Ind Vs NZ 2nd Test: Guptill, Ojha share first-session honours
Martin Guptill made an attractive half-century but India made inroads into the New Zealand top order in the opening session of the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Friday.
After Ross Taylor opted to bat under overcast conditions, with the floodlights coming on very early in the morning, New Zealand batted with positive intent to reach 108 for 3 at lunch, Guptill leading the way with 53 and Taylor shaking off a lean trot with an attacking, unbeaten 27.
Having gone into their shell in the first Test in Hyderabad which India won by an innings and 115 runs, New Zealand were a lot more aggressive in their approach, despite losing Brendon McCullum in the day’s second over, trapped in front by Zaheer Khan.
Zaheer, wicketless in Hyderabad, should have had Guptill too on 17, but Virat Kohli from third slip dived in front of Suresh Raina at second to drop the chance. Guptill punished India with a succession of boundaries while Kane Williamson quietly played himself in as New Zealand scored at a rapid clip.
Pragyan Ojha (2/24), who became the first Indian bowler to bowl the first over of a Test, snipped the threatening second-wicket partnership of 63 by trapping Williamson in front, then elicited a loose stroke from Guptill to leave New Zealand floundering at 89 for three.
Taylor, who made just 2 and 7 in the first Test, took on R Ashwin, who had dismissed him in both innings, and slog-swept him for six to signal his intentions. Keeping him company at the interval was Daniel Flynn, on 7.
India went in with an unchanged XI while New Zealand brought in Tim Southee for Chris Martin, the experienced right-arm paceman.