The 3rd day of the first Test between India and New Zealand has just seen its closure, and continuing their innings from yesterday, New Zealand have stacked up a hefty total of 348, exhausting all their wickets. Despite gaining pace in the second innings through an impressive fifty from Mayank Agarwal, India’s batting order fails again, and are still 39 runs behind the hosts at the end of day’s play.
Starting from the previous total of 216 from 5, the Kiwis saw some nice batting from Colin de Grandhomme and Kyle Jamieson, who scored 43 and 44 respectively, followed by Trent Boult’s quick 24-ball-34 in the end with five fours and one six.
The brilliant in-form Ishant Sharma secured his 11th five wicket haul in red ball cricket, picking up Tim Southee, along with Boult, adding up to his triple strikes from yesterday. Ashwin secured three wickets today, and Jasprit Bumrah finally broke his wicket drought and picked up Black Caps wicket keeper batsman BJ Watling.
Today at stumps at the Basin Reserve cricket ground, India have scored 144 for 4 wickets. While Prithvi Shaw is still trying to find his click, it was Mayank Agarwal’s superb start that put India on the pace in the second innings. The 29 year old opener scored 58 runs, including seven boundaries and one over boundary, thus securing his third Test half century.
The Men in Blues skipper Virat Kohli only managed to put up 19, followed another lacklustre performance from Cheteshwar Pujara. The 32 year old Test veteran left the 22 yards after just 11 runs to his name.
The duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari are currently on strike at stumps. The latter made his return to the Test squad after an impressive spell against New Zealand XI earlier this month, and is unbeaten at 15, while the veteran Rahane is at a score of 25 runs.
In addition to a prompt finish in the first innings, Kiwi pacer Trent Boult also made his mark with the ball. The 30 year old fast medium picked up three, especially the key wickets of Pujara and the Indian captain, along with picking Shaw early in the beginning.