India enforce follow-on before rain stops play
Ravichandran Ashwin spun a web around New Zealand’s batsmen to capture six wickets as India enforced the follow-on before rain halted their charge to victory on day three of the opening test on Saturday.
Off-spinner Ashwin took six for 31, his best test haul, while Pragyan Ojha picked up three wickets to skittle New Zealand for 159 on the stroke of lunch and give the home team a first-innings lead of 279 runs.
Left-arm spinner Ojha, who opened the bowling in the second innings, then removed Martin Guptill for 16 after India enforced the follow-on with a threat of rain disruptions for the last two days.
“There is some bounce on the wicket. In the second innings it has started turning more,” Ojha told reporters after heavy rain forced the players off the field with New Zealand 41 for one.
“We are confident especially with the way the guys are bowling and how everyone is approaching the game.”
Brendon McCullum (16) and Kane Williamson (three) were at the crease when play ended for the day.
Only 37,3 overs were bowled on Saturday after play started an hour late due to morning showers.
New Zealand, resuming on 106 for five, lost a wicket in the second over when Umesh Yadav provided the only dismissal by a paceman in the innings by trapping Kruger van Wyk leg before for a duck.
Ojha then removed Doug Bracewell for 17 before Ashwin was brought into the attack by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Ashwin, who took three wickets on Friday, wasted no time and took a low return catch to dismiss Jeetan Patel in his first over of the day.
He then struck twice in successive deliveries to send back Trent Boult (four) and Chris Martin (duck) to end New Zealand’s first innings.
Only left-hander James Franklin (43 not out) offered serious resistance and just two batsmen faced more than 27 deliveries.
“Hopefully we shall rectify the few mistakes we made in the first innings and look to stay a lot longer at the crease,” Franklin said.
“It will start with Kane and Brendon tomorrow and now it’s probably all about taking time out of the game and scoring runs along the way.
“It’s a pretty simple formula — just occupy the crease. There has to be a bit of discipline. We can’t solely rely on scoring fast,” added Franklin.