Started from the overnight 4 for 1, the Kiwis were expected to succumb to the wiles of India spinners — R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
But they ended the session 1 at a healthy 79 for 1, adding 75 run in 35 overs. It was a creditable effort even on a pitch that did not offer much to the Indian bowlers apart from a hint of low bounce.
But without having to negate any sudden leap of ball or sharp turn, the New Zealand batsmen Tom Latham and Will Somerville, who came in as night watchman, occupied the crease with confidence much the frustration of the Indian bowlers.
New Zealand needs another 205 from a maximum of 60 overs across two sessions to win this Test and shock India but it is still a tough task as a couple of wickets can turn things around quickly.
India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey earlier said India bowlers need to remain patient to get wickets on this pitch, and should not go desperate and execute their plans to perfection.
“I am enjoying this new role, this is a great bunch to work with. Looking forward to the challenge ahead. New Zealand bowlers bowled well, they were able to exploit the conditions, they hit the right areas and this is something we can look into.
“But the surface is different now, it is a new ball so we look forward to getting more swing and seam out of it,” Mhambrey told host broadcaster Star Sports before the start of play on Day 5.
“Patience is going to be the key. It is not that kind of wicket where you turn up and just run through a side. It is not going to happen, we will have to hit the right areas,” he added.
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