Thrilling finale in prospect at Bangalore
Ravichandran Ashwin took another five-wicket haul as India set up an intriguing climax to the second Test by limiting New Zealand to a lead of 244 with just one second-innings wicket remaining on day three in Bangalore.
After India had conceded a first-innings deficit of 12, Ashwin took 5-69 off 22 overs as the Black Caps lost batsmen at regular intervals to be reduced to 232 for nine, with James Franklin’s 41 the top score.
Earlier, Virat Kohli completed his second five-day century in a 122-run stand with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who contributed 62, before Ashwin’s unbeaten 32 lifted the hosts to 353.
Tim Southee claimed Test-best figures of 7-64 - the most impressive return by a Kiwi in India.
Southee accounted for four of the five wickets to fall in a devastating spell this morning as India added only 70 to their overnight score.
Kohli went to three figures but was trapped lbw by Southee just three runs later, while Dhoni departed in identical fashion soon after.
Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha did not last long, edging Southee's short deliveries to wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk, before Trent Boult cleaned up last man Umesh Yadav.
Yadav soon got to work with the ball, making his first breakthrough immediately after lunch with an in-swinging full toss that Martin Guptill somehow inside-edged onto his stumps.
In his next over, Yadav got Brendon McCullum to edge a delivery to Dhoni before Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson shared a 38-run partnership in 10 overs.
Ashwin removed Williamson in his opening set of six, leaving Taylor and Daniel Flynn to rebuild before the former was trapped lbw, on the sweep, by Ojha.
Flynn and James Franklin were comfortable in the middle and looked to be taking the match away from India, but Ashwin had Flynn caught by Virender Sehwag at first slip.
While the hosts had an opening to take control of the match, Franklin and van Wyk were defiant and added 55 to put their team in a strong position.
But Ashwin accounted for Franklin and Southee before Ojha removed Doug Bracewell as New Zealand lost three wickets for just 27 runs to leave the Test on an even keel.