After overnight rain left the outfield at the Nagpur stadium soggy, play was delayed by nearly three hours as ground staff treated the peripheries. New Zealand who won the toss and opted to bat, got off to a cautious start with Martin Guptill and Tim McIntosh not too interested in running singles and twos. The first boundary of the day came in the 5th over when Guptill carved Sreesanth to backward of point. In the next over, McIntosh unleashed a flourish to send Ishant Sharma to the same region for another four.
In the 7th over, Sreesanth got an early breakthrough when he had Guptill caught behind for 6. Ross Taylor came in with the score on 11/1 and straight away slashed the bowler through cover for a boundary. But again Sreesanth was on top when he got McIntosh bowled for 4 in the 9th over. Now the Kiwis were on the back foot at 16/2. Jesse Ryder was the new man to join Taylor out in the middle. The two tried to weather the storm.
Captain Dhoni introduced Pragyan Ojha in the 12th over. In the fifth ball, Taylor edged the ball past slip for run for a lucky 3. At the other end, Ryder was having problems settling in. He faced 14 balls before he got off the mark. But he gained some confidence when he clubbed Ojha for a four to midwicket. However, there was trouble at the other end.
Sharma removed Taylor via an lbw for 20 and in the very next over, Kane Williamson was dismissed by Ojha for a duck. New Zealand were reeling at 43/4 when the Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori, took guard. New Zealand were badly in need of a captain innings, but he was not upto the task, getting out bowled by Sharma for just 3. The Kiwis were plodding along at 51/5 in 17 overs. At the other end, Ojha kept up the pressure on Ryder.
Harbhajan Singh was introduced in the attack in the 21st over. Hopkins was having slight difficulty contending with the pressure, having faced 24 balls before getting off the mark. But his first scoring shot was a four off Ojha through mid wicket. He and Ryder took New Zealand to tea with the score on a precarious 72/5. India, clearly have the upper hand after this session with the Kiwis still having to do a lot of rebuilding after the break.