NZ vs IND, Day 1 2nd Test: Poor batting display means India on backfoot

The first day of the second Test between New Zealand and India went in favour of the hosts as they first bundled out India for 242 and then raced away to 63 for no loss by stumps to be on the driver’s seat. The Indians were poor with the bat once again, and though they did show promise in phases, they failed to navigate the bowlers who got help early in the day.

Three Indians struck fifties in the Indian innings, and yet they could end up with just 252 on the board. In a day of missed chances, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari did get on top of the Kiwi bowlers but threw away their good starts to leave India reeling.

An early morning shower delayed the game by 45 minutes, and Kane Williamson had no hesitation to bowl first after he won the toss yet again. Virat Kohli was disappointed, however, the nerves were eased once Shaw and Mayank Agarwal got off to a good start. At 26 for no loss in the fifth over, the Indians seemed to have seen off the early period, but Trent Boult, got Agarwal early by trapping him LBW.

Pujara took 13 balls to get off the mark, but Shaw, at the other end, was in full flow, looking fluent and well set for a big score. India raced away to 80 for 1 in 19 overs, but Shaw was sent back to the pavilion after chasing a wide one from Kyle Jamieson, who picked up 5 wickets.

India went into the break at 85 for 2, with both Kohli and Pujara showing promise. However, the second session is where it all changed, Kohli was teased by Tim Southee outside off, and was eventually caught LBW. Ajinkya Rahane too fell soon after to leave India in a position to rebuild.

It was Vihari, then, who came to the rescue and showed some spunk to get the hosts back into the match. He and Pujara batted well together, piling on 81 runs, and India looked well on set to cross 300 runs. However, it all went downhill for India thereafter as quick wickets meant that they were reduced to 216 for 9. Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah piled on 26 for the final wicket to take India closer to 250.

In the second innings, Tom Latham and Ton Blundell saw off the 23-over period with ease to ensure that they ended on the front foot.