India opened with Rahul and Vijay, and Rahul was off the blocks quickly, sending the second delivery of the innings, a full toss from Trent Boult, for four down the ground.
Speaking ahead of the match, India skipper Virat Kohli stressed on being positive and advised the players to handle the situation pro-actively. But the captain lasted only 10 balls, and was caught at short leg on 9, trying to pull a bouncer from Neil Wagner. The hosts are playing with six batsmen, two fast bowlers and two spinners while the visiting New Zealand are playing with three spinners and two fast bowlers.
Moreover, New Zealand have not had enough practice to get ready for the series.
Taking the second new ball, Boult destroyed India’s lower order with three wickets in nine balls.
New Zealand took the advantage on day one of their first Test with India in Kanpur after overcoming the hosts’ promising start to threaten their first victory there since 1988.
Rohit Sharma and Ashwin shared a decent stand of 52 before Sharma was out for 35, lobbing Santner to Sodhi at mid-on.
Boult, in his final spell of the day, got rid of Ashwin wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha (0) and Mohammed Shami (0) almost polishing off the Indian tail.
16 Number of fifty-plus scores by M Vijay in Tests since 2013 – joint highest by an India batsman.
Having Jadeja in the ranks gives Kohli that extra batsman in the side.
The spin-friendly track will help them too but the way they were handled by the Mumbai batsmen in Kotla game, the visiting team spinners are unlikely to trouble the strong home batting line-up.
Ajinkya Rahane was out for 18 soon after tea as India slumped to 209-5.
Each and every Kiwi bowler was among wickets, highlighting a team effort, led by Santner.
The 24-year-old hit four boundaries, and a six off Mitchell Santner, before getting a faint edge to wicketkeeper BJ Watling in the left-arm spinner’s second over.
Then came, Chetheswar Pujara who scored a convincing half-century and 112 runs partnership with Murali. The ball thudded on to the opener’s pads in front of the wicket and he was on his way back scoring 21 off 31 balls.
New Zealand trail by 166 runs on the first innings after captain Kane Williamson, 65 not out, and opener Tom Latham, on 56, carried the attack to India through a wicketless middle session.
They brought up their individual fifties in successive overs before Santner had Pujara popping a simple return catch.
Earlier, Rahul made a cracking start, hitting two crisp boundaries off paceman Boult in the very first over.
But Yadav and Shami moved the ball as much as they could.