India dominate opening day of final New Zealand Test
India’s bowlers ripped through New Zealand on the opening day of the decisive third Test in Nagpur on Saturday.
However, Jesse Ryder and Brandon McCullum – who were both struggling with injuries – put on a brave 42-run sixth wicket stand after tea to add some respectability to the visitors’ first innings.
Having chosen to bat the visitors limped to 147 for seven at the close of play after India’s bowling attack – minus the injured Zaheer Khan – found some form having been below par in the previous two Tests.
The morning session of play was lost due to a wet outfield after heavy overnight rain, but when play started India’s bowlers preceded to dismantle New Zealand’s top order.
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who bowled with accuracy and swing, removed both New Zealand openers, Tim McIntosh (4) and Martin Guptil (6), in a devastating opening spell.
Ishant Sharma, who was playing his first match since his heroics in Mohali against Australia last month, then trapped Ross Taylor lbw after he made 20 from just 24 balls.
Things got worse for the blacks caps when Kane Williamson went for a duck after Virender Sehwag took a smart catch at short extra cover off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha, leaving the visitors struggling on 43 for four.
When captain Daniel Vettori went for 3 McCullum, who injured his back during the warm-up, joined Ryder, who had aggregated a calf injury earlier in innings, in the middle.
Neither batsman was allowed a runner and they struggled to run between the wickets, but their doggedness frustrated the home side, who after reducing New Zealand to 51 for five and then 82 for six, expected to quickly dismiss the tail.
Ryder made 59 off 113 balls before being dismissed by Harbarjhan Singh, while McCullum stood unbeaten on 34 at stumps.