Napier: Riding on Ross Taylor's century New Zealand reached 233 for three at tea on the second Test against India at MCLean Park here on Thursday.
Taylor was batting on 133 while Jesse Ryder was on 87. Both batsmen added 210 runs after Kiwis were reduced to three for 23 in the first session.
At one stage New Zealand were 23-3 after another disastrous start.
Opener Tim McIntosh was caught behind for 12 off the bowling of Ishant Sharma with the total at 21.
Then recalled specialist batsman Jamie How was bowled by Zaheer Khan for one, making New Zealand 22-2.
Things got worse when Martin Guptill failed to handle a short ball from Zaheer and gloved it to Virendar Sehwag in the slips. He was out for eight and New Zealand were 23-3.
Taylor had a charmed life early as the pair sought to repair the damage.
Taylor was dropped at third slip by Yuvraj Singh on four before taking consecutive boundaries from unlucky seamer Munaf Patel.
He was then fortunate to avoid an embarrassing run out on 16 when he backed up at the non-striker's end and was out of his ground when Harbhajan Singh's throw from point narrowly missed the stumps.
Taylor continued to flirt with danger, scoring the bulk of his runs through or over the slips cordon but crucially he survived.
There was also a mix-up as he was on 99, the pair avoiding a run out through some poor Indian fielding.
Ryder looked more assured.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat in fine weather.
The Black Caps named Kyle Mills as 12th man, including off-spinner Jeetan Patel to partner skipper Daniel Vettori.
Batsman Daniel Flynn failed a fitness test on his bruised left hand and was replaced by How.
India made one change with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni a late omission with a back injury suffered during the warm-ups.
He was replaced by reserve wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik .
Opening batsman Sehwag is leading the side.
New Zealand are one-down in the series after losing the opening test in Hamilton by 10 wickets.