India 'definitely feel short' after Black Caps cut into lead on day two



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Rain brought a premature end to a second day in which New Zealand defied India's spin threat to reach 152-1 after bowling out the hosts for 318 in their 500th test.

Heavy thundershowers, through tea and after, dampened the outfield enough for the umpires to call off play. The third day will start 15 minutes earlier, and 98 overs are scheduled.

New Zealand trail by 166 runs on the first innings after captain Kane Williamson, 65 not out, and opener Tom Latham, on 56, carried the attack to India through a wicketless middle session.

They have combined for 117 after Martin Guptill was trapped by Umesh Yadav for 21.

The duo brought up their 100-run partnership off 183 balls, Williamson reaching his 23rd test fifty and Latham his eighth.

New Zealand has already equaled the number of fifties South Africa scored in its four tests here last year. The Kiwis have made a handsome impression at start of this three-test series, and for a second successive day was the happier team at stumps.

In bowling India out early, and then losing only one wicket, the visitors have put their noses in front, even if marginally. More importantly, they have shown that pitches on offer here do not deter them.

"All of our guys have done a lot of work on playing spin, and we did well here today, playing the sweep shot and using the feet, and using the depth of the crease," New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan said.

"There is a lot of cricket to be played in this match. This is only day two, and a lot needs to happen before we start thinking about what will happen on days four and five."

Latham was fortunate to still be batting, after his sweep of Ravindra Jadeja (0-47) while on 47 was caught at short leg. But replays showed Lokesh Rahul fumbled and the ball touched his helmet grill, thus rendering the ball not in play.

Ravichandran Ashwin (0-44) tested the batsmen with some sharp turn and bounce as he got purchase off the pitch towards the middle session's end. But no definitive chance came as the batsmen enjoyed some luck to put on 81 runs in 26 overs in the session.

In doing so, the duo played some beautiful shots, particularly Williamson, as he struck seven boundaries in his 115-ball stay. Latham hit five fours and faced 137 deliveries.

Earlier, India resumed the day on 291-9. Jadeja and Yadav batted for seven overs and pushed the score past 300 before Yadav was dismissed, caught behind off Neil Wagner.

"We definitely feel short (by about 100 runs). A couple of our batsmen scored fifties but neither capitalized and made a big knock for the team," India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar said.

"We bowled quite well in the second session and there were a few close calls. We have to keep bowling with patience. It will be tough for the new batsmen whenever they come in to bat."

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