KOLKATA (Reuters) - New Zealand paceman Matt Henry celebrated his test return with a two-wicket burst to help reduce India to 57 for three at lunch on the opening day of the second test at Eden Gardens on Friday.
Beaten comprehensively in the series opener in Kanpur, New Zealand's bid to level the three-test series suffered a body blow when their ailing skipper Kane Williamson was ruled out of the contest.
Home captain Virat Kohli's decision to bat in India's 250th home test effectively set up New Zealand's fourth innings battle against the Indian spinners on track which, by then, would have heavily deteriorated.
At the same time, it also afforded the Kiwi pacemen an opportunity to extract whatever life was there in Eden Gardens' green-tinged track and the tourists did not disappoint.
For India, Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 31 at the break with Ajinkya Rahane (two) at the other end.
Once play got underway, opener Shikhar Dhawan failed to justify his return to the Indian side for the injured Lokesh Rahul, chopping a Henry delivery onto his stumps to depart after making just one run.
The 24-year-old paceman, one of three New Zealand changes, struck again in his sixth over with a beautiful delivery which angled into Murali Vijay (nine) and seamed away, kissing the shoulder of the bat before nestling into BJ Watling's gloves.
Henry had been warned for running onto the pitch in the previous delivery and the change of angle clicked for the bowler.
Trent Boult then dismissed Kohli for nine to further peg back the hosts, the Indian captain chasing a wide delivery and Tom Latham taking a sharp catch at gully.
Jeetan Patel, who flew in after off-spinner Mark Craig had been ruled out of the series with a side strain, nearly struck with his third delivery but Pujara's thick edge flew past Watling's gloves.
Pujara was also smacked on the helmet when he tried to duck under a Boult snorter in the penultimate over before the lunch break.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien)