggressive fashion because I saw Ross Taylor doing the same the previous day. I have to control my aggression,” said Raina, who struck nine fours and a six.
He praised the New Zealand fielding on a day which witnessed some smart catching. “There are no demons in the wicket. If Dhoni or Virat gets a big score, we will be through,” said Raina after India ended the day with 283 for five.
Earlier, New Zealand didn’t add much to their overnight score of 328 for six. Kruger Van Wyk was dismissed by Zaheer Khan for 71 thanks to a super catch by Raina while Zaheer also had a hand in the run out dismissal of Doug Bracewell
NZ were bowled out for 365, but rattled India with the wickets of Gambhir (2), Cheteshwar Pujara (9) and Sachin Tendulkar (17).
Virender Sehwag blasted 43 off 60 balls before being consumed by pacer Doug Bracewell, who bowled Tendulkar in his next over. India still have an 82-run deficit. Southee struck in the fourth over, rattling Gautam Gambhir’s furniture. Southee got his second wicket when Pujara played a delivery to Trent Boult at fine leg.
Sehwag was caught at short midwicket off Bracewell. Kohli is seven runs short of his second Test century.