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Black Caps face mountainous task in Indore

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/10/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">Recalled Black Caps allrounder Jimmy Neesham was searching for positives after India claimed early control of the third Test.</span> © Getty Images Recalled Black Caps allrounder Jimmy Neesham was searching for positives after India claimed early control of the third Test. Keeping India's run rate down was a small consolation for New Zealand, who find themselves firmly on the back foot early in the third and final Test against India in Indore.

For the third successive Test, the Black Caps were sent into the field after losing the toss, an immediate blow to their hopes of securing victory in a series which is already lost.

India's batsmen then sucked further spirit out of the visitors, reaching 267-3 by stumps on day one, with captain Virat Kohli (103 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (79 not out) having put on 167 for the fourth wicket.

Recalled allrounder Jimmy Neesham admits the Test threatens to get away from New Zealand unless they can generate more penetration on the second day at Holkar Cricket Stadium.

"Ajinkya and Virat batted pretty well over the second half of the day and you'd have to say it was India's honours in the end," he said.

"For the seamers especially it was tough work out there with not a lot of bounce and certainly no lateral movement. If you can't get the ball reverse swinging, it's obviously very difficult with the quality of batsmen that they have so keeping the run rate below three for the whole day was a good achievement."

Neesham replaced seamer Neil Wagner in one of two changes from the side who lost the second Test by 178 runs in Kolkata. Captain Kane Williamson returned from illness to replace Henry Nicholls.

Spinners Jeetan Patel (1-65) and Mitchell Santner (1-53) both claimed a wicket early in their spells while Neesham came through 11 tight overs (0-27) in encouraging physical fashion after battling injury over the last nine months.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 41 before being bowled by a brilliant delivery from Santner, warned the hosts are intent on batting New Zealand out of the Test.

"If this partnership grows it will be even better for us because they will have to stay that much longer in the field," he said.

"And if, from day three, the ball starts turning more, then it will be useful for us."

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