New Zealand made early inroads but middle order counter attacked and saved the day for India.
It was a complete day if you are neutral cricket fan. A session first entirely dominated by ball, then counter attacking batting leading to equal bat and ball contest in the following session and in last session, bat overpowered the tiring ball. With India 283/5 at stumps after bowling out NZ earlier in the day for 365 runs, there was no winner of the day actually, though New Zealand at the moment have their nose ahead of India in the second and last test match of the series.
His sizzling innings changed the complexion of the innings and gave the confidence for other Indian batsmens to play.
Virat Kohli, 93* and MS Dhoni, 46* have big task ahead of them when they come out tomorrow to bat. First, they must negotiate the new ball and go through the dangerous first season successfully before thinking about getting first innings lead. First session alone has accounted for 9 wickets so far, six today itself, out of total 15 wickets fell in the match. The conditions in Bangalore remained overcast throughout the day and New Zealand seamers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell duly made India to feel batting at alien pitch in home ground. Gambhir woeful test form continues as he was clean bowled by Tim Southee after being dropped at slips in previous over for just 2 runs. Last match star, Cheteshwar Pujara, who began his innings positively fell to a well directed bouncer from Tim Southee, as he mistimed the hook and got caught at fine leg for 9 runs. In walked Sachin Tendulkar, who came into the series without any match practice, was made to pay the price for it. He was tentative from the beginning and was rooted to crease most times. With him struggled to score, Sehwag kept the scorecard ticking but mostly unconvincing. Immediately after lunch, Bracewell removed dangerous Sehwag for 43 runs, thanks to brilliant catch by Flynn at square leg. Tendulkar who despite hitting couple of boundaries, was still under plenty of close LBW calls and nerve stay before Bracewell finally getting one through. Sachin tried to play the straight ball to a midwicket region with feet moving nowhere and bat turning in his hand was clean bowled again in the series for 17 runs.
New Zealand had India in all sorts of problem at 80/4 but Raina came out and counter attacked to ease the situation. Solid Kohli and aggressive Raina partnership of 99 runs assured India crossing the follow-on score and go to tea safely 168/4. But yet again after the break, India lost the wicket. Raina who after scoring a well made fifty, was again dismissed in similar fashion to the last match. Raina fluent innings, which had some glorious timing and gracious shots in it, gave the confidence for Kohli at other end to open up. Kohli and Dhoni took up from where Raina left, attacking the bowlers and keep rotating the strike. With the ball getting older and softer, runs came quite easily for India but still a odd ball caused enough problems.
Earlier today, New Zealand added just 37 runs to their overnight score before losing all their remaining wickets in the morning. Once Van Wyk got dismissed for 71 runs, India cleaned up the tail very soon. Pragyan Ojha grabbed one more wicket today and got his 2nd career five wicket haul.
Score: India 283/5 (Kohli 93*, Raina 55, Southee 3/35) trailing New Zealand 365 (Taylor 113, Ojha 5/99) by 82 runs.