Rohit Sharma hit 58 runs to steady the boat for India with Ajinkya Rahane for company, getting the team to 130/4 before bad light stopped play on day two of the first Test at the Eden Park in Auckland.
India were in all kinds of trouble, having lost the top four for just 51 runs.
Chasing 503, India lost two top order batsmen to Trent Boult in the very first over. Boult first took Shikhar Dhawan for a duck who tried to play it towards leg with hard hands but ended up giving a catch to gully. Cheteshwar Pujara (1) left on the last ball of the over, fishing for a ball way outside the off stump.
A few overs later, Tim Southee opened his account, removing Virat Kohli (4). Beaten by the bounce, Kohli edged to the slip. Virat was sure he had not edged it and stood his ground but Hot Spot reviews showed it did tounch his right glove.
Rohit Sharma (58*) and Murali Vijay (22) were at the crease trying to steady the boat. The two played relatively sensibly, playing genuine cricketing strokes to get their boundaries and also rotating the strike to keep the scorecard ticking.
But disaster struck on the second over afer tea when Vijay fell. Wagner, bowling from far end of the crease, angled one in. Vijay presented a straight defensive bat but it beat the outside edge to dislodge the bails.
Rahane (18) and Sharma then came together to stitch together a partnership of 64 runs.
Ishant bags six wikcets
When the hosts resumed batting on day two, Ishant Sharma gave the visitors a strong start, picking up six wickets and while Ravindra Jadeja took a brilliant catch to end the New Zealand innings at 503.
READ: Day 1 of the first Test
India started the post lunch session well, with Ishant completeing his first five wicket haul since 2011. Ish Sodhi (23) poked at a length delivery just outside his off stump for Rohit Sharma to take a sharp catch in the slip cordon.
After being brutalised by McCullum, Jadeja got a bit of reliev the next over. Neil Wagner (0) expected the ball to turn and it didn't, leaving Virat Kohli to take a lovely catch at slip.
McCullum threw caution to the wind and went for the shots after that and he survived quite a few near chances. A pull brushed past Ajinkya Rahane's fingertips for a six, Rohit Sharma missed a sure run out chance by failing to hit the stumps and a top edge went begging with 'keeper MS Dhoni and the fielder at fine leg messing up the call for the ball.
Finally the Kiwi captain's luck ran out when Jadeja took a brilliant catch in the deep, throwing the ball up and then coming back from beyond the boundary to take the catch. This was Ishant's sixth.
In the morning, poor bowling from the Indians and ruthless batting from the Kiwis saw the hosts put up a huge 473/7 at lunch.
New Zealand had finished day one one 394/4 with Corey Anderson and McCullum (202*) at the crease. The first session on day two was completely New Zealand's, with 144 runs cominf off 24 overs.
Ishant Sharma was the first to draw blood, snaring Anderson (77) leg before. The decision from umpire Steve Davis left McCullum at the non striker's end bemused, as it was missing both in line and height.
In his next over, Sharma took his match tally to four when BJ Watling played a lazy shot, trying to drive a wide hal volley far away from his body and edging it to third slip.
Mohammed Shami too was rewarded for his hard work with the wicket of Tim Southee, who fell trying to go across the wicket to make room for himself but ended up losing his leg stump.
Commentary, India First Innings:
Commentary, New Zealand First Innings: