India finished day three of the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur in a commanding position.
Axar Patel’s 5-62 wrapped up the Black Caps’ first innings at 296 on Saturday in reply to the hosts’ 345.
At the close, India were 14-1 – leading by 63 run – with opener Shubman Gill having been bowled by Kyle Jamieson for one, before bad light stopped play after five overs.
Mayank Agarwal (4*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (9*) will resume the innings on Sunday as the hosts look to put the first of two Tests out of reach on an increasingly tricky wicket.
Patel and the other India spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja – clawed India back in the last two sessions on Saturday after a strong New Zealand start. The visitors were 249-6 at tea.
Patel said he had been using the crease well on the pitch which is “slowing up even further”.
“Today it was even slower than the first two days, though it was turning more. It is difficult, but you can survive here with caution,” he added.
Ashwin took the last two wickets of the innings to finish with 3-82 from his 42.3 overs.
Jamieson was caught off Ashwin for 23 and William Somerville was clean bowled by the offspinner to end the Black Caps’ innings.
Ashwin and Patel denied centuries to the Kiwi openers – Tom Latham and Will Young – who closed the day on Friday at 129-0.
Latham was stumped by substitute wicketkeeper KS Bharat off Patel’s bowling for a grinding 95 off 282 balls.
Young, who shared a 151-run opening stand with Latham, fell 11 short of his maiden Test century after edging Ashwin to Bharat.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson fell leg before to pacer Umesh Yadav for 18 just before lunch, leaving the visitors on 197-2.
India’s spinners, especially Patel and Ashwin, looked more potent on the third-day wicket with the second new ball, bowling tight lines and offering little to the batters.
Ross Taylor survived a missed stumping by Bharat off Axar before edging the same bowler to the substitute wicketkeeper a few overs later, departing for 11.
Henry Nicholls was given leg before to Patel for two and Latham fell for 95. Jadeja bowled debutant Rachin Ravindra for 13.
Jadeja bowled 33 overs for 57 runs and Yadav, who took India’s second new ball with Patel, bowled 18 overs for 50 runs and Williamson’s wicket.
© Agence France-Presse