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Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane leave the field on day two of the Test Championship final
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane leave the field on day two of the Test Championship final

Virat Kohli was nearing a half-century when bad light stopped play in the World Test Championship final as India's captain led a recovery against New Zealand.

Day one of the showpiece was lost to rain and the players were met with gloomy, overcast conditions in Southampton for day two.

Such surroundings naturally suited New Zealand's pace attack, with the Black Caps, fresh off a 1-0 series win over England, reducing India to 88-3.

But, as he has done so often throughout his career, Kohli lifted India, reaching 44 not out with a disciplined innings that featured just one four before the fading light forced the players off.

India were 146-3 when stumps were called, a score that may have been deemed underwhelming after Rohit Sharma (34) and Shubman Gill put on 62 for the opening wicket.

Yet the continually impressive Kyle Jamieson broke that stand with a full delivery that drew a thick edge from Rohit.

New Zealand applied the pressure and just one run had been added when Gill's stay at the crease was ended with Neil Wagner's third delivery, which saw the opener caught behind for 28.

Kohli steadied the ship, but Cheteshwar Pujara, having slashed a four through backward point and then creamed another through the covers, eventually succumbed to a vintage delivery from Trent Boult, whose inswinger trapped him in front.

However, the India skipper found a partner with staying power in Ajinkya Rahane, who found the rope four times in his unbeaten 29 before the light meters returned a result that stopped their progress cold.


PUJARA'S POOR FORM PERSISTS

With his dismissal for eight, Pujara has failed to score more than 21 runs in each of his past six innings. He has scores of 15, 21, seven, none, 17 and eight since his first-innings 73 against England in Chennai in February. The 33-year-old is out of form and it is fair to wonder whether he will keep his place with a series against England on the horizon.

WILL SPOILS BE SHARED?

Had this game been played a week earlier, there would have been no doubt of a result as England was bathed in sunshine. Now, even with the prospect of using a reserve day, it is questionable whether there will be enough play to deliver a result, with rain forecast on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The final could turn into a non-event, and there is an increasing likelihood the teams will share the Test Championship mace.

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