India's Shubman Gill (right) is congratulated by Cheteshwar Pujara after reaching 50 on the first morning against New Zealand in Kanpur
New Delhi (AFP) - Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee led a spirited New Zealand fightback after lunch on the first day of the opening Test, taking two wickets in quick succession to leave India 154-4 at tea.
Debutant Shreyas Iyer was unbeaten at 17 off 55 balls with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja at six, in the heavily polluted industrial city of Kanpur.
Jamieson, the sharpest of all Black Caps bowlers, finished the session with three wickets in 14.2 overs giving away only 38 runs.
Shubman Gill, who looked promising at unbeaten 52 off 93 balls going into lunch, could not add to the score and was bowled by Jamieson in the first over after the break to leave India 82-2.
This was Jamieson’s second, after opener Mayank Agarwal who edged him to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell in the eighth over after a scratchy 13 runs off 28 balls.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson re-introduced Southee in the 38th over of the innings and the veteran removed a well-set Cheteshwar Pujara off his fourth ball.
Pujara’s dismissal after an innings of 26 left India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane at the crease with the incoming Iyer, the last specialist batsman before bowling all-rounders.
Iyer came in with India at 106-3 and they built a 39-run partnership before Rahane become Jamieson’s third scalp.
Thursday began without a rested Rohit Sharma and an injured KL Rahul.
Pujara had been watchful on a pitch that offered some variable bounce while Gill hit five fours and a six in his free-flowing innings.
Williamson picked two specialist spinners – Ajaz Patel and William Somerville – and a spinning all-rounder Rachin Ravindra for Kanpur.
Patel bowled his left-arm spin for 15 wicketless overs that cost 56 runs.
Off-spinner Somerville was introduced in the 18th over and bowled a tidy 13-over spell for 28 runs.
The 22-year-old Ravindra, one of two debutants in the match alongside India’s Shreyas Iyer, got to bowl for the first time in the 25th over with the ball already gripping and turning on the slow first-day pitch.
Rahane too packed his side with three specialist spinners in Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
Pollution cast a hazy pall over the ground, with levels of the most harmful PM2.5 microparticles reaching more than 19 times the World Health Organization’s recommended daily maximum, according to monitoring company IQAir.