Battling New Zealand peg back India after lunch

New Zealand claimed three wickets in the second session to halt India's progress, reducing the hosts to 185 for four at tea on the opening day of the first test on Thursday.

Ajinkya Rahane (12) and Rohit Sharma (nought) will have a rebuilding job on their hands when they return following the break after a century stand between Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara had boosted home hopes of a strong first innings total.

After skipper Virat Kohli had opted to bat in India's 500th test, Lokesh Rahul and Vijay gave the hosts a decent start.

Rahul's last three innings across all formats had yielded two centuries and a fifty and the right-hander, chosen ahead of Shikhar Dhawan, dominated his 42-run stand with fellow opener Vijay.

The 24-year-old hit four boundaries, and a six off Mitchell Santner, before offering a faint edge to wicketkeeper BJ Watling in the left-arm spinner's second over.

Pujara (62) then joined forces with Vijay (65) to prop up the innings, the duo adding 112 runs for the second wicket and rarely looking in discomfort against the visitors.

They brought up their individual fifties in successive overs before Santner separated them by inducing Pujara to pop a return catch to the left-arm spinner.

Neil Wagner then struck a body blow when he induced Kohli (nine) into attempting a pull shot early in his innings, only for the skipper to top edge a catch to Ish Sodhi at square leg.

India-born Sodhi, one of the three Kiwi spinners picked for a test where slow bowlers are expected to dominate, dismissed Vijay just before tea with Watling holding on to another faint edge.