Rohit Sharma looked in good touch on Day 2 against New Zealand. Reuters
Another forgettable day for India, and New Zealand tightened their grip on the first Test in Auckland a little further with the home side coming to the fore with both bat and ball on Day 2.
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The third day will see the Indian lower-middle order batsmen put to a stiff test, with the away team precarious placed on 130 for four at the close of the day's play.
Rohit Sharma, batting on 67, looked really good in the middle, with Ajinkya Rahane was solid as play on the second day came to a premature end due to bad light.
New Zealand, after posting 503 in the first innings courtesy a double century from skipper Brendon McCullum, will be confident of knocking off the Indian batsmen quickly on Day 3, with the prospect of India then being asked to follow on looming large.
"I thought we will get 200-odd runs, because when you are 30 for three down, you are thinking about small targets and getting a competitive score," McCullum said. "Never did I think that after 30/3 in those conditions, we would end up getting 500 runs and for this batting lineup, I think that is a fine achievement.
"We have bowlers to take 20 wickets if we give them enough runs and I think we have given them enough runs."
The wicket is not exactly menacing for the batsmen, a couple of the Indian wickets coming courtesy poor shots. McCullum believes there is something in the pitch for the bowlers, with the new ball particularly coming into play quite often.
"The new ball is stopping a bit, when it is hard," McCullum added. "We saw that with Ishant [Sharma] when the ball was changed in the morning and the pitch started to stop a little bit. Short catches in front of the wicket will become crucial as the game goes on.
"So, to get two wickets in the first over was outstanding, especially (Cheteshwar) Pujara's wicket because he can bat for weeks. It's nice to get him pretty early. They had a nice partnership going in the end, but it means that we still have a hard ball tomorrow [Saturday] morning. There is a slightly earlier start and I am hoping for an overcast morning with some swing."
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