Indore, Oct 8: Skipper Virat Kohli (103 not out) and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (79 not out) helped India reach 267/3 at stumps on the opening day of the third and final Test against New Zealand at the Holkar stadium here on Saturday.
Leading from the front, Kohli slammed his 13th Test hundred and put India in commanding position against New Zealand.
The duo of Kohli and Rahane denied the Kiwis any further advantage after India lost Cheteshwar Pujara's wicket. Together they put up unbeaten 167-run-partnership for the fourth wicket and pushed the Kiwi bowlers to the wall.
Kohli brings up 13th Test Hundred:
Virat Kohli completed his 13th Test century in 184 balls and his first in this series. This is Kohli's ton at home soil after a gap of 3 years. This is also the right-handed-batter's highest run in eight innings following his 200 against West Indies in the Caribbean.
Kohli's average in his last 7 Test inning is 18.85, before his 200 in Antigua. His highest in those innings was 45 including 4 single-digit score.
Kohli was under pressure to perform at home for his bat was mostly silent during home series. A Test century from Kohli was long overdue.
Last time when Kohli slammed a ton at home, it was way back in February 2013 against Australia at Chennai. He has played 16 innings at home without scoring a hundred, since then.
Here is how he performed at home in his previous 16 innings: 34, 67*, 1, 41, 3, 57, 1, 29, 22, 16, 44, 88, 9, 18, 9, 45.
Rahane completes 2000 Test runs:
Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Rahane completed his 2000 Test runs in this match. The right-handed batsman has slammed 7 centuries and 10 half centuries in 29 Test matches he has played so far. Rahane also became the 36th Indian batsman to cross the milestone of 2000 Test runs.
Pujara misses out on a 50:
India suffered their third wicket in Cheteshwar Pujara who departed at 41. Well set Pujara missed out on another big knock after spinner Mitchell Santner ripped the right-handed batsman's off-stump apart. He was duped by the left-armer's pace and turn.
India lose openers in morning session:
Coming out to bat first, India lost both their openers in the morning session and suffered third jolt after middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara departed soon after lunch.
The hosts lost Vijay at a total of 26 while Gambhir departed at 60, putting the side in a state of little bother.
Off-spinner Jeetan Patel got rid of Murali Vijay at an individual score of 10 in his very first over. Gambhir, who played some exquisite and aggressive strokes in his 29-run-knock, was trapped leg before by Trent Boult.
India made two changes, Gautam Gambhir is back to replace the injured Shikhar Dhawan while Umesh Yadav has replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who too is injured.
There is good news for New Zealand fans as skipper Kane Williamson is back into the side. The Kiwis have also made a couple of changes in the final Test and hope to get a consolation win here.
Gambhir makes Test comeback:
Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay opened India's innings in the first ever Test match at Indore's Holkar Stadium. Gambhir has made a comeback into the Test side after a gap of 2 years and 2 months. The left-handed batter started innings aggressively and with a positive intent.
The pitch has some moisture which will help the pacers in the morning session, hence the openers will have a tough first session.
The series already in their pocket and the number one ranking cemented, a dominant India are aiming yet another clean sweep of a Test rubber at home. The hosts had blanked Australia 4-0 in 2012-13 and the West Indies in the next season.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling, Jeetan Patel, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.