Rahane, Vihari fight but New Zealand takes honours

Catch all the updates, commentary, score and analysis from the first Test match between India and New Zealand at Basin Reserve, Wellington.

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India's Mayank Agarwal (R) plays a shot watched by New Zealand's Ross Taylor during day three of the first Test cricket match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.   -  AFP

Vihari and Rahane weather the challenge to take India to 144/4 at stumps. The two have added 31 for the fifth wicket and will be crucial to India's chances of saving or forcing a result in this Test.

IND 126/4 after 56 Overs: Vihari and Rahane playing out one maiden after another. Have they shut shop for the day? Rahane has been pinged on the helmet by a short ball from Southee. The physio runs to the middle to check on him. Rahane seems to be fine. Williamson having a chat with him, just making sure he's fine.

IND 123/4 after 50 Overs: Vihari and Rahane will aim to play out the remaining overs without any more damage. de Grandhomme and Boult have bowled to a plan. It's almost as if Boult can sense a wicket every other delivery, especially with the ball starting to swing. Rahane meanwhile survived a couple of close calls for caught behind and lbw. India trail by 60 runs

IND 113/3 after 45 Overs: India are going through a rebuilding phase after Agarwal's dismissal. The captain and vice-captain are out there in the middle. The two are focused on manoeuvring the ball into the gaps and rotate strike. The odd bad delivery has been dispatched for a boundary. India trails by 70 runs.

IND 101/3 after 40 Overs: Mayank has been strangled down the leg-side. Southee with the breakthrough. Agarwal decides to review after consulting with Kohli but replays show the faintest of edges and that's enough to send Mayank back. He departs for 58. Rahane joins Kohli. India trails by 82 runs.

IND 92/2 after 35 Overs: Virat Kohli has joined Mayank Agarwal in the middle. Pujara's wicket on the stroke of tea was a shot in the arm for the host. The onus will be on these two, especially Agarwal to convert his fifty into a big score, and bail India out of choppy waters.  Two streaky boundaries for Kohli already. Southee has a very straight short mid-on in for Virat.  India trails by 91 runs.

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Prithvi Shaw would have been the only wicket to fall in that session but for Pujara's callous leave, which saw the ball crash into the stumps o the stroke of tea. Agarwal holding one end up with his fourth Test half-century. India 105 in arrears at tea. IND 78/2.

IND 74/1 after 30 Overs: Mayank Agarwal is playing his shots now: gets to his fourth Test fifty with a paddle sweep off Patel for four. This was after he had hit Patel for a six over long-off in the previous over. The partnership between Pujara and Agarwal is now 47. Pujara is batting on 8 off 71!

IND 58/1 after 25 Overs: Pujara doing what Pujara does best: getting his eye in and blunting the attack with patience. Agarwal, meanwhile, has struck four boundaries so far and will look to convert this into a big one. With tea approaching though, both batsmen will be wary of taking any unnecessary risks.

IND 47/1 after 20 Overs: Pujara survives a DRS review. Jamieson bowls a bouncer, seaming back in and brushes his arm guard en route to the keeper. The Kiwis think there's glove involved but after several replays, there was no conclusive evidence that it hit the glove. Jamieson testing both batsmen with the short ball. They're up to the task, for the time being. 

IND 36/1 after 15 Overs: Three short covers for Pujara with Grandhomme inviting Pujara to drive. He resists. Jamieson is on from the other end, where he is bowling with the wind.

IND 32/1 after 10 Overs: WICKET! Prithvi Shaw hits two boundaries before for Boult's short ball trap. Boult digs one in from round the wicket, Shaw fends at it and the ball lobs up for short backward square leg to complete a diving catch. Pujara has joined Mayank.

IND 12/0 after 5 Overs: Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw make their way out to the middle with the conditions now much better for batting than they were in India's first innings. Southee with the new ball. Boult sharing new ball duties. Mayank collected his first boundary with a delightful cover-drive off Southee.

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LUNCH: Ishant picks five as Trent Boult's cameo comes to an end. Boult's entertaining 38 has taken New Zealand's lead to 183. Ishant finishes with five for 68.

 

NZ 311/9 after 90 Overs: WICKET! Ashwin has the last laugh, breaks the 71-run 8th wicket stand as Jamieson holes out to Vihari for an entertaining 44. Ashwin then traps  de Grandhomme in front, who falls for 43. But both Jamieson and de Grandhomme have taken the lead cloer to 150.

NZ 295/7 after 90 Overs: Jamieson got stuck into Ashwin in one over, clobbering two sixes. The partnership between Grandhomme and Jamieson is now 70. The lead's 130.

NZ 272/7 after 85 Overs: Grandhomme starting to score freely now. He begins by dispatching a full delivery from Bumrah for four between mid-wicket and mid-on before leaning into a straight drive to make it two boundaries in the over. Jamieson at the other end, not shying away from taking on the pacers. Shami bangs in short and at the stumps, Jamieson's top-edge flies over the keeper's head for six. This pair's now starting to hurt India. The lead's gone past 100.

NZ 250/7 after 80 Overs: de Grandhomme has been given out lbw but DRS comes to his rescue. Bumrah pinged Grandhomme's front pad with one that darted in and hurried off the pitch but replays show the ball missing the stumps.Grandhomme survives yet another DRS review. Ishant goes fuller and down the leg-side, de Grandhomme tried to flick as it went to the keeper. The skipper thought there was an edge but alas there was none. Meanwhile, Kylie Jamieson makes his intentions clear with a nonchalant pull shot over deep mid-wicket for six. The lead's now 85. India have taken the second new ball straightaway.

NZ 226/7 after 75 Overs: Bumrah to resume his over from last evening. WICKET! What a start. BJ Watling's caught behind off the first ball of the morning. He lands this one on a length around the off stump, generating extra bounce that takes a thick edge and Pant does the rest.  WICKET! Ishant's turn to add to his tally: bowls one well down the leg-side and Southee mishits it straight to Mohammed Shami at backward square-leg. Just the start Kohli and Co. wanted.

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Can India make early inroads into New Zealand's first innings? A lot will depend on Ishant Sharma, who has been India's best bowler on show thus far. Bumrah, Shami and Ashwin have been effective in patches but have struggled to pose a constant threat. The lead's 51 at the moment and the visitor will hope to keep it under 100.

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Batsmen of Kane Williamson's quality like to play with the field. They open up gaps, disrupt bowlers' rhythm and create opportunities. These were all facets on show on day two of the first Test between India and New Zealand at Wellington on Saturday. Here's S Dinakar describing the second day's play.

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TOSS UPDATE: New Zealand has won the toss and decided to bowl first. Meanwhile, it has started to drizzle in Wellington.

New Zealand (Playing XI): Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult

India (Playing XI): Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Taylor on his 100th cap: "Had a great cap presentation. Good friend and mentor Ian Smith said a few words. Will need some help drinking the 100 wines I received for each Test. Keeps the tradition from Fleming, Vettori and Brendon going (where they received the wines too)."

There is grass on this Basin Reserve surface and the New Zealand pacemen will be relentless in their quest for scalps. A windy morning with overcast conditions in New Zealand at the moment. What do you make of the pitch?

 

STAT ALERT: Virat Kohli is 11 runs short of overtaking former skipper Sourav Ganguly to become the fifth highest run scorer for India in the longest format.

Kyle Jamieson is likely to make his Test debut, bowling alongside Trent Boult and Tim Southee after left-arm seamer Neil Wagner withdrew from the team on Wednesday.

The Indian skipper is gung-ho about his pace pack where Ishant Sharma appears to have put fitness troubles behind. The Indian captain said, “He looked pretty similar to how he was bowling before the ankle injury and was hitting good areas. Really good to see him bowling with pace. He has the experience too.”

 

Form guide

(last five completed matches)

India WWWWW

New Zealand LLLDW

There is a covering of grass on the pitch for the forthcoming first Test and the two teams should be close to being bowled out in their first innings by day two.

It’s in the second innings as the surface eases out that the real game begins. There is less deviation off the track for the seamers, the pitch becomes slower and runs flow off the blade. 

Then it boils down to strategy and the execution of plans. The strong wind, who bowls with and against it, could be critical to the outcome. 

This said, the surface for the India-New Zealand game, a part of the World Test Championship, could be different in character. Full preview here| Ind vs NZ

The teams:

India (from): Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithivi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R. Ashwin, Mohhamed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Navdeep Saini, Shubhman Gill. 

New Zealand (from): Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Tony Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme,  B.J. Watling (keeper), Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell. 

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough, Aleem Dar, TV Umpire: Michael Gough; Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle. 

The match begins at 4.00 am IST. It will be telecast live on Star Sports.

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the first Test between India and New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.