Exploiting a turning track, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja scalped three batsmen in one over for a five-wicket haul while Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed four wickets as India spun out New Zealand for 262 on day three to take control of the first cricket Test here today.
With a 56-run first innings lead, Indian openers Murali Vijay (14 batting) and KL Rahul (38) took India to 52 for one at tea as the hosts extended their overall lead to 108 with nine second innings wickets in hand.
Leg-break bowler Ish Sodhi had Rahul caught in first slip at the fag end of extended second session. The umpires called for tea break, immediately after Rahul’s wicket.
The New Zealanders had started the bright and sunny day at a strong 152 for one but lost nine wickets for 100 runs with Ashwin (4/93) and Jadeja (5/73) exposing visitors’ shortcomings in handling spin.
The Indians too had faltered in their first innings from being 154 for one to be 318 all out.
Jadeja ran through the lower order in the post-lunch session by dismissing Mark Craig (2), Ish Sodhi (0) and Trent Boult (0) and Ashwin closed the innings by catching BJ Watling (21) in his own follow through as the Kiwis lost their last five wickets for just 24 runs in 10.5 overs.
The Indian spinners had started the rot by taking three wickets in the space of 24 balls in the morning session when Ashwin removed both the overnight batsmen — Tom Latham (58) and captain Kane Williamson (75) — and Jadeja got rid of danger man Ross Taylor for a duck.
Luke Ronchi (38), who had warmed up for the series with a century in the Delhi practice game, went about his business fearlessly as he took the fight to the rival camp.
He drove and cut Ashwin to boundary ropes with confidence and steadied the Kiwi innings along with Mitchell Santner (32), who was sent ahead of much-experienced BJ Watling.
They added 49 runs for the fifth wicket before Jadeja trapped Ronchi with a full length delivery.
Ronchi, who hit six boundaries in his 83-ball innings, tried to sweep but the delivery was too full for that shot.
India took the new ball immediately after 80 overs and asked Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami to start the post-lunch session. However, they remained ineffective and the ball was given to Ashwin, who responded with the wicket of Mitchell Santner (32).
That was Ashwin’s first ball of the session which turned from middle and leg, took an edge before being lapped up by Wriddhiman Saha.