Cheteshwar Pujara’s half-century steadied India after Tim Southee left the visitors rattled early in the second session on day one of the second Test. India went to the tea at 194 for 5 after missing Virat Kohli, Rahane and Vihari in the session.
New Zealand got the ideal start of the session courtesy Southee. Kohli was caught straight in front in the second over. He wasted a review too as New Zealand’s plan worked against the India captain. Southee had kept dragging Kohli outside off in the first session with a teasing line and floated one straight soon into the second session. Kohli failed to account for the movement and was a sitting duck once the ball kissed the front pad.
Rahane too fell to a poor stroke. He went after a delivery that pitched outside off and moved away with hard hands and got a thick outside edge. India had gone from 80 for 2 to 113 for 4 at that stage and was in danger of another collapse. That, however, didn’t materialize as both Pujara and Hanuma Vihari stitched a half-century stand. Pujara got his half-century too as the stand assisted the side steady after an initial wobble in the session.
Vihari seemed keen to take on Wagner and struck the fast bowler for a boundary over the point to get his half-century. On the fourth ball, he went for a different pull and gloved the ball to the keeper to hand Niel Wagner his first wicket.
Earlier in the day, India made a solid start courtesy Prithvi Shaw’s brisk half-century. After being asked to bat, Mayank Agarwal fell early to Trent Boult. Shaw kept crunching boundaries to keep the pressure on New Zealand despite plenty of help being available for the pacers.
The frustration grew for the hosts as they challenged an lbw call against Pujara in the 16th over. Pujara didn’t offer a shot but the ball was missing the off stumps. Shaw got to his half-century with a six over fine-leg off Neil Wagner but fell soon after. Chasing a wide ball from Kyle Jamieson, he was caught at second slip for 54. Kohli and Pujara saw off the tricky period before lunch as India went into the break at 85 for 2.
Brief scores: India 194/5 (Prithvi Shaw 54, Cheteshwar Pujara 53*; Tim Southee 2-38) vs New Zealand.