India reach 291/9 vs New Zealand at stumps on Day 1


A host of former Test captains including Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were in the crowd to celebrate the milestone match at the start of a packed season of global cricket for India.

Williamson's first boundary was a sweep shot going over the field to mid-wicket region off Ashwin and later he dispatched the same bowler to leg-side boundary off a full toss. With almost 300 runs on the board, on a wicket that will only get more hard to bat on, India will know a few more runs by the final-wicket pair and then a solid bowling performance and they could end up being on the right side of this Test match come the end of Day 2 in Kanpur. He had taken five wickets at an average of 49.40 with a best of 3 for 93 in two Tests in New Zealand's previous tour to India in 2012.

However, Rohit Sharma got a good company in R Ashwin and the duo 52 runs for the sixth wicket before Sharma was caught by Sodhi off Satner for 35. India are strong favourites after their recent 2-0 victory over the West Indies in a four-match away series, which saw Kohli scoring his first Test double century in Antigua.

This was after Murali beat both the left-handed batsmen and wicker-keeper Saha with a turning ball to concede four byes.

Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma were looking to keep the score ticking along after tea.

Earlier, the Indian tail wagged for seven overs after the hosts had resumed on 291 for nine to take them past the 300-mark. That's the big gamble the New Zealanders have taken, by including five bowlers and two wicket-keepers in BJ Watling and Luke Ronchi, with the latter playing as a batsman.

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He assessed the day's performance aptly.

His figures of 3-77 were bettered by seamer Trent Boult's 3-57, who had success with the second new ball against the lower order.

Tom Latham (56 batting) and Kane Williamson (66 batting) were the two New Zealand batsmen holding fort in the middle with the visitors on 152/1 in their first innings in response to India's first innings total of 318 runs. Opener Lokesh Rahul raised expectations, but played casually to surrender his wicket for a score of 32. Pressure was on Guptill to justify his selection, but in his last 13 Test innings he has now managed to go past the 50-run mark only once.

The 31-year-old wicketkeeper did a wonderful job throughout the day and held another sharp catch to dismiss the other opener, Murali Vijay, off Sodhi.

It was left-arm spinner Santner, who removed prodigious Rahul in the morning session and later broke the second-wicket stand between Vijay and Pujara to open the window for his side. He never attempted to look spectacular but kept the scoreboard ticking with Vijay.