Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Indian youth brigade of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina took center stage on a day when another failure with the bat for Sachin Tendulkar hogged the media limelight. Kohli, who came into bat at No.5 compiled a patient and gritty 93 runs and stitched a vital 99-run partnership with the under-pressure Raina who went all guns blazing in his knock of 55 runs.
Scorecard» I Highlights» I In Pics»
Kohli was unbeaten on 93 (174) along with captain MS Dhoni (46) when stumps were drawn with India on 283/5. India are trailing New Zealand by 82 runs.
Tim Southee scalped three Indian wickets giving away 35 runs in 15 overs. Bracewell also picked up two crucial wickets but was a tad expensive going for an economy of over 4 rpo.
Earlier, Raina had scored a breezy half-century (55) to silence his critics. Opener Gautam Gambhir failed to impress again as he went for 2 runs whereas Sehwag scored 43 runs before getting out to Bracewell right after lunch. Sachin Tendulkar got a peach of a delivery from Bracewell as the ‘Master Blaster’ departed for just 17 runs. Apparently, Sunil Gavaskar reckoned on air while commenting that age is getting the better of SRT.
India had a good start at Bangalore on Day 2 as the bowlers lead by Pragyan Ojha bundled out the Kiwis in under 10 overs on Day 2 for 365 runs in their first innings. Ojha finished with 5/99 ably supported by Zaheer Khan 2/83. For New Zealand, Keeper Kruger van Wyk scored 71 runs.
In reply, Indian openers struggled as new ball bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult bowled well in tandem utilising the pace and bounce and the overcast conditions well. Gambhir’s (2) poor run in the series continued as he shouldered arms to an in-coming delivery to see his bails rattled after he was dropped in the slip cordon early on.
Sehwag had early jitters but went about playing his shot taking the odd risk. Cheteshwar Pujara was bounced out by a well directed bouncer by Tim Southee for nine runs. Sehwag got few cheeky boundaries through the slip cordon as Sachin Tendulkar bide his time in the middle early in his innings.
In the second over after lunch, Sehwag perished owing to an excellent catch held by Daniel Flynn at short mid-wicket. Sehwag went for a flick closing the face of the bat a tad too early as the ball flew towards short mid-wicket where Flynn took an excellent diving catch. Southee and Bracewell kept the pressure on the Indians maintaining a good line and length. Two overs after Sehwag departed, Sachin played a trademark cover drive but the very next ball he was castled by Bracewell for 17.
Kohli and Raina then joined forces as Ross Taylor decided to go for spin in the form of Jeetan Patel. Short ball suspect Raina was tested by Southee and Bracewell but he came out all guns blazing hitting three consecutive fours of Bracewell. He went on to score at a brisk pace and at one stage he had a strike rate of over 100.
Kohli also joined the party taking on Jeetan Patel hoisting the spinner for a massive six over long-on. After Raina’s departure for 55, captain MS Dhoni (46*) took over the charge and stitched together an unbeaten 104-run partnership with in-form Kohli.
First Published: Saturday, September 01, 2012, 08:55