The new ball did the trick for bowlers: Murali Vijay
India struggling to save first Test after New Zealand bowlers claim four quick wickets
Auckland: India were struggling to save the first Test here as they trailed New Zealand by massive 373 runs in the first innings with only six wickets in hand after second day’s play at the Eden Park yesterday. NZ were in complete control after a record 224 from skipper Brendon McCullum (224) took them to a mammoth 503 all out in the first innings.
Good Take: NZ paceman Trent Boult celebrates after wicketkeeper Bradley-John Watling holds on to a snick from Cheteshwar Pujara at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday. Pic/Getty Images.
The pacers then left India struggling at 130 for four when stumps were drawn early due to bad light. Rohit Sharma was batting on 67 and Ajinkya Rahane on 23 as India face an uphill battle of not only to avoid the ignominy of follow on.
India went into the tea break at 45 for three and then came back to add another 85 runs and lost the wicket of opener Murali Vijay (26) before play was stopped. Earlier, left-arm pacer Boult struck twice in his first over. First he squared up left-hander Shikhar Dhawan, who edged to Kane Williamson at gully and then picked up Cheteshwar Pujara in the third ball with wicketkeeper Brian Watling taking an easy catch.
Southee removed Virat Kohli (4) in a controversial fashion when he cracked a bouncer that hit the batsman’s helmet before flying to Peter Fulton at second slip. Kohli looked shocked at umpire Richard Kettleborough’s decision and India were reduced to 10 for three in the sixth over. But TV replays showed that the ball touched the thumb of his glove.
Meanwhile, opener M Vijay, who faced 60 balls for his 26, was confident that Rohit and Rahane would come up with a bigger rescue act. Vijay said: “If you see both the innings so far, the new ball did the trick for bowlers in both teams.
“More than the pitch or conditions, it is the new ball. Initially, it tends to swing a bit more and once it gets older, it becomes much easier to bat. That is what is happening in the middle. Hopefully, Rohit (Sharma) and Ajinkya (Rahane) can build a big partnership.”
29: Shikhar Dhawan’s highest Test score in his last six innings in Test cricket