Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry all return to New Zealand's one-day squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against Australia.

The fast-bowling trio missed the ODI games against India on home soil through injury, though Boult did feature in the two Tests that followed against the same opponents after recovering from a broken hand.

As well as Boult, Ferguson suffered a calf strain while Henry broke his thumb as the Black Caps were blighted by absences during a 3-0 Test series defeat in Australia.

However, they are all available for the upcoming three one-dayers against their trans-Tasman rivals. The first two fixtures take place in Sydney on March 13 and 15, with the finale in Hobart five days later.

Seamers Hamish Bennett and Kyle Jamieson are also in a 15-man squad, along with spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi.

"Playing Australia in Australia is one of the great challenges in world cricket and you know you will be severely tested in all aspects of the game," said Black Caps coach Gary Stead.

"Our one-day unit is a pretty settled one with plenty of experience and I think that showed in the recent series against India.

"It’s great to welcome back the class of Trent, Matt and Lockie who spearheaded our run to the Cricket World Cup final last year.

"Kyle's made every post a winner since his international debut this season and he’ll be a handy asset to have in Australia."

 

New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

Virat Kohli lamented India's batting after their Test series loss to New Zealand, while paying tribute to the Black Caps.

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series win over India on Monday thanks to a seven-wicket victory in Christchurch.

India struggled with the bat throughout the series, posting scores of 165 and 191 in the first Test in Wellington and 242 and 124 at Hagley Oval.

Kohli praised New Zealand's bowlers and rued his side's batting after their series defeat.

"It was a matter of not having enough intent in the first game and then playing well in the first innings here but then again the small things, small margins," the India captain told Sky Sport.

"When you sit down and look back at this series you have to also give credit to the New Zealand bowlers because they bowled in the right areas for long enough, created a lot of pressure. There were hardly any scoring opportunities so that meant you had to play extravagant shots to get runs rather than just rotating strike and getting runs easily.

"It was a combination of us not quite having the right kind of execution and New Zealand playing really well in their conditions and I think the bowling and the consistency was outstanding and that's something that forced our batting to make those mistakes.

"We're usually a batting side that does show a bit of fight and put up scores on the board, but there was just not enough done by the batsmen in the series for the bowlers to try and attack."

After ripping through the India lower-order to begin day three in Christchurch, New Zealand were untroubled on the way to their target of 132 for victory.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was happy with his team and said their ability to combine for small but vital partnerships was crucial.

"Outstanding," he said. "Both fairly sporting surfaces where bowlers had to put the ball in the right area, but if you did you created opportunities throughout every day of this game which was surprising. History suggests that it does a bit initially and then flattens out.

"I guess therein lies the value in a lot of those partnerships that we had with the bat, those 30s and 40s that were huge out there on that surface.

"I don't think the end result reflected how perhaps tight that match was because as we saw in both innings the ball going past the outside of the bat and it is such a fine line, but a fantastic series from our side in terms of the balance with the bat and the ball and the way the guys stuck at it.

"As we know, it is a fine line and India are a world-class side, top of the comp [ICC World Test Championship], so a great effort from the guys."

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series victory over India with a seven-wicket win in the second Test in Christchurch on Monday.

India set the Black Caps just 132 to win on day three and the hosts had no troubles reaching their target at Hagley Oval.

After 16 wickets incredibly fell on Sunday, India needed a response to begin day three, but they added just 34 runs after resuming at 90-6.

Tom Latham (52) and Tom Blundell (55) ensured New Zealand cruised through their chase to win the series 2-0.

Hanuma Vihari (9) was the first to go on Monday, caught down the leg side by BJ Watling off Tim Southee (3-36).

India were unable to get anything going, although Ravindra Jadeja did manage an unbeaten 16 off just 22 balls.

Trent Boult (4-28) added the wicket of Rishabh Pant (4) and Southee also removed Mohammed Shami (5) before Jasprit Bumrah (4) was run out.

While India's bowlers caused some initial problems to Latham and Blundell, the openers set up what proved a comfortable chase for the Black Caps.

Latham fell to Umesh Yadav (1-45) and Kane Williamson (5) went off Bumrah, who bowled Blundell to finish with 2-39 before Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls helped New Zealand see out their victory.

New Zealand closed in on victory over India in the second Test after 16 wickets fell on day two in Christchurch on Sunday.

India, who trail the series 1-0, made the better start to the day at Hagley Oval, taking a seven-run first-innings lead after bowling the Black Caps out for 235.

New Zealand had resumed at 63-0 and appearing on track to charge past India's first-innings total of 242.

However, after their fightback, the tourists were reduced to 90-6 at stumps in their second innings, a lead of just 97, as the bowlers dominated.

Trent Boult (3-12) did most of the damage for New Zealand, landing the first blow when he trapped Mayank Agarwal (3) lbw.

A short delivery from Tim Southee (1-20) removed Prithvi Shaw, but India seemed to be steadying through Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli.

But Colin de Grandhomme (1-3) struck the huge blow, getting Kohli lbw for 14 to reduce India to 51-3.

De Grandhomme dropped Ajinkya Rahane on two but it did not hurt the Black Caps, the India batsman bizarrely playing a Neil Wagner (1-18) short ball onto his stumps.

Boult produced a beautiful inswinger to remove Pujara (24) before also bowling Umesh Yadav (1) as New Zealand closed in on victory.

Earlier, Mohammed Shami (4-81) and Jasprit Bumrah (3-62) had helped India fight back after New Zealand's bright start to their first innings.

Tom Latham (52) and Kyle Jamieson (49) top-scored for the Black Caps, while Ravindra Jadeja produced an incredible catch to remove Wagner (21).

Jadeja stuck out a hand as he jumped near the boundary to hold onto a powerful Wagner pull shot.

That moment of brilliance came as India looked on top, but New Zealand's finish to the day has them on track for a 2-0 series win.

Kyle Jamieson savoured claiming a maiden five-wicket Test haul with his family watching on as New Zealand put India on the back foot at Hagley Oval.

Jamieson kept his place after an impressive debut in the longest format as the Black Caps hammered India to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.

The seamer again justified his selection on day one in Christchurch, taking 5-45 to dismiss the tourists for 242 before New Zealand closed on 63-0 in reply.

India crumbled from 194-4, Jamieson removing Cheteshwar Pujara (55) and ripping through the lower order before Trent Boult cleaned up Mohammed Shami to end the innings.

Former Canterbury man Jamieson reflected on a job well done at a ground that holds a special place in his heart.

He said: "They're [Jamieson's family, who he waved to with the ball] so much a part of this journey – to have them here and to witness this moment was pretty special.

"I was certainly very comfortable coming back out here, the run-ups and the pitch felt pretty normal. It was massive part of my career, and nice to come back home.

"At one stage I thought they were going to get a few more, it wasn't quite doing as much as what it did in Wellington, so to keep them to 242 is pretty good."

Prithvi Shaw (54) and Hanuma Vihari (55) also made half-centuries before India collapsed, with Tom Latham (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29no) ensuring it was very much New Zealand's day.

Kyle Jamieson's maiden Test five-for triggered an India collapse as New Zealand made a strong start to the second and final Test on Saturday.

Jamieson tore through India, who went from 194-5 to 242 all out in a remarkable tea session on day one in Christchurch, with figures of 5-45 in 14 overs.

New Zealand reached stumps at 63-0, trailing by 179 runs, thanks to openers Tom Lathan (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29 not out) at Hagley Oval.

Rain delayed the start of play in New Zealand, where ICC's top-ranked Test side India were looking to bounce back from their crushing defeat against the Black Caps in Wellington.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first, and it proved a wise decision when Trent Boult (2-89) trapped Mayank Agarwal lbw for seven after India made it through six overs unscathed.

The Black Caps' bowling attack did not have it all their own way – highly rated opener Prithvi Shaw showing intent early on as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Shaw scored 54 runs from just 64 deliveries before he fell victim to Jamieson – who claimed 4-39 in the first innings of the opening Test against India on his debut – prior to lunch, Latham's stunning catch at second slip ending a promising knock.

Tim Southee (2-38) then took the prized scalp of struggling India skipper Virat Kohli (3) shortly after lunch as the tourists fell to 85-3.

Only two other wickets fell in the middle session – Ajinkya Rahane (7) and Hanuma Vihari (55) via Southee and Neil Wagner (1-29) – as India looked relatively comfortable heading into the tea break.

But it all fell apart for India in the final session as Jamieson cleaned up the visitors with four wickets in a stunning spell, which saw Kohli's side crumble for 48-5.

Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Rishabh Pant (12), Umesh Yadav (0) and Ravindra Jadeja (9) were dismissed by Jamieson, while Boult ripped out Mohammed Shami's off stump.

Latham and Blundell then saw New Zealand through to the end of play without loss amid fading light after 23 overs.

Shikha Pandey held her nerve at the last to help India become the first team into the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals with a tense three-run victory over New Zealand.

Having held India at 133 for eight, the White Ferns would have fancied their chances in Melbourne having not failed to chase a sub-140 T20I target since October 2013.

But they were thwarted with the bat, their star-studded top-order of Sophie Devine, Rachel Priest and Suzie Bates all falling within nine overs, as Amelia’s Kerr’s stunning late cameo proved not enough to prevent defeat.

The tense Junction Oval win means India are guaranteed a spot in the last four, with the battle for the final qualifying spot in Group A heating up.

Another impressive outing from Shafali Verma (46) set India on their way but a fine spell of bowling from New Zealand’s own teenage talent Kerr stopped her from dominating, the 19-year-old leg-spinner taking the innings-changing wicket to finish with figures of two for 21.

Smriti Mandhana, who missed the win over Bangladesh due to viral fever, saw her comeback cut short as she was dismissed for 11 by Lea Tahuhu in the third over, the opener chopping onto her stumps.

But once again Verma stepped up, the 16-year-old smashing back-to-back sixes to steer India to 49 for one in the Powerplay.

Tanya Bhatia, in at three, soon followed Verma’s lead, taking India beyond 60 but she perished for 23 when Kerr caught her at point off Rosemary Mair. The same duo combined again to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues for ten.

Verma was twice given a lifeline as chances were squandered in the field, Maddy Green dropping an opportunity at long on before Tahuhu spilled at mid-wicket.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s disappointing form continued as the India captain was caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek for one - her third single-figure score in the tournament.

Hayley Jensen made amends for her side’s earlier errors by catching Verma at cover off Kerr for 46, before the spinner trapped Veda Krishnamurthy lbw for six.

Chasing 134, Priest’s time in the middle was short-lived as her aerial option backfired, Radha Yadav holding on at mid-wicket off Pandey to remove the opener for 12.

And the White Ferns’ start to the innings went from bad to worse when the Bates-Devine partnership fell after four overs, the former handing Deepti Sharma her 50th T20I wicket.

Before long Poonam Yadav struck with her spin, dismissing Devine after the skipper mistimed her full toss to point.

The fourth-wicket pair of Green (24) and Katey Martin (25) cautiously plodded on, putting on a 43-run partnership before the former was caught behind by Bhatia off Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Two overs later and Martin was gone, Rodrigues with the catch on the mid-wicket boundary off Radha Yadav.

That looked to be game done and dusted but Kerr (34) defied Poonam’s heroics to set up a nerve-wracking finale, striking 18 in the penultimate over.

But she couldn’t muster a final-ball six as the White Ferns agonisingly missed out, suffering their first defeat of this Women’s T20 World Cup.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat New Zealand by three runs, Junction Oval, Melbourne

 

India 133-8, 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2-21, Rosemary Mair 2-27)

New Zealand 130-6, 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 34 not out, Katey Martin 25; Shikha Pandey 1-21)

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane says a late decision will be made over whether Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja will play in the second Test against New Zealand.

Ashwin took 3-99, but twice failed with the bat as the tourists were hammered by 10 wickets in the opening match of the series at Basin Reserve. 

Jadeja was overlooked for India's first ICC World Test Championship defeat and is pushing for a recall for a second match that begins at Hagley Oval on Friday.

Rahane gave nothing away when asked which spinner will get the nod as India attempt to tie the series in Christchurch.

"We have not taken any such decisions," the batsman said. "Ashwin had bowled really well in Wellington and he is a quality bowler; Jadeja is also a quality bowler.

"Yes, it gets a bit tough when we travel as to play whom – Jaddu [Jadeja] or Ashwin.

"But I think it is a good sign for the team when we travel outside India because both are quality spinners.

"The decision will depend on the condition of the wicket and we have to see the thought process of captain and coach and what combination they have in mind for the team. But no decision on them yet."

Virat Kohli's side were bowled out for less than 200 in both innings in Wellington, but Rahane feels they may find conditions more favourable in the second Test.

"In New Zealand as a batting unit and as a bowling unit, we've got to adapt to the conditions here," said Rahane. "Pitching areas are completely different here than in India or South Africa or Australia.

"The India A guys played here and Hanuma [Vihari] was telling us this wicket plays much better. There's good pace and bounce on this wicket... we'll have to wait and see. Assess the conditions very quickly on the first day of the game and play accordingly."

Jhye Richardson has been named in Australia's squad for the three-game ODI showdown against South Africa, though he will sit out the series with New Zealand.

Richardson returned to the international mix for three Twenty20s in South Africa, where the third and final game will be played on Wednesday, though the paceman has been overlooked for the first two clashes.

However, Richardson could feature in the 50-over format following his selection in Australia's ODI team to face the Proteas, starting in Paarl on Saturday.

Richardson, 23, will remain in South Africa after Australia announced their 14-man squad for a three-game series against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand from March 13-20.

"It has been a pretty tough road to get back, a few ups and downs, a few plateaus here and there. Just being here around everyone and this setup again is fantastic. Everyone is in a great frame of mind and extremely positive," said Richardson, who suffered a shoulder injury prior to last year's Cricket World Cup.

"I am absolutely ready to go. I feel I am bowling as well as I have for a long time. Hopefully there's an opportunity."

National selector Trevor Hohns added: "Jhye is performing exceptionally well, as we saw throughout the Big Bash. He has slotted back into the T20 squad in South Africa and is pushing for a place in that side.

"We are very fortunate to have such a deep pool of fast bowlers. Jhye has earned his place after the hard work he has done to get back into his best form after serious injury.

"Keeping him in South Africa with the one-day squad gives us another exceptional fast bowler who is ready to go."

Australia will face New Zealand in back-to-back ODIs at the SCG in Sydney on March 13 and 15 before hosting the Black Caps in Hobart on March 20.

Australia ODI squad to face New Zealand: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Hurricanes and New Zealand back-row Ardie Savea has spoken of his desire to play in the NRL and could switch codes as early as next year.

The 26-year-old is sidelined with a knee injury after undergoing surgery.

Savea, capped 44 times by the All Blacks, is contracted to New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2021 and pulled out of a deal to join Top 14 side Pau after the Rugby World Cup last year.

The flanker says a switch to rugby league was on his mind before he was injured during the World Cup.

Asked if he wants to play in the 13-a-side format, he told the Ice Project podcast: "100 per cent.

"I just think they [the players] do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff than New Zealand. And also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself.

“Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union and if I can do that in league. That excites me.

"Seeing guys like Sonny [Bill Willians] do it and the way that has benefited him. It kind of plays on my mind a bit.

"It sucks that I got this injury because I was low key thinking about it [a code switch] for next year."

Savea has already given some thought to which team he would fancy joining.

"Strategically I would want to go to a team that was good or dominating, like the Melbourne Storm or the [Sydney] Roosters." he added.

Virat Kohli lamented India's uncompetitiveness with the bat in the first innings of their comprehensive Test loss to New Zealand.

The Black Caps secured their 100th Test victory on Monday, beating India by 10 wickets in Wellington in the series opener.

India were bowled out for 165 in the first innings and 191 in the second and Kohli rued their initial effort at the Basin Reserve.

"It was probably the toss that turned out to be very important, but at the same time as a batting unit I think we take a lot of pride in being competitive and we were just not competitive enough," India captain Kohli told Sky Sport.

"I don't think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings. Anything over 220-230 then you're talking a different language and even the deficit looks much lesser if you get that score on the board and you get the last three batsmen out cheaper, which wasn't the case.

"But I think that first innings really put us behind in the game already and then that lead obviously put us under a lot of pressure which was hard to come back from."

India had New Zealand at 225-7 in their first innings, only for Kyle Jamieson (44), Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Trent Boult (38) to push the hosts to 348.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the victory, with Tim Southee grabbing a five-for in the second innings.

"It was an outstanding effort over the space of four days and we know how strong this Indian team is all around the world," he said.

"The efforts that went into that first innings to put the ball in the right area for long periods of time and I think that with the bat to get what was a very competitive total on a surface that I thought was a really good one that offered throughout the whole match, and the lower-order runs are really important to try and get a little bit of a lead.

"As we saw that if you did pick up a wicket you could get a couple so an outstanding all-round team effort."

The second and final Test starts in Christchurch on Saturday.

Tim Southee claimed a five-for to lead New Zealand to a 10-wicket humbling of India in the first Test on Monday.

Southee grabbed his 10th five-wicket Test haul – only two men have earned more for the Black Caps – as New Zealand wrapped up the opening Test inside four days against the ICC's top-ranked team.

Led by paceman Southee, New Zealand skittled touring India for just 191 early on day four and Tom Latham (7) and Tom Blundell (2) easily hit the winning nine runs.

It was a milestone win for New Zealand after the Black Caps registered their 100th Test victory, becoming the seventh nation to reach the century mark in the longest format of the game, while ending a three-match losing run in the unlimited-overs game.

India, who managed just 165 in the first innings as New Zealand posted 348, returned to the crease at 144-4 – still 39 runs adrift.

In a commanding position, the Black Caps put India to the sword after Virat Kohli's visitors lost 47-6 during the morning session.

New Zealand quick Trent Boult (4-39) set the tone with the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane for 29, before Southee took centre stage at the Basin Reserve.

India were helpless to stop Southee, who knocked over Hanuma Vihari's stumps for 15 the following over and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) was the next to go after being trapped lbw.

Ishant Sharma (12) was also dismissed lbw by Colin de Grandhomme (1-28) before Southee cleaned up Rishabh Pant (25) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) within four deliveries.

It left New Zealand chasing just nine runs and the home team cruised to a massive victory, snapping India's seven-match winning streak in Tests.

Trent Boult's lower-order runs and three vital wickets catapulted New Zealand into a commanding position against India on day three of the first Test.

The left-arm swing bowler clubbed 38 from 24 balls to help the Black Caps post 348 following valuable contributions from Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Kyle Jamieson (44) at Basin Reserve on Sunday.

India, who managed a paltry 165 in the first innings, trailed by 183 runs when Ishant Sharma (5-68) ended Boult's cameo and their headaches grew before the close of play.

Boult removed Prithvi Shaw (14), Cheteshwar Pujara (11) and Virat Kohli (19), while Tim Southee strangled Mayank Agarwal down the leg side for 58 as the tourists battled to 144-4, still 39 runs behind.

India had looked set for a brighter day in Wellington after Jasprit Bumrah extracted an edge from BJ Watling with the first ball of the opening over, after New Zealand had resumed on 216-5.

Southee lasted 14 deliveries before falling to Ishant, which brought debutant Jamieson to the crease.

The towering quick, who claimed four wickets in India's innings, proved there is more than one string to his bow as he hammered four sixes in an entertaining 45-ball knock.

Jamieson and the more measured De Grandhomme combined for 71 runs before departing within five overs of each other, Ravichandran Ashwin (3-99) striking on both occasions.

Number 11 Boult blasted the Black Caps further ahead and then made inroads into India's top order, his short ball drawing Shaw into an edge behind in the eighth over of India's second dig.

Pujara crawled to 11 runs until his concentration failed on the final ball of the second session - his 81st at the crease - with the batsman made to pay for shouldering arms to a full Boult delivery that seamed in and plucked out the off stump.

Kohli's advice prompted opener Agarwal to waste a review on a thin edge off Southee before the India captain gave wicketkeeper Watling his second catch and Boult his third wicket.

Dropping the anchor allowed Ajinkya Rahane (25) and Hanuma Vihari (15) to reach the close unbeaten but New Zealand appear well-placed to take a 1-0 series lead with two days remaining.

Sophie Devine once again proved unstoppable as her sixth consecutive 50+ score steered New Zealand to victory in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 opener against Sri Lanka.

Chamari Atapattu (41) and Hasini Perera’s 60-run first wicket - Sri Lanka’s best opening partnership in T20Is - gave them a bright start but Hayley Jensen’s career-best bowling sent middle-order wickets tumbling at the WACA.

It took time for New Zealand to get the 128-run chase going but captain Devine led by example, becoming the only player, male or female, to register more than five consecutive 50+ scores in the format, en route to the seven-wicket victory.

The Sri Lanka openers put on an impressive 60 for the first wicket, with Devine, Leigh Kasperek and Lea Tahuhu all unable to find a Powerplay breakthrough.

But up stepped teenager Amelia Kerr to cause problems on the fast track, the 19-year-old claiming the first wicket of the evening when she bowled Perera for 20 in the eighth over.

Perera didn’t fall without her fine moments though, her scoop over wicket-keeper Rachel Priest giving the Sri Lankan contingent at the WACA plenty of reason to cheer.

Atapattu’s 41, which included five fours and two sixes, built a solid base but the Sri Lanka captain was caught and bowled by the pacey Tahuhu.

The White Ferns were able to put the brakes on thereafter, Jensen claiming two wickets in an over when Anushka Sanjeewani’s attempt over the top was caught by Bates running back before Devine caught Shashikala Siriwardena at short mid-wicket.

Nilakshi de Silva was the next to fall as the middle-order crumbled, Kerr taking the catch at backward point for Devine’s first wicket before the spinner got a second breakthrough of her own.

Harshitha Madavi kept fighting with an unbeaten 27 off 26 balls but Sri Lanka finished at 127 for seven as Jensen bagged her third.

The White Ferns chase started slowly, openers Devine and Priest failing to take advantage of the Powerplay before the latter was run out by Madavi for six.

Held at 25 for one after six overs, New Zealand were lagging a fair way behind Sri Lanka who were 51 without loss at the same stage, with Devine not at her fluent best.

But the skipper ground it out in Perth, joining up with Bates for a 40-run second-wicket stand to steady the ship.

Bates perished at the hands of Kavisha Dilhari but Maddy Green came in at four and guided the chase superbly, taking the pressure off her skipper with a career-best 29 off 20.

With less than a run-a-ball required, Devine finally freed her arms – two sixes finishing off the chase with two overs to spare as the White Ferns tasted early success in Group A.

Scores in brief

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets, WACA Ground, Perth

Sri Lanka 127-7, 20 overs (Chamari Atapattu 41; Hayley Jensen 3-16, Amelia Kerr 2-21)
New Zealand 131-3, 17.4 overs (Sophie Devine 75 not out, Maddy Green 29; Kavisha Dilhari 1-19)

Tim Southee pointed to Rishabh Pant's run out as the moment New Zealand took control of the first Test against India at Basin Reserve.

Pant signalled his intent with a six in the first over of the second day, but a dreadful mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane left him high and dry, albeit a superb direct hit from Ajax Patel played its part.

India lost five wickets for just 43 runs to crumble to 165 all out before lunch, and Kane Williamson's 89 was influential in New Zealand posting 216-5 at the close of day two for a lead of 51.

"I think the run out of Pant was a big play this morning," said Southee, who was bowling at the time and finished with 4-49.

"With him being such a dangerous player, especially leading into the second new ball, he could score really quickly along with Jinks [Rahane].

"We knew that once we could open up an end and face the bowlers, Jinks would look to play a bit more aggressively and that brings you into a play a bit more.

"I think the way we bowled this morning was pretty good."

Williamson fell short of what would have been a welcome century after a difficult time in the 3-0 series defeat to Australia.

But the captain's stand of 93 with Ross Taylor (44) – playing his 100th Test – put the Black Caps in a promising position that Southee hopes the hosts can build on.

"You always want your best players to be at the crease. They [Williamson and Taylor] put on a great partnership, both looking nice for a long period of time," he added. 

"If we can carry on and keep chipping away with the guys to come then it will set us up."

India fought back late in the day with three wickets in the final session and Ishant Sharma's (3-31) performance was particularly important.

Sharma arrived late in New Zealand due to his recovery from a torn ankle ligament and he has been coping with jet lag.

Southee paid tribute to the right-arm quick, saying: "He's been a word class bowler for a long time.

"When you're slightly underdone in terms of preparation and having an injury coming into the series, you can call on previous experience.

"He has played 90-odd Test matches and he knows what he needs to do to get himself right for a Test match, and when the preparation isn't ideal, he is able to find ways to perform like he has."

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