Hamilton: Rahul Dravid scored a patient half century and shared a 106-run second wicket partnership with Gautam Gambhir as India reached 197 for three by tea on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand.
Sachin Tendulkar was unbeaten on 25 and V.V.S. Laxman was on six as India reached the interval 82 runs behind New Zealand's first innings total of 279.
Gambhir was the first batsman out between lunch and tea, caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Chris Martin for 72 and Dravid was bowled by Ian O'Brien for 66 to end an innings which lasted three hours.
Dravid and Gambhir lifted India from 36 for one, when Virender Sehwag was run out for 24 in the third over of the day, to 142 for two at the fall of Gambhir's wicket.
Gambhir reached his 10th half century in 117 minutes from 97 balls and Dravid, who batted with unshakeable concentration and rigid defense, notched his 54th from 110 balls with 10 fours.
While Gambhir walked into the medium pacers and scored from a variety of shots, heavily on the leg side, Dravid played from a firm base at the crease, cut strongly and took advantage of a gap in the slip field to take runs through third man.
Martin made the first breakthrough of the session when he generated reverse swing to the left-handed Gambhir who, driving lavishly, edged the ball at shoulder height to McCullum.
New Zealand's celebration of the wicket was short-lived because it brought to the wicket Tendulkar, in his 157th test, who shares with Dravid the third-most profitable partnership in test history.