Dhoni And Harbhajan Revive India In Wellington
India 375-9 (Tendulkar 62, Harbhajan Singh 60, Martin 3-95) v
Third Test, Wellington, day one: stumps
Vital half-centuries from fit-again captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh enabled India to close day one of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Wellington.
Dhoni (52) and Harbhajan (60) came together with India on 204 for six after they had been put in by New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and they added 79 runs for the seventh wicket.
Vettori's gamble of putting India in appeared to be backfiring when Virender Sehwag (48) and Gautam Gambhir (23) scorched their way to 73 in 15.3 overs before Sehwag was caught behind off of Iain O'Brien.
Two runs later Gambhir, who batted for 11 hours in one innings in Napier, was trapped in front by James Franklin but the first substantial partnership of the day followed between Rahul Dravid (35) and Sachin Tendulkar (62).
They added 90 before India lost three wickets for 17 runs with Tendulkar, VVS Laxman (4) and Yuvraj Singh (9) all falling in quick succession to Martin, recalled Tim Southee and Jesse Ryder.
Dravid's wicket put New Zealand on top but Dhoni, who hit six fours and a six, and Harbhajan, who hit seven fours and a six, counter-attacked in style and with Zaheer Khan also chipping in with 33 in 23 balls, India cruised past 300 and made it past 350 once Zaheer was caught behind off O'Brien thanks to a last-wicket partnership that currently stands at 28 with Ishant Sharma unbeaten on 15 and Munaf Patel on 14.
Southee capped a useful return by taking two for 94 while Martin, with three for 95 was the most successful bowler as O'Brien closed with two for 88.
Dhoni replaced Dinesh Karthik as India were otherwise unchanged while fast bowler Southee replaced off-spinner Jeetan Patel and Daniel Flynn, back after a hand injury, came back into the side with Jamie How missing out.
India lead the series 1-0 after a ten-wicket win in Hamilton and a draw in Napier.
© Cricket World 2009