Vijay, Pujara look steady as India reach 105/1 at lunch

Kanpur: India recovered from the early dismissal of opener Lokesh Rahul to post 105/1 at lunch on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand here on Thursday. Murali Vijay (39) and Cheteshwar Pujara (34) were at the crease at the break.  Vijay had smashed four boundaries in his 89-ball innings while Pujara had notched up five hits to the fence during his 58-ball stay in the middle. Rahul scored at a decent rate, posting 32 runs off 39 deliveries. His innings was studded with four boundaries and a six. Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner (1-33) was the only Kiwi bolwer to bag a wicket in the morning session.  The rest of the Kiwi bowlers, including Trent Boult (0-17), Neil Wagner (0-15), Mark Craig (0-29) and Inderbir Singh Sodhi (0-11) toiled without reward under hot and humid conditions. New Zealand pacers Boult and Wagner produced appreciable swing and movement off the pitch, but were unable to outfox the Indian batsmen. The Indians started off on a positive note with Rahul hitting Boult for a couple of boundaries in the very first over of the series. The New Zealand pacers recovered thereafter to restrict the flow of runs to some extent. Rahul however, continued to target Boult, hitting a couple of consecutive boundaries off the pacer in the seventh over. The opener swept Santner for a six in the 11th over, but the spinner had his revenge off the very next ball when Rahul misread an outgoing delivery.  Pujara then joined Vijay in the middle and the duo negotiated the New Zealand bowling with skill and patience to ensure that the hosts went into the lunch break without further loss of wickets. Earlier, Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat in the first Test of the three match series against New Zealand at the Green Park Stadium here. India are contesting their historic 500th Test. The hosts are playing with six batsmen, two fast bowlers and two spinners while the visiting New Zealand are playing with three spinners and two fast bowlers. India have played 14 Tests under Kohli's captaincy so far, winning 10 of those. The hosts will be eager to register their 11th win under Kohli and make the historic 500th Test a memorable one for their fans. Brief scores:  India 105/1 (Murali Vijay 39 batting, Cheteshwar Pujara 34 batting; Mitchell Santner 1/33) vs New Zealand.