Bangalore – New Zealand captain Ross Taylor kept his promise of attacking India's spinners by smashing an entertaining hundred as the visitors reached 328/6 at the close of the first day of the second and final Test in Bangalore on Friday.
Kruger van Wyk (63 not out) and Doug Bracewell (30 not out) carried on the good work after Taylor's dismissal, adding an unbeaten 82 runs for sixth wicket before bad light ended play 35 minutes early.
The 28-year-old Taylor had promised a positive approach at the Chinnaswamy Stadium after New Zealand lost 18 wickets to the Indian spinners in the first Test in Hyderabad, which the hosts won by an innings and 115 runs to go 1-0 up in the two-Test series.
New Zealand opted to bat first after Taylor won the toss and their intent was immediately clear as the batsmen attempted to put India on the backfoot.
Taylor hit 16 boundaries and two sixes and attacked the bowlers from the onset to complete his seventh test century, and his third against India, off just 99 balls.
He slog-swept the spinners effectively, played the cut shot fiercely and added 107 runs with Daniel Flynn (33) for the fourth wicket at a breathtaking scoring rate.
Taylor and Flynn combined to add 72 runs off the first 10 overs after lunch before Flynn fell leg before to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while attempting another sweep shot.
Pragyan Ojha kept India in the hunt by picking up his fourth wicket shortly after the tea break when Taylor was also out leg before also trying to sweep the left-arm spinner.
In the morning, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni handed the new ball to Ojha to capitalise on New Zealand's spin frailty but it was paceman Zaheer Khan who struck the first blow in the second over of the innings.
Opener Brendon McCullum was the first to fall for a duck when Zaheer caught him plumb in front of the stumps in his first over.
Martin Guptill (53), dropped on 17 by Virat Kohli in the slips off Zaheer, went on the attack and made a quickfire 53, helped by eight boundaries.
The right-hander mistimed a drive against Ojha to be caught at mid-wicket by Gautam Gambhir.
Ojha then dismissed Kane Williamson (17) leg before and also got rid of all-rounder James Franklin (eight). – Reuters