New Delhi: Welcome to our coverage of the third Test between India and New Zealand in Indore.
India 1st Innings
OVER 90 | SCORE 267/3 (Kohli 103*, Rahane 79*)
Skipper Virat Kohli's ton puts India in driver's seat on Day 1. Ajinkya Rahane contributed immensely to the 167-run partnership for 4th wicket as the hosts had lost 3 wickets for 100 runs. Boult, Patel and Santner with a wicket each for New Zealand.
OVER 85 | SCORE 255/3 (Kohli 100*, Rahane 72*)
Virat Kohli becomes the first batsmen of the series to hit a century. From the position India were in when he came on, it is a commendable performance from the skipper himself.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 8, 2016
OVER 75 | SCORE 194/3 (Kohli 77*, Rahane 44*)
200 up for India with Kohli and Rahane both eyeing century and half-centuries, respectively. Need to hold on to nerves and stay unbeaten until the end of the day. Can India do it?
OVER 70 | SCORE 194/3 (Kohli 69*, Rahane 41*)
Virat Kohli - Ajinkya Rahane partnership nearing 100 as the match continues to shift in India's favour. Approx. A little more than an hours play left in the match.
OVER 60 | SCORE 178/3 (Kohli 63*, Rahane 31*)
The session seems to be going India's way as New Zealand struggle for wickets after Tea. Run rate, however, seems to be the last focus point of Indian batsmen.
OVER 60 | SCORE 168/3 (Kohli 56*, Rahane 21*)
Indian captain Virat Kohli completes his first half-century of the series, playing some exquisite strokes and dodging some troublesome deliveries. Rahane too looks settled as the duo continue to fight.
OVER 56 | SCORE 148/3 (Kohli 45*, Rahane 19*)
It's TEA! Hosts finally look settled as Indian skipper Virat Kohli eyes his first half-century of the series, currently sitting at 45 (was out on the same score in 2nd innings in Kolkata Tests)
OVER 50 | SCORE 127/3 (Kohli 37*, Rahane 6*)
Indian batsmen toiling in the middle as New Zealand bowlers refuse to leak runs. Trent Boult brought back into the attack as Santner-Henry pairing didn't reap the desired results.
OVER 45 | SCORE 115/3 (Kohli 28*, Rahane 3*)
Current partnership of 15 runs, progressive at a run rate of just under 2.00. Rahane, Kohli taking things easily as another wicket now can't be afforded.
OVER 38 | SCORE 108/3 (Kohli 24*, Rahane 0*)
Santner with a BEAUTIFUL delivery as Pujara gets clean bowled on 41. Opportunity to score big missed! Rahne walks in to join Kohli on pitch.
CA Pujara b Santner 41 (108b)
OVER 35 | SCORE 99/2 (Pujara 41*, Kohli 14*)
India progressing with a run- rate just over 2.50. Pujara-Kohli efficiently dealing with spinners to build a solid partnership
OVER 30 | SCORE 86/2 (Pujara 33*, Kohli 12*)
Steady progression for India as play resumes after lunch. Kohli and Pujara deal in singles and doubles after India lost both openers.
OVER 26 | SCORE 75/2 (Pujara 29*, Kohli 7*)
It's LUNCH in Indore! India lose 2 wickets in the first session, which was supposed to bring challenges for the batsmen. Jeetan Patel and Trent Boult took the wickets of Murali Vijay and Gautam Gambhir respectively.
OVER 20 | SCORE 60/2 (Pujara 21*, Kohli 0*)
Heartbreak for India as Gautam Gambhir falls to Trent Boult. Lack of foot-work and the left-hander was given clear LBW. Kiwis get their second wicket!
G Gambhir lbw b Boult 29 (53b)
OVER 15 | SCORE 50/1 (Gambhir 28*, Pujara 12*)
Little slow down is witnessed as New Zealand mainly bowled to Pujara in this 5-over period. Barring Murali Vijay's wicket, the hosts have looked very comfortable in dealing with the Kiwi bowling attack.
OVER 10 | SCORE 41/1 (Gambhir 27*, Pujara 4*)
Crowd witnessing scintillating scenes as Gambhir continue to play the Kiwi bowlers as if it is an ODI. India dealing in boundaries early on Day 1.
OVER 5 | SCORE 26/1 (Gambhir 16*, Pujara 0*)
India were off to a flier before Jeetan Patel removed Murali Vijay (caught at short-leg). Meanwhile, Gambhir with two sixes so early in the match. Hosts would be saddened to lose a wicket this early.
M Vijay c Latham b Patel 10 (18b)
# Two back to back SIXES for Gautam Gambhir. Terrific!
# Now Murali Vijay with a couple of boundaries to Trent Boult. Exciting start!
# Gautam Gambhir opens his account with a four. Crowd cheering every ball he faces.
# Gambhir on strike and what a reception he is getting!
# Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir open.
# India XI: G Gambhir, M Vijay, C Pujara, V Kohli, A Rahane, RG Sharma, R Ashwin, W Saha, R Jadeja, M Shami, U Yadav
# Virat Kohli wins the toss for third consecutive time in the series. India will bat first!
As India prepare to take on New Zealand in the third and final Test of the series, the hosts look to complete only their third clean sweep in 4 years.
With the series already in their pocket and the number one ranking cemented, Virat Kohli and Co. aim at yet another whitewash of a Test rubber at home.
Heading into the final Test, Ravichandran Ashwin, the series' leading bowler, was graciously acknowledged the fight New Zealand have shown despite injuries to key personnel limiting their experience in such challenging conditions.
If only stats are to be considered, the margins of losses - 197 runs in Kanpur and 178 runs in Kolkata – hardly do justice to the kind of efforts the Kiwis have put in the series despite alien-like conditions to play on.
Speaking to bcci.tv, Ashwin said, "The best thing about this New Zealand team is they don't give anything easily. They have come with a game plan, and it is really showing. They are making us work very hard for every single wicket and run."
New Zealand, should be credited for the work they have done in challenging India by competing well in phases against a rampaging home team so far. If it wasn't for Rohit Sharma's brave 2nd innings in Kolkata, things might have been more risky for the home side.
Keeping the past results aside, the Kiwis now have an enviable task of stopping the Virat Kohli-led side from notching up their 12th win at home from 14 encounters.
The visitors would also be happy to have captain Kane Williamson back, who missed the second game due to illness. The Kiwis skipper has reportedly regained full fitness to lead them for one last-ditch effort in scoring a rare victory on the Indian soil.
With uncertainty around the cricket board BCCI, Virat Kohli and co. will need additional motivation to keep the squad focused and keep the dream - of going unbeaten through the whole home season – alive.
Following, injury to Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir is all set to open for India along with Murali Vijay.
Meanwhile, this is also for the very first time that, Indore's Holkar stadium will host a Test match.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 8, 2016
With some grass on the surface, the pitch will likely provide boost for pacers early on Day 1.
India:- WWDWD (last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand:- LLLDW