New Zealand‘s fast bowlers made a huge dent in India‘s famed top order to reduce the tourists to 4/130 at close of play on the second day of the first Test at Eden Park, Auckland on Friday after Brendon McCullum‘s 224 guided New Zealand to an impressive first innings total of 503.
India at one stage found themselves staring down the barrel after being reduced to 4/51. But, batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane stabilised India’s innings somewhat aftera a horror show by India’s top order, as the duo took the team total to 130 without further damage. India still needs 174 to avoid the follow-on.
Boult’s opening partner with the new ball – Tim Southee – then chipped in with a well-directed bouncer that caught Virat Kohli‘s gloves and Peter Fulton held on to an easy catch at second slip to leave India reeling at 3/10.
Murali Vijay (22) and Rohit Sharma then stopped the flow of wickets as the pair resurrected India’s innings somewhat and while they suffered some nervous moments, managed to take the visitors through to tea without further damage.
New Zealand‘s bowlers have the cushion of 503 to bowl to courtesy of McCullum’s second double century in Test cricket and they dul delivered with attacking line and length in first 20 overs.
McCullum was the last man to be dismissed when he was just one run short of his highest test score of 225, also against India in 2010.
The New Zealand skipper attempted another six to add to the five sixes he already smashed in his 307-ball innings, but was out courtesy of some brilliance in the field from Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja caught the ball near the boundary and threw it back into the field of play as he overstepped the rope, then stepped back in and re-took the catch.
India‘s reply began in terrible fashion with a fired up Boult and Southee bullying Indian batsmen from the first over.
Boult gave his team a huge boost when Dhawan tried to flick third ball of the over through square-leg, but ended up edging it to Kane Williamson at gully.
The left-arm paceman then tempted Pujara to chase a wide delivery on the final ball of the over and was easily caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
Southee, who had ealier been hammered by India‘s pace bowlers in a cameo innings of 28, unleashed a delivery that got big on Kohli’s and the righthander could only nick the ball to the slips off his gloves.