McCullum compounds India's troubles

India

A commanding double century from captain Brendon McCullum stood at the fore of New Zealand's dominance on day two of the first Test against India at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

A commanding double century from captain Brendon McCullum stood at the fore of New Zealand's dominance on day two of the first Test at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

India struggled to 130 for four in reply to the hosts' 503 all out, built on the back of McCullum's resounding 224. The Black Caps claimed the prized scalps of the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara and the talented Virat Kohli, reducing the response to 10 for three

Pujara, who averages 66.25 in the longest format of the international game, fell for one and opener Shikhar Dhawan a duck. Kohli's sole scoring shot was a four off seamer Trent Boult before a bouncer from right-armer Tim Southee gifted a straightforward catch to slip fielder Peter Fulton.

At the arrival of the tea interval, India had slipped to 45 for three, but the situation become more dire, when left-armer Neil Wagner dismissed Murali Vijay for 29. The defiant Rohit Sharma (67 not out) and the inexperienced Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) survived, though. Play was called off 17 overs before the scheduled close because of poor light.

When New Zealand resumed the day at 329 for four, McCullum spearheaded a blistering end to their innings as they put on 174 runs in 31.4 overs. The skipper was the last wicket to fall for 224, one run short of his career best 225, also set against India in Hyderabad in 2010.

He went to the middle when New Zealand were in early trouble on the opening day at 30 for three, rescuing the innings with a 221-stand for the fourth wicket with fellow centurion Kane Williamson.

McCullum continued to plunder the bowling and became only the fourth New Zealander to score more than one double century, behind Glenn Turner (two), Stephen Fleming (three) and Mathew Sinclair (two). He also set the highest score by a New Zealander and fourth best overall at Eden Park.

In his marathon stand, lasting just under eight hours, McCullum faced 307 deliveries and struck 29 fours and five sixes before being dismissed by a remarkable catch on the boundary by the acrobatic Ravindra Jadeja off seamer Ishant Sharma, who completed a six-wicket haul.

The fielder leapt for the ball and flicked it high, as he was about to stumble over the boundary, before returning to the field of play to complete the catch. Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers with six for 134, while the veteran Zaheer Khan finished with two for 132.

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