India was quite upbeat in their first inning of the third test at Indore. The batsmen being dominant over New Zealand bowlers, struck hard. The huge score of 557 in a single inning came after Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli hauled their runs to 188 and 211 respectively. The inning stretched to the second day and India losing only five wickets. New Zealand bowled 169 overs in the inning. The team started the first inning on the second day, batting for nine overs. Tom Latham and Martin Guptill added 28 leaving the rest for the second day.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane achieved good milestones in the match. Kohli had his second double century in Test. The batsmen partnered for 365 runs, which is the highest fourth wicket partnership for India. Rahane's strike came in the overs before the declaration of the inning. His strike rate was 49.34 playing 381 balls. The player delivered 18 fours and 4 sixes. By the end of the inning, he smashed in the overs from Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner. However, his aggressive stance restricted the player to reach his maiden double century in Test. He nicked the delivery from Trent Boult to the wicketkeeper in an attempt to drive it.
Rahane was particularly tough against the spinners, while the fast bowlers irked the batsman with short balls. The uncertain pace and bounce made him struggle a bit to reach his century. The player was even hit on the helmet by a bounce from Matt Henry. The bounces were taken care off, as he began to show them the way towards the boundary. Kane Williamson tactfully delayed the spinners keeping on the attack with Henry. Trent Boult was introduced when Rahane was at 99 to increase his troubles. However, Rahane's response grew stronger as he defied every obstacle in his way. The bowlers emerged only as futile bets for New Zealand.
Kohli was least bothered by any bowlers in the inning. The skipper brought his 200 plus runs at strike rate of 57.65. With his double ton, he is now the second Indian to follow Sachin Tendulkar to score two double centuries in a year. His stance was undisrupted in both of the days. He smashed 10 boundaries each day, adding up to 20 in his inning. The shots he played came out as power strokes and occasional boundaries. Throughout the inning, the player restrained from hitting hard, displaying a sheer composure as a mature master player.
In the stretch before the Kohli and Rahane's partnership, three batsmen were contained by New Zealand. Jeetan Patel struck early, taking down opener Murali Vijay in the fifth over. Gambhir delivered 3 fours and 2 sixes to take 29 runs before being trapped by Boult. India's score reached 100 just before Pujara was bowled by Santner. Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja followed Kohli and Rahane to score 53 runs in 9.5 overs. Jadeja was penalized half the match fee for "causing avoidable damage to the pitch during an international match." The player ran down the middle of the pitch repeatedly even after being warned by the umpire.
The series could end up as a whitewash to New Zealand and obviously, India is trying for it. This would allow the team to remain on the top of ICC Test rankings. Now the match depends on bowlers as New Zealand batsmen already started their innings. Indian bowlers must check the wickets to resist a possible draw, while New Zealand would try harder to haul the massive target.
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