Kohli helps India rebuild in WTC final

India captain Virat Kohli has tackled a rebuilding job for his team, steering them to 3-120 by tea on the first day in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

Trent Boult dismissed the dour Cheteshwar Pujara after lunch on Saturday before Kohli, on 35 at tea, combined with deputy Ajinkya Rahane to try to shore up the innings.

Rahane did not look entirely convincing against the moving ball and was on 13 when fading light forced an early break for tea.

After persistent rain washed out the entire opening day on Friday, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson unsurprisingly elected to put India into bat after winning the toss.

Under an overcast sky, India scored 69 but lost both their set openers in an evenly-balanced morning session.

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill raised 62 for the opening partnership, negating the moving ball by standing outside the crease.

But Kyle Jamieson brought the flourishing stand to an end with a delivery to Rohit that swung late.

Rohit, having made a fluent 34, left his bat hanging and Tim Southee dived to his right to pouch the outside edge at third slip.

Neil Wagner was introduced late in the session, and the left-arm quick struck with his third delivery, dismissing Gill caught behind for 28.

Pujara took 36 balls to get off the mark and, like Gill earlier in the match, was smacked on the helmet grille by a rising delivery which sent his neck guard flying.

Pujara made eight before Boult swung one back in to trap him lbw.

Both teams stuck to their strength with India picking both their spinners — Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja — and New Zealand opting for an all-seam attack.

Organisers have allocated a reserve day to make up for lost time.

The one-off match marks the culmination of a two-year cycle of the inaugural WTC, launched in 2019 to create a pinnacle event for Test cricket.

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