New Zealand have taken the driver's seat after their tailenders scored quick, useful runs down the order to frustrate India before the hosts kept the opponent batters at bay on day three of the first Test at the Bay Reserve in Wellington. Meanwhile, former India cricketer VVS Laxman has identified one area which might cost Virat Kohli & Co the first Test.
The day began in India’s favour, with BJ Watling falling in the first ball to Jasprit Bumrah. Four overs later, Tim Southee’s intended flick off Ishant flew to Mohammed Shami at long leg, making it seem that the Indian quicks would be able to close out the innings soon. But Virat Kohli's lack of intent and defensive approach allowed the Kiwi tailenders to add 132 runs for the last three wickets extending the lead to 183 runs.
Kohli handed the ball to spinner Ravi Ashwin, whereas he had fresh legs to do the job in the pacer department. Cricketer-turned commentator VVS Laxman identified that Indian skipper's defensive approach with the second new ball might cost India the game.
“After getting Tim Southee’s wicket, India let off New Zealand, at one stage it seemed they would not get even 100 runs lead but the partnership between Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme got them to 183 runs lead. India will be ruing the fact – they were very defensive, tactics used by Virat Kohli were not right, especially when the second new ball was in operation.,” Laxman told the host broadcasters at the Tea interval.
Meanwhile, New Zealand came out once again stronger with the ball. By stumps, a gritty stand between Ajinkya Rahane (25*) and Hanuma Vihari (15*) had reduced New Zealand's lead to 39, with India ending the day at 144/4. Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers, having accounted for three of the four Indian wickets.