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Guptill leads N. Zealand reply against India

India (AFP):  Opener Matin Guptill struck form with a gritty half-century to lead New Zealand’s reply against India as the visitors took lunch at 125 for 1 on day three of the third Test in Indore Monday.

The Black Caps, who started the day on 28 without loss in response to India’s 557 for 5 declared, still trail the hosts by 432 runs in their first innings.

Guptill (59), who shared a 118-run opening stand with Tom Latham, and skipper Kane Williamson (3) were the not out batsmen.

Guptill, who had managed only 58 runs in his previous four innings, batted with positive intent to smash eight fours and two sixes during his 120-ball stay.

He had a let-off on 21 when he was dropped by Ajinkya Rahane at gully off Mohammed Shami.

Spin was introduced in the 11th over of the day with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin brought in from either end to unsettle the left/right-hand batting combination.

The batting duo did well to tackle the Indian spinners with an aggressive approach, but Ashwin’s persistence paid off with Latham’s wicket.

Off-spinner Ashwin got Latham caught and bowled for 53 to break the century stand before lunch.

India skipper Virat Kohli, recorded his second double-century in Tests, scoring 211 during India’s mammoth first innings, and sharing a record 365-run fourth-wicket stand with Ajinkya Rahane (188) at Indore’s Holkar Stadium.

The tourists are looking to avoid a 3-0 series whitewash after losing the first two Test.