On a fourth day pitch, which has turn, Ravichandran Ashwin will always be a dangerous bowler, and the off-spinner showcased his skills in the third session of Day 4, picking up three wickets. New Zealand, who need 434 runs to win the first Test at Green Park, will have a tough final day if they are to even manage a draw as the visitors' have already lost four wickets for 93 runs.
The fourth day of the Test match proved to be fruitful for India as they looked better in all departments of the game. Virat Kohli was the lone failure with the bat as his team, which had started Day 4 on 159/1, compiled 377 runs in the second innings before the skipper decided to have a crack at the New Zealand batsmen.
Cheteshwar Pujara was the highest run-scorer for India with 78 runs, while Murali Vijay also scored 170-ball 76. Rohit Sharma played some delightful strokes in his innings of 68 runs, showing signs of coming back into form. When Kohli declared, Rohit was 68 not out.
Kohli decided to open the bowling with Mohammed Shami and Ashwin, with the latter starting brilliantly.
After Ashwin dismissed Martin Guptill and Tom Latham in the fourth over, it was always going to be difficult for the New Zealand batsmen. Skipper Kane Williamson handled Ashwin decently, and scored some important runs, but the off-spinner's brilliance was too much for the right-hander, who was trapped leg before. Williamson, thus, became Ashwin's 200 Test victim as well.
The Black Caps were in further trouble as Taylor was run out by Umesh Yadav as well.
With New Zealand in all sorts of problems, Luke Ronchi, who is one of the best players of spin in the Black Caps' batting line up, decided to take an aggressive approach. Ronchi also managed to hit Ashwin for a four and a six with some positive cricket.
New Zealand went into stumps, score reading 93/4, and they need another 341 runs on the final day to win the 500th Test. Night watchman Mitchell Santner and Ronchi will start Day 5 for New Zealand on Monday. To be fair, India are in the driver's seat, and if Ashwin gets his A game going on the final day, the home team might not take much time to take 1-0 lead.