India vs New Zealand 1st Test, Day 2: Rohit key as India battle to avoid follow-on
Rohit Sharma was battling to save India's innings as the tourists finished the second day of the first Test against New Zealand on 130 for four after Brendon McCullum's double century had guided the hosts to a mammoth first innings total of 503.
Rohit was 67 not out when the players were forced from the field due to poor light at Eden Park with Ajinkya Rahane on 23 after New Zealand's pace bowlers had ripped the top off their innings by reducing them to 10-3 in the sixth over.
Neil Wagner had bowled Murali Vijay for 26 shortly after the tea break before Rohit and Rahane consolidated the innings with a 79-run partnership that was adjourned with 17 scheduled overs of play remaining on Friday.
New Zealand's innings was anchored by McCullum's second Test double century as the captain shared in productive partnerships with Kane Williamson, who scored 113, Corey Anderson (77) and Ish Sodhi (23).
McCullum's dismissal ended New Zealand's innings and he fell just one run short of his highest Test score of 225, also against India in 2010.
His innings was the highest by a New Zealander at Eden Park and fourth highest overall.
England's Wally Hammond holds the record of 336 not out in 1933.
India paceman Ishant Sharma, who had been under pressure after poor form in the one-day series, was the pick of the visitors' bowlers with 6-134.
India's reply began terribly with a fired up Trent Boult and Tim Southee harrying their batsmen from the first over.
Boult had Shikhar Dhawan well caught by Williamson in the gully before Cheteshwar Pujara chased a wide delivery and was easily caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling to leave the world's second best Test side reeling on 3-2 in the first over.
Southee, who had been peppered by India's pace bowlers earlier in a cameo innings of 28, unleashed a vicious bouncer that caught Virat Kohli's gloves and Peter Fulton held the head-high catch at second slip to reduce them further to 10-3.
Vijay and Rohit then took the visitors through to tea on 45-3 before left-armer Wagner got a delivery to seam slightly away and hit the top of the former's off-stump after the pair had added just six more runs.
Rohit, who has scored two centuries in his four previous Test appearances, then took the fight back to New Zealand, hitting eight boundaries and one maximum as he improved his batting average to 80.
India will resume on Saturday needing a further 174 runs to avoid the follow-on. The second match of the two-Test series is in Wellington and starts on February 14.
Brendon McCullum scored a superb double century as New Zealand posted a huge 503 in the first innings before Kiwis pacers ran through India’s top order to leave India in a state of bother at the end of second day.
Thanks to Rohit Sharma (67 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) India were 130 for four in 39 overs.
Earlier in the day, McCullum continued from where he had left the previous day to score 224 while Corey Anderson hit a fine 77. Tim Southee (28) and Ish Sodhi (23) made useful contributions as New Zealand crossed 500.
Ishant Sharma was the pick of Indian bowlers claiming six wickets in his 33.4 overs.
Rohit showed lot of character which his teammates lacked. A deserving half century. Ind 107-4 in 32 overs.
There goes another. Vijay who had just got his batting going under a difficult situation is gone. India in a bad shape. Ind 53-4. 20 overs
M Vijay b Wagner 26 (60b 5x4 0x6) SR: 43.33
Runs not coming easily but Rohit and Sharma are ensuring India does not lose any more wickets. Ind 20-3 in 11 overs.
India having a disastrous start here. Kohli is the next to go. A superb bouncer takes the edge of the gloves to hit Kohli's helmet before Fulton completes the catch. Ind 10-3 in 6 overs
V Kohli c Fulton b Southee 4 (13b 1x4 0x6)
That's another for the Kiwis. What a start it's turning out to be. Pujara chases the delivery way outside the off stump. ind 3-2 in 1 over.
C Pujara c Watling b Boult 1 (3b 0x4 0x6)
Success for New Zealand in the second ball. Dhawan goes offering a simple catch in the slips. Ind 1-1 in 0.2 overs.
S Dhawan c Williamson b Boult 0 (3b 0x4 0x6)
NEW ZEALAND INNINGS
A brilliant catch from Jadeja near the ropes and Brendon finally succumbs at 224. NZ 503 all out in 121.4 overs.
B McCullum c Jadeja b I Sharma 224 (307b 29x4 5x6)
Jadeja gets his first wicket. McCullum contines to bat at 217. NZ 495-9 in 119 overs.
N Wagner c Kohli b Jadeja 0 (7b 0x4 0x6)
Ishant Sharma gets his five-wicket haul. He is showing amazing consistency. Well bowled.
I Sodhi c R Sharma b I Sharma 23 (27b 3x4 0x6)
McCullum ensured he got his double before heading for lunch. A superb shot to the boundary and McCullum crosses the 200-run mark. Sodhi is batting on 18. NZ 473-7 in 114 overs.
Southee smashed two sixes in the previous over but runs out of luck as he surrenders his wicket to Shami. NZ 434-7 in 109 overs.
T Southee b Mohammed Shami 28 (21b 3x4 2x6)
Brendon going strong at 181. NZ 418-6
India strike again as Ishant Sharma claimes his fourth wicket. He is showing great form. NZ 403-6 in 104 overs.
B Watling c Dhawan b I Sharma 1 (6b 0x4 0x6)
Anderson was in fine form. He was dealing ikn boundaries. Sharma picks his third wicket. NZ 384-5 in 100 overs
C Anderson lbw b I Sharma 77 (109b 13x4 1x6)
Anderson gets to his half century. NZ 347-4 in 93.1 overs.
Partnership is 83 from Anderson and McCullum. NZ 334-4 in 92 overs.
New Zealand will be aiming to get a stranglehold on the first Test against India when they resume on 329-4 on the second day at Eden Park on Friday.
The hosts recovered from a precarious 30-3 thanks to a 221-run partnership between Kane Williamson (113) and skipper Brendom McCullum who is unbeaten on 143.
Big-hitting all-rounder Corey Anderson is batting on 42 with McCullum.
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