New Zealand seamer Kyle Jamieson accepted neither side have taken control of the World Test Championship final after leading the Black Caps efforts in the field against India on day two.
The rivals were making up for lost time after Friday’s play was washed out and while both were able to show off some of the skills that brought them head-to-head at the Ageas Bowl, there has yet to be a decisive blow.
India bossed the first hour after being put in to bat, but looked distinctly vulnerable at 88 for three after Cheteshwar Pujara joined openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in the pavilion.
Captain Virat Kohli proved a tougher nut to crack and his steadfast approach to his innings helped steer India back to a more secure position as he and Ajinkya Rahane’s partnership ushered the score to 146 for three before bad light intervened.
With Kohli unbeaten on 44 from 124 deliveries and Rahane backing him on 29no, India will still harbour hopes of a sizeable total while also being a couple of quick wickets away from trouble.
Jamieson looked the bowler most likely to cause them problems, conceding just 14 runs in as many overs and taking the first wicket to fall when he suckered Rohit with an outswinger.
“It’s probably pretty even at the moment. It was a pretty good day of Test cricket,” he said.
“We know they are a quality line-up from one to 11 and there is a reason why they have been one of the top teams in the world for a very long time. For us, as a unit, it was about keeping the ball in the right areas for long periods. I think we were able to do that for the most part so we’ll certainly take a lot of confidence out of that moving into day three.
“The plan was to stick around outside off and credit to them, they played pretty well. But I think we were able to keep things relatively restricted and grabbed three important wickets as well.”
India batting coach Vikram Rathour gave his charges a passing grade for their efforts, which relied on caution and rigour more than expansive flourishes.
“A lot of discipline was shown today but there was a lot of intent to score runs as well,” he said.
“Kohli and Rahane batted well, but I would give a lot of credit to Rohit and Gill as well because they started off really well.
“They were challenging conditions when we started. We lost the toss and it was overcast all day, so credit to all the batters. They showed a lot of restraint and a lot of discipline. We handled it pretty well.”