Virat Kohli's watchful effort in challenging conditions helped India reach 120 for three at tea on Day 2 of the World Test Championship final on Saturday.
India, who had reached 69 for two at lunch, was only able to add 51 runs in the afternoon with the loss of Cheteshwar Pujara (8 off 54). Kohli (35 not out off 94) had the company of his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (13 off 54) when early tea was taken due to bad light.
Compared to the morning session, New Zealand's all pace attack showed much more discipline to not allow the batsmen any easy runs. With the Dukes ball moving around, Kohli paid due respect to the bowlers including Colin de Grandhomme, who bowled three successive maidens to the India skipper.
He was happy leaving anything outside the off stump and was quick to pick up runs when bowled into the pads. Such was Kohli's intent that he did not hit a single boundary in the session.
In the process, the Indian skipper became the sixth Indian batsman to breach the 7500-run mark in Test cricket. He's now the joint 4th fastest to the milestone with legendary Sunil Gavaskar, having achieved the feat in 154 innings. Sachin Tendulkar (144) is first on the list, tied with Virender Sehwag (144) and follwed by Rahul Dravid (148).
Pujara at the other end took 36 balls to open his account, a cut shot off Wagner that went for a boundary. Like Shubman Gill earlier in the day, Pujara too was hit on the helmet but the blow from Wagner did not seem to bother him much. Soon after, the gritty batsman was trapped in front by another left-armer, Boult, who swung it back enough sharply to beat the batsman.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma (34 off 68) and Shubman Gill (28 off 64) staved off the initial swing threat posed by the opposition pace attack with disciplined batting before New Zealand fought back to leave India at 69 for two at lunch.
(With PTI Inputs)