New Zealand bowlers put India on the backfoot despite fighting half-centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, to leave the hosts on 239 for seven Friday in the second Test.
New Zealand’s recalled pace bowler Matt Henry and off-spinner Jeetan Patel shared five wickets between them on the first day of a must-win match for the visitors in Kolkata.
Wriddhiman Saha was on 14 and Ravindra Jadeja was yet to score when bad light stopped play at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
Pujara (87) and Rahane (77) put together 141 runs for the fourth wicket after India, who elected to bat first in their 250th home Test, were in trouble early at 46 for three.
New Zealand need to win the Test to keep their series hopes alive after India secured a comprehensive 197-run victory in Kanpur in the first of the three matches.
Henry claimed the scalps of openers Shikhar Dhawan, who disappointed on his return, scoring just one run, and Murali Vijay.
Henry’s effort of 3-35 put behind the disappointment of losing skipper Kane Williamson to viral fever on the morning of the match as Ross Taylor donned the captain’s hat.
Trent Boult piled on the pressure to claim the big wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli (nine), who was guilty of chasing a wide delivery, as Tom Latham took a splendid catch at gully.
The in-form Pujara, who played a key role in India’s win in Kanpur, then struck his third consecutive half-century of the series.
Coming in at number three, Pujara built his innings patiently and hit 17 boundaries during 219-ball stay at the crease.
Pace bowler Neil Wagner plotted Pujara’s wicket with a consistent line outside the off stump, which finally got the batsman to drive uppishly and be caught at short cover.
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