|India, resuming the second day on 329 for three, took their total towards 500 in the Ahmedabad Test [Reuters]|
India continued their dominance of the first Test in Ahmedabad as New Zealand ended the second day of the match 418 runs behind at 69-2.
New Zealand face a tough task to make inroads into India’s first innings total of 487 on a fast-deteriorating pitch after reaching 69 for two at close of play on Friday.
New Zealand slumped to 27 for two before Brendon McCullum (38 not out) and Ross Taylor (18 not out) ensured there were no further losses.
India, resuming the second day on 329 for three, took their total towards 500 thanks to a career-best 69 from spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan hit five boundaries and three huge sixes after the hosts had lost five wickets for 29 runs, all of them going to the spinners led by captain Daniel Vettori who picked up three.
“We wanted to get to 500 because that was the message from the dressing room. It would have been nice if we could have got another 20-30 runs,” Harbhajan told Neo Cricket channel.
Deliveries from Vettori, playing his 100th test, were seen to jump and turn sharply and the New Zealand batsmen may struggle against the Indian spinners, Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha.
“The track is a bit slow but looks like it will spin from tomorrow [Saturday] onwards. It won’t be big spin but there will be something for the spinners definitely,” Harbhajan said.
“You have to toss it up a bit and make the batsmen drive towards the covers.”