New Zealand 179-3 at tea on Day 1 vs India
The New Zealand middle order brought the hosts firmly back into the game in the post lunch session, posting 179 at tea for the loss of three wickets at the Eden Park in Auckland on Thursday.
The two have got 149 runs for the partnership in 203 balls. The hosts have plundered 125 runs in the session.
This is Williamson’s 13th fifty, his seventh consecutive one across all formats, which he brought up with a six. Both captain Brendon McCullum (71) and Kane Williamson (79) hit fiftys to rebuild the innings.
The hosts scored 91 off the 19 overs bowled in the session.With the batsmen showing positive intent, the Indian bowlers lost their focus yet again. The line went all over the place, allowing the two to score freely, regularly rotating the strike. Short, slow deliveries have been offer for the hosts for easy pickings.
Lacklusture fielding from the visitors have not helped their cause, with Murli Vijay grassing a sitter in the slip cordon off Mohammed Shami.
The Indian seamers started with a disciplined performance, bowling a tight line at a brisk pace. Ishant Sharma, who has been under considerable flak for his indiffrerent performance in the ODIs got the first breakthrough for the visitors.
Sharma induced an edge from opener Hamish Rutherford in the tenth over for a catch to Ajinkya Rahane at gully. Rutherford played a poor shot outside his off stump and could handle the bounce to get a thick edge.
Earlier, captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni won his sixth-straight toss in New Zealand – he won all five in the one-day international series – and called correctly for the 10th in his last 11 matches to give the Indian bowlers first use of a remarkably green pitch at Eden Park.
Two overs later, Zaheer Khan struck, trapping Peter Fulton leg before. The pitched about middle and leg with the left handed pacer bowling around the wickets, just about held its line abd beat the Kiwi opener’s bat for a plumb LBW.
A few overs later, Sharma struck again, this time Ross Taylor playing a lose shot to give a regulation catch to Ravindra Jadeja at mid wicket.
Since then however, India have come up against the Kiwi middle order – a problem they failed to manage in the ODI’s.
Dhoni’s New Zealand opposite, Brendon McCullum, had called the toss “important” – an exercise in Kiwi understatement as the drop-in pitch prepared for the match had a thick grass covering which promised considerable assistance to fast bowlers.