India 318 and 159 for 1 (Vijay 64*, Pujara 50*) lead New Zealand 262 (Williamson 75, Latham 58, Jadeja 5-73, Ashwin 4-93) by 215 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A roughly even contest through its first six completed sessions, the Green Park Test swung emphatically India's way after lunch on day three, as Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin ran through New Zealand to earn India a 56-run first-innings lead. By stumps, they had swelled this to 215 thanks to unbeaten half-centuries from M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who put on their second century stand of the match.
India, well ahead at tea, pulled away rapidly thereafter. With Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig serving up a feast of short balls, Vijay and Pujara hit seven fours in the first three overs of the final session. Then, after four relatively quiet overs, Vijay played two of the shots of the match, off Mitchell Santner, an inside-out drive to the left of extra-cover and a late cut with bat meeting ball inches in front of off stump.
By the end of the day, India's run-rate had slowed to normal Test-match proportions, but the economy rates of Craig (4.36) and Sodhi (4.14) told a story. On a pitch where Ashwin and Jadeja were causing all kinds of problems, India's batsmen had shone an unforgiving light on the inadequacies of New Zealand's spinners.
New Zealand's only wicket came in the last over before tea, when KL Rahul late-cut Sodhi straight into slip's hands. As he had done in the first innings, Rahul had shown plenty of attacking enterprise - in this instance using sweeps, reverse-sweeps and lofted drives to move along at a 70-plus strike rate - before falling in the 30s.
Wickets often fall in clusters in India. One brings many. There were two such clusters in New Zealand's innings. First, they lost three wickets in 23 balls at the start of the morning session. After lunch, even more damagingly, they lost their last five in the space of 29 balls, for the addition of only seven runs. In the process, Jadeja picked up his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests, and Ashwin swelled his Test wicket count from 193 to 197.
The two teams' first innings almost mirrored each other. India had gone from 154 for 1 to 318 all out. New Zealand had lost their second wicket with their score 159. The magnitude of India's lead was probably down to lower-order contributions: Jadeja had scored an unbeaten 42, and added 41 for the last wicket with Umesh Yadav. Not for the first time in home Tests on turning pitches, he had played a vital role with both ball and bat.
New Zealand went to lunch 238 for 5, and had moved to 255 for 5 when Ashwin came back into the attack to bowl the seventh over of the session. From over the wicket, his first ball was a well-flighted offbreak that brought Mitchell Santner on to the front foot and turned just enough to take a thin edge through to Wriddhiman Saha.
Santner, out for 32 off 107 balls, had defended resolutely till that point, and featured in partnerships of 49 with Luke Ronchi and 36 with BJ Watling.
Three overs later, New Zealand felt the full force of Jadeja. He had Craig and Sodhi lbw off successive balls, both caught shuffling across the crease rather than going forward or back, though the ball that dismissed Sodhi may have been sliding down leg. Trent Boult survived two balls, and then, defending his third onto his boot, was caught brilliantly by Rohit Sharma diving forward from silly point.
The innings ended in the very next over, Watling looking to drive a teasing Ashwin offbreak down the ground and ending up offering a return catch.
The day began much like day two had prematurely ended, with Ashwin and Jadeja causing plenty of discomfort with their turn and bounce. They beat the outside edge four times in the first five overs before Ashwin struck the first blow. He got the ball to drift into the left-handed Tom Latham, causing him to play down the wrong line as he pressed forward to defend. By the time he realised this, it was too late, and ball straightened to hit front pad right in front.
Four balls later, 159 for 2 became 160 for 3. Ross Taylor's bat tends to come down from gully towards wide mid-on while he defends, and such a technique can leave a batsman vulnerable against a left-arm spinner as relentlessly stump-to-stump as Jadeja. The ball went with the arm, and Richard Kettleborough did not hesitate to uphold Jadeja's lbw appeal. Replays suggested it was a tight call on whether the ball would have carried on to hit or miss leg stump.
For most of day two, Kane Williamson had been able to trust the slowness of the Green Park pitch and play comfortably back to good-length balls. But in the half-hour or so before tea, the ball had begun spitting and hissing with greater frequency. On one occasion, an Ashwin offbreak hurried into him when he sat on the back foot and produced a loud lbw shout.
In the ninth over of the morning, he went back again to Ashwin, possibly shaping to cut or punch through the off side, and this time the ball turned extravagantly, like one of Muttiah Muralitharan's specials, zipping in to breach the gap between bat and body and clip the top of the stumps. It had perhaps needed a special delivery to get Williamson out in the form he was in, and Ashwin had produced just that.
New Zealand were 170 for 4 at that point, 148 adrift and rocking unsteadily. They repelled India for the next 23.3 overs, with Luke Ronchi and Santner putting on 49 and bringing a measure of calm to proceedings before Jadeja struck again, six overs before lunch.
Ronchi was the batsman dismissed, and India would have been relieved to see him walk back. Showing excellent footwork, particularly while going on the back foot, he had cut and driven Jadeja and Ashwin for four fours in the arc between point and extra-cover while moving to 38. Then, looking to sweep Jadeja, he misread the trajectory of a dipping delivery that hit him on the back leg. Rod Tucker gave him out, but replays suggested that the ball, bowled from left-arm over and spinning sharply, would probably have missed off stump.
Tucker, though, did not see any replays; what he saw was a batsman sweeping from the stumps, a ball pitching fairly close to the batsman, and dust flying everywhere. At first glance, there was even the suggestion - dispelled by later viewings - that the ball may have hit Ronchi's front pad. It was one of those errors that slow-motion replays tend to magnify. Likewise with the Taylor and Sodhi decisions. Unfortunately for New Zealand, all three went against them.