Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari all got in and scored half-centuries with their own unique batting styles. However, one thing common with the three batsman was a moment of recklessness which ultimately led to their dismissals. India ultimately finished Day 1 of the second Test with just 242 despite looking promising at one stage with the score reading 194/4 at Christchurch on February 29.
Capitalizing on this batting collapse was Kyle Jamieson (5/45), who playing in only his second Test match, notched up a maiden five-wicket haul with a lethal spell immediately after Tea.
The Kiwi openers then seized control of the game as they ended the day at 63 for no loss with both the Toms – Latham (27*) and Blundell (29*) hardly troubled by Indian pacers.
The pitch will be best for batting on days two and three which means that for Virat Kohli and his men, the catch-up game starts from the second day itself as ignominy of a 0-2 series loss looms large.
On a green-top, three Indian batsmen showed that scoring runs wasn't difficult.
Shaw's lunging drive after his second half-century in Tests and Vihari and Pujara's ill-timed pull shots were a testimony that their dismissals were more about profligacy than New Zealand's bowling.
Rishabh Pant, who has been preferred over a much-accomplished Wriddhiman Saha, purely on batting skills, played a lazy shot to find his stumps rattled.
From 194 for four with a standard first innings total of 350 looking imminent, India lost five wickets for 22 runs in a period of six overs and it could well have a decisive impact in the final outcome of the contest.
Jamieson, in his post-tea spell, got rid of Pujara, Pant and Umesh Yadav in quick succession as India lost a golden opportunity to press home the advantage.
The 32 boundaries and three sixes with a run-rate of 3.84 in 63 overs will not able to tell the story how Indians fluffed their lines during the day.
The immensely talented Shaw displayed improved footwork that saw him drive elegantly as the likes of Trent Boult (2/89) and Colin de Grandhomme (0/31) were guilty of over-pitching in trying to get some swing.
There were square drives and a few on-drives while he also played and missed a few. He did live dangerously but more importantly had the scoreboard ticking even when Pujara was stuck at the other end.
Neil Wagner bowled a bouncer and Shaw hooked him for maximum to reach his half-century. Having added 50 runs with Pujara, the senior partner should have ideally calmed the inexperienced one, who instead of playing for lunch, lunged at a fuller delivery from Jamieson to be brilliantly caught by Latham.
Kohli's poor tour just got worse when Tim Southee (2/38) got one to shape in slightly finding him plumb in-front. Ajinkya Rahane jabbed with limited footwork as Pujara looked more assured about his off-stump even as he hit occasional drives but mostly holding one end up.
It was young Vihari, who changed the course by counter-attacking the trio of Boult, Southee and Wagner in quick time.
Interestingly, when Pujara was on 49, Vihari was on 13 and by the time he got out for 55, having hit 10 boundaries, India's number three was on 53.
Vihari looked comfortably against Wagner as he played a slash over point to complete his fifty and then another pull-shot off the very next delivery. But Vihari played one shot too many as Wagner bowled a slow bouncer to take him out of equation.
Once India came out to bat after tea, Jamieson changed the tactic from bowling fuller to his usual back of the length line that could create disconcerting bounce or the batsmen.
Pujara got a good bouncer and there was no balance while going for the pull-shot. Indian innings was in total disarray by then and result was another day where stars promised a lot and delivered too little.(With PTI Inputs)