India's tail held on long enough to let Ajinkya Rahane get to his maiden Test century in Wellington. Rahane's hundred was only the sixth by an India batsman batting at No.7 outside the subcontinent. Mohammad Azharuddin was the last Indian No. 7 batsman to do this, against South Africa in Cape Town in 1997. Rahane has now scored 379 at 47.37 in five Tests. In away Tests, he averages 61.83 having scored 371 in four Tests including a century and two fifities.
Rahane's century is the first by an India batsman at No.7 since MS Dhoni's unbeaten 100 against Sri Lanka at the Brabourne Stadium in 2009. Click here for a list of centuries by India's No. 7 batsmen.
The 120-run partnership between Rahane and Dhoni was India's second-highest for the seventh wicket in New Zealand and only India's third for that wicket in the country. Sachin Tendulkar and Kiran More added 128 for the seventh wicket in Napier in 1990, which is the highest for India for that wicket in New Zealand. The last time India's seventh wicket pair shared a century stand in an away Test was in 2011 against West Indies in Kingston when Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina added 146 runs.
During this partnership, while Dhoni batted in his usual style scoring 68 runs off 86 balls, Rahane also kept pace with him, scoring 48 runs off just 60 deliveries. The partnership run-rate of 4.96 was India's eighth highest in a century partnership outside the subcontinent in Tests.
Shikhar Dhawan fell just two runs short of what would have been his second consecutive hundred in this series. Rahul Dravid is the only India batsman to have scored hundreds in consecutive Test innings in New Zealand. Dravid hit back-to-back centuries in the Hamilton Test in 1998-99. Dhawan also missed emulating Gautam Gambhir, who scored hundreds in consecutive Tests - in Napier and Wellington - in India's last tour to New Zealand. Including Dhawan, four India openers have got out in the nineties in Tests in New Zealand. Navjot Singh Sidhu was the last batsman, he got out on 98 in Hamilton in 1993-94.
Dhoni's half-century was the fourth by an India batsman batting at No. 8 in Tests in New Zealand. He has scored 272 runs at 54.40 from four Tests in New Zealand including three fifties.
Zaheer Khan was Neil Wagner's 50th Test wicket. Wagner has taken 50 wickets in 14 Tests at 34.24. At one year and 205 days, he's the second-fastest New Zealand bowler to reach the landmark, after Daniel Vettori. Click here for a list of bowlers fastest to 50 Test wickets.
New Zealand's wicketkeeper BJ Watling collected five dismissals in India's innings, the second time in this series that he has contributed to five or more dismissals. Including the five catches he took against West Indies in Hamilton in December last year, Watling has now taken five dismissals in an innings in three consecutive Tests and is the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to do so.
Until tea on the second day, India had scored 301 runs from 84 overs at 3.58 runs an over. After tea, India's batsmen stepped on the pedal, scoring 137 runs in 18.4 overs at 7.34 runs an over and India ended their innings at an innings run-rate of 4.26. This is their second-highest run-rate in a Test innings outside the subcontinent when they have scored 400 or more runs. Their highest also came against New Zealand, in Auckland in 1990, when they scored 482 runs from 104.3 overs at 4.61 runs an over.
Rahane and Dhoni's fifties were only the 12th time that batsmen batting at No. 7 and No. 8 for India had hit fifty-plus scores a Test innings. The last such instance was also against New Zealand and at the same venue in 2008-09, when Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh got fifties batting at No. 7 and 8 respectively.
India's last five wickets added 273 runs, which equals the fifth highest contribution in a Test innings outside the subcontinent. The highest that India's last five wickets have added in a Test outside the subcontinent is 312, against West Indies in 1970-71, when Dilip Sardesai scored 212 runs batting with the India's lower middle order and tail.
Runs by India's lower middle order helped India score 438 in their first innings - the first time since 2009 that they have put up a first-innings score of 400 or more outside the subcontinent, when they scored 520 in their first innings against New Zealand in Hamilton.
India's 246-run lead in their first innings is only the sixth time they have achieved a lead of 200 or more while batting second in Tests outside the subcontinent. The last such instance also came against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2009, when they led the hosts by 241 runs. Including the instances when India have ended up ahead by 200 or more batting first in Tests outside the subcontinent, this was only the 14th time that India have achieved a first-innings lead of 200 or more in such Tests. Of these games, India have won all the Tests in which they have batted second. On occasions when they have batted first, the opposition have managed to hold them to a draw in seven of the eight games.
India's first innings lead has given them a good chance of winning this Test. Of the ten instances when teams have taken a first-innings lead of 200 or more batting second at the Basin Reserve, eight have resulted in wins. The other two Tests have been drawn.