Captain Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson scored centuries to resurrect New Zealand’s innings and put them in a strong position on 329 for four at the end of the first day of the first Test against India.
McCullum was 143 not out at close, his eighth Test century, while Williamson was dismissed after tea for 113, his fifth Test hundred. Williamson’s century was his sixth score over 50 in succession against the tourists, having scored a half century in each of the five One-Day Internationals that preceded the two-Test series.
|First day scorecard|
New Zealand first innings
P Fulton lbw b Khan 13
Extras: (b 1, lb 5, w 3) 9
The pair combined for a 221-run partnership after the hosts had been reduced to 30 for three early in the first session when India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had won his sixth successive toss on tour and put New Zealand into bat.
All-rounder Corey Anderson (42) was with McCullum at the close of play with Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan taking two wickets each.
“It was pretty tricky early on for the openers so to get through that period and kick on in partnership with Brendon was fantastic,” Williamson told RadioSport. “It’s nice to put the score on the board … but the most pleasing thing was getting the innings back on track. It’s a very good batting track so we need to keep batting … and make sure that we have a really good innings to bowl at.”
Dhoni’s three-pronged pace attack of Mohammed Shami, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma exploited the green drop-in pitch and cool, overcast conditions to knock the top off New Zealand’s batting and expose their middle order before the break.
Sharma had Hamish Rutherford well caught by a diving Ajinkya Rahane in the gully for six then Zaheer trapped Peter Fulton in front for 13 before Sharma had Ross Taylor caught by Ravindra Jadeja for three.
Taylor’s dismissal put the hosts in a spot of bother before Williamson and McCullum consolidated.
“It’s an outstanding position, we just have to make sure that we push on,” McCullum told Sky Television. “Kane was brilliant today, he’s such a mature guy for someone so young. He was outstanding to bat with and took a lot of pressure off me.”