Hamilton (New Zealand), Mar.18 (ANI): India was 29 without loss in their first innings in reply to New Zealand''s 279 at stumps on day one of the first cricket test at Hamilton’s Seddon Park today.
Virender Sehwag (22) and Gautam Gambhir (6) safely negotiated the seven overs available before stumps, the Waikato Times reported.
Captain Daniel Vettori top scored for his side with 118 – his third test century – while Jesse Ryder brought up his maiden test ton the ball before his dismissal for 102 ended the innings.
Ishant Sharma was the leading Indian bowler with four for 73 from 19.2 overs.
Ryder had a few nervous moments on 98 as number 11 batsman Chris Martin had to bat out five balls from spinner Harbhajan Singh.
However, in the next over Ryder promptly hit the first ball for four to bring up his maiden test ton.
He was out next ball for 102, but together with Vettori''s 118, New Zealand salvaged a horror first morning to end on 279.
After being sent into bat and going to lunch teetering at 61 for six, skipper Vettori and Ryder added an unbeaten 185 for the seventh wicket getting New Zealand to 246 midway through the final session of the opening day before Vettori was out for 118 with Ryder 77 not out.
Their batting through the afternoon was in complete contrast to the efforts of the top order.
Following Vettori''s demise the Black Caps lost Kyle Mills for a first-ball duck making New Zealand 246 for eight, then Iain O''Brien almost saw Ryder through to his ton but was out for eight with Ryder on 98.
The opening session totally vindicated Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni''s late change of heart over whether to bat or bowl after winning the toss.
India''s players had been expecting to bat first if Dhoni won the toss but he instead inserted New Zealand, reasoning there could be some early assistance for his pace attack.
Vettori did admit he would have batted had he won the toss.
New Zealand have recalled experienced pace bowler Chris Martin after he was dropped for the drawn series against the West Indies in December.
Kyle Mills passed a fitness test on a shoulder early today meaning uncapped right armer Brent Arnel has been omitted.
India have opted for Munaf Patel as their third seamer ahead of Lakshmipathy Balaji and the uncapped Dhawal Kulkarni.
The three match series continues in Napier on March 26-30 while the final test is in Wellington between April 3-7. (ANI)