Opener Prithvi Shaw struck an attacking half-century as India batted with a lot of positive intent to reach 85 for two at lunch on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday. However, post lunch, the Indian batting suffered a jolt with skipper Virat Kohli (3) and Ajinkya Rahane (7) falling cheaply. When reports last came in, India were 118 for four, with Cheteshwar Pujara (31) and Hanuma Vihari (1) at the crease.
Put in to bat on a green-top, Shaw got value for his shots as his 54 off 64 balls had eight fours and a hooked-six off Neil Wagner.
A rush of blood just after reaching his half-century brought about his downfall. Shaw lunged into a drive to an over-pitched delivery from Kyle Jamieson and Tom Latham at second slip plucked a one-handed stunner from thin air.
Mayank Agarwal (7) wasted a DRS as he was plumb in-front to an incoming delivery from Trent Boult.
The 50-run stand between Shaw and Pujara was dominated by the talented Mumbaikar, who hit some delightful drives off Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme’s bowling.
The bounce and carry made it easier to hit on the rise and Shaw’s improved footwork saw him drive elegantly through the covers.
There were square drives and a few on-drives while he also played and missed a few. Shaw did live dangerously but more importantly had the scoreboard ticking even as Pujara was stuck at the other end.
Wagner wasn’t used much with the semi-new kookaburra ball and it was his bouncer that Shaw hooked well enough to evade a 6 feet 8 inch Jamieson for maximum.
After lunch, Tim Southee did major damage to India’s batting, trapping Kohli leg-before wicket and then having Rahane caught at slip by Taylor.
India have left out injured Ishant Sharma and R. Ashwin to include Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
The host have included pacer Neil Wagner in place of Ajaz Patel.
India face a must-win match to avoid a series defeat, after New Zealand won the first Test of the two-match series.
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