KANPUR, India, Sept 22, 2016 (BSS/AFP) – Opener Lokesh Rahul gave India a solid start against a persistent New Zealand spin attack, with the hosts on 105 for one on the first day of the first Test in Kanpur on Thursday.
With India playing their 500th Test, Rahul (32) and Murali Vijay struck a 42-run opening stand to lay a solid foundation for the hosts after they won the toss and elected to bat.
Vijay (39) and Cheteshwar Pujara (34) then stitched together an unbeaten 63-run partnership for the second wicket at lunch.
In-form Rahul, who has made three centuries in eight Test matches, started swiftly by hitting pace bowler Trent Boult for two boundaries in the first over of the innings.
Rahul’s 39-ball stay was laced with four fours and a six before being caught behind off Mitchell Santner.
Vijay and Pujara steadied against New Zealand’s three spinners led by Santner, before striking nine boundaries between them, as they entertained the raucous home crowd at Kanpur’s Green Park.
A host of former Indian Test captains including Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were among those in the crowd to celebrate the milestone match.