After three early wickets, a solid partnership of 221 for the fourth wicket between Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson helped Kiwis stage a comeback. Even as Zaheer dismissed Williamson in the final session, Kiwis finished on top with McCullum scoring an unbeaten 143. Catch the highlights from Day 1 here.
Brendon McCullum (143 not out) and Kane Williamson (113) helped New Zealand reach 330/4 on Day 1. Catch all the highlights from Day 1 of the India vs New Zealand first Test at Auckland. (Match Scorecard | Text Commentary | Match Report)
11.25 (IST): New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said that it was a good position for his side to be in after they finished on 329/4 on Day 1.
11.12 (IST): Day 1 wrap:
- Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan strike early to peg back the hosts by picking three quick wickets. Ishant gets his 150th in Tests.
- Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum added 221 runs for the fourth wicket to regain momentum in the second and third session.
- Zaheer sent back Williamson for 113 but McCullum continued to power on in the company of Corey Anderson.
- Kiwis amassed 125 runs in 27 runs in the second session and followed that up with 150 runs in 39 overs in the final session to end on 329/4 on Day 1 with McCullum (143 not out) and Anderson (42 not out).
11.11 (IST): Stumps! New Zealand finish on with Brendon McCullum (143) and Corey Anderson (43) in the middle.
10.35 (IST): Ishant comes back and concedes 15 runs in his over as the 300-run mark comes up for New Zealand.
10.25 (IST): New ball taken! MS Dhoni has picked up the new ball afterall. Mohammed Shami is brought back into the attack. Seems like even Shami was not prepared to come back into the attack. He was seen warming up just before bowling and starts off with two deliveries down the leg side. NZ 288/4.
10.16 (IST): Even as the new ball is due in 2.5 overs, Dhoni doesn't seem like he'd go for it. He has to complete 12 more overs with a maximum of 40 minutes of play remaining. NZ 284/4.
10.08 (IST): Jadeja continues and McCullum comes down the track and gets a big straight six. NZ 276/4.
10.04 (IST): More spin as Rohit Sharma comes into the attack. This is probably a ploy to catch up on the slow over rate.
10.00 (IST): Jadeja bowls to left-handed Corey Anderson with a slip in place. Dhoni then asks Jadeja to try from round the wicket. NZ 263/4.
9.42 (IST): Hint of reverse swing for Zaheer! That wicket has added a spring in his step. His pace has also gone up by a few kmph. Cricual phase of play coming up. NZ 251/4.
9.41 (IST): Corey Anderson is the next man in.
9.39 (IST): Zaheer Khan gets the breakthrough! Williamson is gone for 113, ending the 221-run stand for the 4th wicket with McCullum. A soft dismissal in the end, edging a delivery down the leg side as Dhoni completes a good catch. NZ 251/4.
9.30 (IST): A slow passage of play here for the Kiwis. Just nine runs have come in the last five overs. NZ 242/3.
9.06 (IST): Century number five for Kane Williamson! It is hard to describe this man's form in words. His hundred contains 10 fours and two sixes. NZ 232/3.
9.04 (IST): 200 run-partnership! Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson have added 200 runs for the fourth wicket here. It is the highest for that wicket in this venue at Auckland. NZ 230/3.
8.58 (IST): SIX! Brendon McCullum comes down the track and hits a straight six to bring up his eighth Test ton. His knock includes 16 fours and a six. NZ 225/3.
8.54 (IST): FACTOID: The highest fifth wicket partnership at the Eden Park in Auckland is held by England's Kieth Fletcher and Mike Denness (266 runs vs New Zealand in 1975).
8.50 (IST): After the first hour, none of the Indian bowlers haven't managed to put any sort of pressure on Williamson and McCullum as they managed to slam boundaries at will and keep the scoring rate at more than five runs an over.
8.44 (IST): The 200 comes up for the Kiwis. Exceptional batting from this duo here! Williamson and McCullum have continued to play in the same gear as they did in the second session. Both are approaching their respective tons. NZ 201/3.
8.13 (IST): Second session wrap:
- The second session can be simply summed up as the Williamson-McCullum show.
- From 54/3 in 24 overs at the end of first session, Williamson and McCullum took the Kiwi total to 179/3 in 51 overs, adding 125 runs in 26 overs.
- The duo of Williamson and McCullum came out with a positive intent and took to the India bowling, scoring boundaries at a good frequency.
- The sun began to come out and the impact of the Indian bowlers began to fade away.
8.12 (IST): Its tea! Brendon McCullum (71) and Kane Williamson (79) have steered the Kiwis to safety. NZ 179/1.
7.46 (IST): Boundaries are coming thick and fast here for the Kiwi pair. They have come out with a positive intent in the post-lunch session and have snatched the momentum away from the visitors. NZ 158/3.
7.37 (IST): 29th Test fifty for McCullum! He straight drives Zaheer to get to the landmark in 86 deliveries. NZ 139/3.
7.32 (IST): Kane Williamson plays a glorious drive down the ground to bring up the 100-run stand with McCullum for the fifth wicket. NZ 131/3.
7.18 (IST): Fifty for Kane Williamson! His 13th in Tests. His purple patch has continued from the ODI series where he got five in five! He brings this one up with a big six. NZ 125/3.
6.55 (IST): McCullum finds the fence again! He slashes hard at one outside the off-stump and a top-edge flies over the slips to reach the third man boundary. NZ 110/3.
6.53 (IST): Zaheer comes back and McCullum pulls him over square leg for a four. NZ 106/3.
6.50 (IST): First six of the innings! Kane Williamson pulls a short ball from Shami and clears the fence behind square to bring up 100 runs for New Zealand. NZ 100/3.
6.47 (IST): Brendon McCullum collects two fours off the Ishant over. He slowly moves into the 30s. NZ 94/3.
6.37 (IST): Fifty-run stand between Williamson (34) and McCullum (20) comes up. They've steered the Kiwis out of the early slump. NZ 82/3
6.34 (IST): Dropped! Murali Vijay drops a simple catch at first slip off Mohammed Shami. Williamson gets a reprieve. How costly is that going to be for India. NZ 76/3.
6.29 (IST): Another ball fall short of first slip! An outside edge once again fails to carry to first slip fielder. NZ 74/3.
6.25 (IST): Williamson is slowly but steadily settling in. He has 30 runs to his name and has unleashed a couple of his trademark shots off the back foot. India need his wicket to take control of the proceedings in the 2nd session. NZ 70/3.
6.14 (IST): Virat Kohli starts the proceedings in the second session. Strong wind blowing at the Green Park. He could be a tricky customer to handle in such a situation.
5.35 (IST): First session wrap
- MS Dhoni's luck at the toss continued as he won his sixth in as many games and elected to field in overcast conditions.
- Kiwi openers Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford started cautiously as Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami generated good amout of swing early on.
- First change bowler Ishant Sharma caused the first breakthrough, dismissing Rutherford to take his wickets tally to 150. It came courtesy a splendid diving catch from Ajinkya Rahane at gully.
- A couple of overs later, Peter Fulton was trapped in front of the stumps by a delivery from Zaheer Khan that pitched on leg and held its line to clip the batsman's pad.
- The formidable duo of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson came together again but couldn't last too long as Ishant's magnificent bowling spell earned him the second wicket of the morning, that of the big man Ross Taylor this time.Taylor, who was looking a bit scratchy, played the ball on the up and another spectacular catch -- by Jadeja this time -- resulted in a breakthrough.
-- At lunch, New Zealand were 54/4, with Kane Williamson (22) and Brendon McCullum (5) in the middle.
5.33 (IST): End of 1st session! Teams take lunch with New Zealand on 53/3. Ishant Sharma has been India's hero so far, picking his 150th Test wicket and bagging another one between quick, smart bowling with figures of two for eight in six overs.
5.31 (IST): Shami bowls the final spell of the first session. NZ 52/3.
5.29 (IST): Williamson dances down the track and hits one over the mid on. He has been using his feet very well against the Indian spinners throughout the ODI series. NZ 52/3.
5.28 (IST): Spin brought in as Ravindra Jadeja comes to bowl.
5.24 (IST): Williamson is start to free his arms. Much-needed for the Kiwis. He plays a glorious shot off the back foot in front of point for a four. NZ 48/3.
5.17 (IST): FACTOID: On this day in 1997, a bespectacled 18-year-old Daniel Vettori made his debut for New Zealand (against England at Wellington).
5.06 (IST): Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum walks a lot earlier than he would have hoped to.
5.05 (IST): Ishant gets one more! He gets rid of the big man Ross Taylor! Ravindra Jadeja takes a brilliant catch at cover. NZ 30/3.
4.57 (IST): Ishant Sharma has a short leg and leg slip in place and is testing Ross Taylor with the short ball. NZ 28/2.
4.52 (IST): Just short of second slip! Williamson defended at a delivery from Zaheer and the ball almost carried to Rohit Sharma at first slip and ran away to the third man fence. Williamson's ability to play the ball late and with soft hands led to the ball falling short of the Indian slip fielder. NZ 28/2.
4.46 (IST): Sharma's start, barring that wide ball, has been immensely encouraging for the visitors. He is putting Kane Williamson in trouble with his away movement and the odd one rise up. NZ 23/2.
4.42 (IST): That wicket brings up the most familiar sight of this series so far: Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor batting together. They have been New Zealand's backbone in the middle-order.
4.40 (IST): Zaheer comes back and strikes first ball! Peter Fulton is gone, trapped leg before. The ball was pitched on leg and held its line to him on his pads. NZ 23/2.
4.28 (IST): Wicket! Ishant has his 150th in Tests! Hamish Rutherford edges one to the slip cordon and Ajinkya Rahane takes a good, sharp diving catch at gully. NZ 19/1.
4.26 (IST): And just as I said that, Ishant goes wayward. He bowls one that moves far, far away from Rutherford, far enough to be called wide.
4.25 (IST): Exceptional start from Ishant! A full delivery squares up left-hander Rutherford and beats the outside edge of his bat. He will have to do more of that. NZ 18/0.
4.24 (IST): Ishant Sharma comes into the attack. He is just one away from 150 Test wickets. NZ 18/0
4.21 (IST): Big appeal! A length delivery pitched and moved into right-handed Fulton and struck him on line. The umpire shook his head but the replay suggests that would have struck the middle-stump. NZ 18/0.
4.13 (IST): Good stuff from Shami here! He is generating pace of 140 kmph on a consistent basis and getting the ball to move both ways to the right-handed Fulton. NZ 16/0.
3.59 (IST): Its a good combination between Zaheer and Shami here. Zaheer is getting the ball to naturally shape away from the right-hander while Shami is getting the ball to rise up well with some swing. Will be interesting to see how long Fulton and Rutherford can negotiate against the Indian pair. NZ 10/0.
3.54 (IST): A bit of inswing for Zaheer and Fulton gets a couple of fours with flick shots through mid-wicket and square leg. NZ 9/0
3.51 (IST): Dropped! What a start for Zaheer. He gets Fulton to drive on the up and the outside edge was carrying straight to Rohit Sharma at second slip before Shikhar Dhawan dived in and failed to hold on to the ball. NZ 1/0
3.50 (IST): Good start from Shami. A bit of swing for him.
3.44 (IST): Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford make their way out to the middle. Mohammed Shami has the ball in his hand.
3.37 (IST): FACTOID: India have played in Auckland on four occasions before and remain undefeated. They have won two and drawn two. Can New Zealand force a positive result in this series?
3.34 (IST): New Zealand will open the batting with Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford. The duo have just 30 Tests between them but there shouldn't be too many nerves as Fulton's highest Test score of 136 against England at Auckland and Rutherford scored his highest ---171 against England--- on his Test debut.
3.20 (IST): India XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
3.15 (IST): MS Dhoni's luck at the toss continues. Sixth toss in a row in New Zealand! He has elected to bowl first. Brendon McCullum says he would have bowled first too.
3.10 (IST): Unconfirmed reports say that there could be a 15 minute delay to the start of the game. Also, lights could come into play at different times during the course of the day.
3.06 (IST): Zaheer Khan: Feels good. Had some time off to work on fitness. I've been working on mobility a lot. My fitness regime is not just working on strength but also mobility. Always enjoyed bowling here.
02.56 (IST): We are all set for the first Test between India and New Zealand at Auckland. News coming in is that the conditions are overcast at the moment and there could be a delay in toss.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni has vowed to put the ODI series debacle behind him and aim to make a fresh start in the Test series. Desperate to bring the Indian team's faltering tour of New Zealand back on track, skipper Dhoni on Thursday, asked his players to dictate terms by capitalising crucial situations in the two-match Test series starting in Auckland on Thursday. India were hammered 0-4 in the five-match ODI series which led to the team losing its numero uno ranking in ODIs. (Read More)
Meanwhile, New Zealand are quietly confident of being able to exploit the green state of the Eden Park wicket and upset India in the first Test starting in Auckland on Thursday.
A combination of a bowler-friendly pitch and the success of the same XI, who won back-to-back Tests in similar conditions against the West Indies in December, meant the selection was a no brainer for captain Brendon McCullum. (Read more)
Positives from practice match for India
The Indian top-order failed to convert good starts but Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane struck morale-boosting fifties ahead of the Test series as the visiting team's two-day practice match against New Zealand XI ended in a draw here on Tuesday. India batted out the second day, finishing at 313 for seven declared in 93 overs, with Rahane (60) and Rohit (59) getting some much-needed runs ahead of the two-Test series against New Zealand starting February 6 in Auckland. This was in reply to the hosts' score of 262 for nine declared on the first day. (Read more)
India's second spot in ICC Test ranking at stake
India will retain their number two position in the ICC Test rankings if they win or draw the upcoming two-match series against New Zealand, starting in Auckland on Thursday.
A 2-0 series win will fetch India one rating point to take them to 118 points with no change in the table. While a 1-0 result would see India losing five points to end on 112 ratings points, just one ahead of third-ranked Australia, though they would still remain on second position. A 0-0 or 1-1 draw will allow both the teams to maintain their pre-series rankings. (Read more)
Trent Boult raring to go
New Zealand pacer Trent Boult sought to play mind games ahead of the first cricket Test against India, saying the visiting batsmen are too attacking and that sustained pressure can get them to commit errors.
"The Indians are attacking batsmen. Everyone knows how they are going to play. I will look to target them with swing and exploit their defensive techniques with the ball moving both ways. As long as we can get them to play shots in the areas we want them to, it's going to be rewarding for us," said Boult. (Read more)
Brendon McCullum's dilemma
Hoping that Indian batsmen would be flummoxed by in-form leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum on Wednesday, resisted the "temptation" to have four seamers and named an unchanged team for the first Test of the two-match series starting in Auckland on Thursday. New Zealand named an unchanged XI from the side that beat the West Indies recently to face India in the first Test. (Read More)
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