Day 3 was moving day again in this India vs New Zealand series as the hosts took control of the proceedings thanks to a nice half-century from Rohit Sharma. Even if they might have a sizeable lead, India have a lot of work still left to do if they are to seal the series 2-0 with a victory in this second Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
After seeing their top and middle order collapse in a heap, India needed a rescue act from somewhere, and Rohit did just that, courtesy a sparkling 82. That innings, coupled with Wriddhiman Saha's patient and unbeaten 39, allowed India to a score of 227/8 from 106/6, with the lead, at the moment, at 339.
With the Eden Gardens wicket still a difficult one to play on for the batsmen, that lead already looks pretty handy, but Saha and the No.10 and No.11 – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami – will want to add a few more runs on Day 4 morning.
Saha has been outstanding with the bat in this Test match, scoring a half-century in the first innings and then putting on a crucial partnership with Rohit when India were in trouble.
Now, the wicketkeeper-batsman will be expected to tonk a few in the morning to take that lead to as high as Virat Kohli desires, considering time is not a problem in this Test match.
And when India are bowled out or do declare, it will be about how well the bowlers fare. The pacers, particularly Bhuvneshwar, were impressive in the first innings, and with this wicket being a bit of a new ball pitch, the onus will be on the fast bowlers to rattle the New Zealand top order.
Because if they don't, the pressure will fall on the spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and while this will now be a day four wicket, there are still not too many signs of the slower bowlers really dominating with the ball.
Mitchell Santner picked up three of the eight wickets in the India second innings, but that was more a result of top-quality accurate bowling, and one daft shot from Jadeja, than the wicket doing crazy things.
Getting the new ball talking will be key if India are to snuffle the New Zealand batting lineup out and move in on a win.
Where to Watch Live
India: TV: Star Sports 1/HD1 and Star Sports 3/HD3. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 3. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 3. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
US and Canada: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
Middle East: TV: OSN Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Live.