WTC final: India lose crucial wickets in first session
India are off to a sluggish start on Day 3 of the ongoing WTC final against New Zealand. The Kiwis made the most of overcast conditions as the play commenced after a 30-minute delay due to a wet outfield. India suffered an early blow in the opening session, having lost skipper Virat Kohli. The likes of Rishabh Pant and Ajinkya Rahane also departed soon.
India began with their overnight score of 146/3 (64.4). The first hour truly belonged to the Kiwi bowlers as they gave nothing away. They jeopardized the Indian batsmen with tight lines. Fast bowler Kyle Jamieson gave NZ two quick breakthroughs in the form of Kohli and Pant. Team India added just 15 runs to their score in the first 10.
Just like yesterday, Jamieson emerged as the pick of New Zealand bowlers in the first session. The tall seamer dismissed Kohli (44) on the fourth delivery of his second over today. He continued to perturb the Indian batsmen, and eventually uprooted Pant (4). Notably, Jamieson dismissed the dangerous Rohit Sharma on Day 2. He had conceded only 14 runs in as many overs.
Kohli was trapped in front by Jamieson. The Indian captain, who reviewed the decision, had to depart eventually (umpire's call). Kohli's DRS record in Tests (while batting) - Reviews: 17, Successful: 2, Unsuccessful: 10, Umpire's call: 5.
Rahane was the only Indian batsman who looked comfortable in the first session. The Indian vice-captain showed terrific resistance despite Kohli's dismissal. Batting at 49 (117), Rahane was en route to his 24th fifty in Test cricket. However, he succumbed to a tactical change by New Zealand. Neil Wagner trapped Rahane with the short-ball ploy by keeping an extra fielder at square-leg.
The likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin carried on the fight for Team India. They took India past 200 toward the session's end. However, Tim Southee finally brought an end to Ashwin's cameo (22). Jadeja remained unbeaten as India finished on 211/7 at lunch.