Wellington, Feb 21 (IANS) After dominating the first session, New Zealand made further inroads to leave India struggling on Day One of the first Test at the Basin Reserve on Friday.
Starting the session at 79/3, India could add just 43 runs in the 27 overs they batted before the Tea break. New Zealand bowlers managed to pick two wickets in the post-lunch session and made sure the hosts strengthened their position.
Mayank Agarwal, who had weathered the first two hours with remarkable composure, couldn’t stay long in the second session and was caught at fine-leg as he top-edged a rising Trent Boult delivery off his hips after sharing a valuable 48-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane.
Hanuma Vihari (7) looked shaky right from the start and became the third scalp of debutant Kyle Jamieson, who got him caught behind.
However, Rishabh Pant who was drafted into the playing XI in place of Wriddhiman Saha, played with utmost composure and made sure India didn’t lose any further wickets till the end of the session.
At Tea, India were precariously placed at 122/5 with Rahane and Pant batting at 38 and 10 respectively.
Earlier, after being put into bat in rather difficult circumstances, which included overcast conditions and a fairly green track, the visitors didn’t have a great start as they lost young opener Prithvi Shaw quite early as he went back to the pavilion after scoring 16 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who is being termed as the new ‘wall’ of Indian Test team, then tried to steady the ship alongside Agarwal. However, after playing out 42 deliveries, he became the first Test scalp of Jamieson.
Skipper Virat Kohli, who came in next, continued his poor run of form in the ongoing tour and was caught at first slip by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Jamieson. Kohli scored just two runs off seven deliveries and his wicket left India reeling at 40/3.
However, Rahane and Agarwal took the team out of troubled waters and made sure India went into Lunch with just three scalps.
Brief Scores: 122/5 (Ajinkya Rahane 38*, Mayank Agarwal 34; Kyle Jamieson 3/38)