Feb 152014
 

New Zealand are staring down the barrel of a sizeable first innings deficit at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

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India already lead the second test by 109 runs and look set to extend that before stumps. The Black Caps have toiled fairly hard, but the once-lively pitch is now an easy-paced, placid one on which India's batsmen seem more likely to have to get themselves out rather than be
got out.

Ajinkya Rahane will come out for the final two hours on 64, with captain MS Doni (38 not out) alongside him and their team 301 for six.

Virat Kohli's was the only wicket to fall in the second session, with the star batsman kicking himself all the way back to the pavilion.

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum had packed the offside field, including having two men stationed at short cover. Neil Wagner was bowling full and wide of the offstump, with the obvious intent of trying the batsmen's patience.

It shouldn't have been too much for a player of Kohli's quality, but it proved to be, as he drove loosely on the up and into the waiting hands of Hamish Rutherford in the finer of the two short covers.

The dismissal was almost greeted with surprise. Kohli and Rahane were ticking things over very easily and the shot was unnecessary.

With him gone for 38, out strode Dhoni. Whether going hard at the bowling, or almost disdainfully watching the ball go past, the Indian captain looked in total control.

All the same, it was a curious innings that he was putting together.
All attack at times, then exaggerated defence at others, it was difficult to tell what Dhoni was up to. He was never troubled but, but it was still hard to see why one ball would be whistled towards the fence and then an identical one defended.

The bottom line, though, was that he was building his team a very healthy advantage. As was Rahane.

The little right-hander didn't hit the ball with the same ferocious power as his skipper, but his little nudges and drives were effective all the same.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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