Kolkata : India were struggling at 57/3 with New Zealand bowlers seizing the initiative on a lively Eden Gardens track in the pre-lunch session on Day 1 of the second Test here on Friday.
Cheteshwar Pujara, in the midst of a storm over his slow strike rate, was in the middle with a gritty 31 off 80 balls, and now needs to play the anchor’s role to perfection to revive the Indian first innings. Giving him company was Ajinkya Rahane (2).
New Zealand, suffering a big jolt before the game with their skipper Kane Williamson ruled out of the game due to indisposition, bowled to a plan as their pacers, particularly Matt Henry, got carried from the wicket and repeatedly went tantalisingly close to finding the batsmen’s outside edge. Both Henry and Trent Boult bowled to a plan, maintaining a line on or just outside the off stump.
India began on a wrong note after winning the toss losing both the openers by the first drinks interval.
Shikhar Dhawan (1), who made it to the playing eleven following the hamstring injury to Lokesh Rahul, departed as early as the second over, needlessly trying to cut a back of the length delivery from Henry and only managed an inside edge on to his stumps. The Delhi batsman scored only one.