Trent Boult's lower-order runs and three vital wickets catapulted New Zealand into a commanding position against India on day three of the first Test.

The left-arm swing bowler clubbed 38 from 24 balls to help the Black Caps post 348 following valuable contributions from Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Kyle Jamieson (44) at Basin Reserve on Sunday.

India, who managed a paltry 165 in the first innings, trailed by 183 runs when Ishant Sharma (5-68) ended Boult's cameo and their headaches grew before the close of play.

Boult removed Prithvi Shaw (14), Cheteshwar Pujara (11) and Virat Kohli (19), while Tim Southee strangled Mayank Agarwal down the leg side for 58 as the tourists battled to 144-4, still 39 runs behind.

India had looked set for a brighter day in Wellington after Jasprit Bumrah extracted an edge from BJ Watling with the first ball of the opening over, after New Zealand had resumed on 216-5.

Southee lasted 14 deliveries before falling to Ishant, which brought debutant Jamieson to the crease.

The towering quick, who claimed four wickets in India's innings, proved there is more than one string to his bow as he hammered four sixes in an entertaining 45-ball knock.

Jamieson and the more measured De Grandhomme combined for 71 runs before departing within five overs of each other, Ravichandran Ashwin (3-99) striking on both occasions.

Number 11 Boult blasted the Black Caps further ahead and then made inroads into India's top order, his short ball drawing Shaw into an edge behind in the eighth over of India's second dig.

Pujara crawled to 11 runs until his concentration failed on the final ball of the second session - his 81st at the crease - with the batsman made to pay for shouldering arms to a full Boult delivery that seamed in and plucked out the off stump.

Kohli's advice prompted opener Agarwal to waste a review on a thin edge off Southee before the India captain gave wicketkeeper Watling his second catch and Boult his third wicket.

Dropping the anchor allowed Ajinkya Rahane (25) and Hanuma Vihari (15) to reach the close unbeaten but New Zealand appear well-placed to take a 1-0 series lead with two days remaining.

Kane Williamson fell short of a century as New Zealand earned a 51-run lead but India struck back with late wickets on day two of the opening Test.

New Zealand captain Williamson scored 89 runs to help the Black Caps to 216-5 against touring India at stumps in Wellington on Saturday.

But India claimed three wickets during the final session – including the scalp of Williamson – to regain some ground before bad light stopped play after New Zealand threatened to surge clear.

The opening day at Basin Reserve was ended by rain on Friday, with India reduced to 122-5 through just 55 overs due to wet weather.

New Zealand debutant Kyle Jamieson (4-39) starred on day one and he was among the wickets again as India were bowled out for 165 before lunch on Saturday – Virat Kohli's visitors losing 43-5.

Rishabh Pant (19) and Ajinkya Rahane (46) returned to the crease attempting to revive India's flagging innings but an awful mix-up and a stunning piece of fielding from Ajax Patel sparked the Black Caps.

Pant was left high and dry following Patel's direct hit and the wickets kept tumbling for India as New Zealand paceman Tim Southee took centre stage with figures of 4-49.

Southee dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin (0) first ball and then secured the prized wicket of Rahane before sending Mohammed Shami back to the pavilion for 21, while Jamieson had Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind.

The Black Caps navigated a tricky period prior to lunch with the bat, but opener Tom Latham (11) soon fell victim to Sharma (3-31) and the latter then skittled Tom Blundell (30) to leave New Zealand 73-2.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, however, combined for a valuable 93-run partnership to lead the hosts to 166-3 before Sharma removed Taylor just six runs shy of a half-century.

Black Caps skipper Williamson, who posted his 32nd Test fifty, was 11 runs short of another ton after slicing a Shami (1-61) delivery to substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja.

One more wicket fell as stumps approached, Henry Nicholls sent packing by Ashwin (1-60) as BJ Watling (14 not out) and Colin de Grandhomme (4 not out) ended the day unbeaten in the middle.

New Zealand dominated the start of the first Test against India before the opening day was ended by rain in Wellington.

On debut, Kyle Jamieson (3-38) starred after the Black Caps decided to bowl first at Basin Reserve on Friday.

Virat Kohli (2) was among the 25-year-old paceman's scalps as India were reduced to 122-5 before rain led to an early stumps with just 55 overs bowled.

Ajinkya Rahane (38 not out) top-scored for India and was unbeaten alongside Rishabh Pant (10) as the tourists were left with work to do.

New Zealand needed just five overs to capitalise on the bowler-friendly conditions.

Tim Southee (1-27) got some movement away, hitting Prithvi Shaw's off-stump to dismiss the opener for 16.

The Black Caps continued to cause problems before Jamieson claimed his first Test wicket, Cheteshwar Pujara (11) edging through to BJ Watling.

Jamieson then struck a huge blow by removing Kohli, Ross Taylor – playing his 100th Test – taking a catch at first slip to leave India at 40-3.

Mayank Agarwal and Rahane managed to steady India heading into lunch, but they were slowed by the Black Caps after the break.

Trent Boult (1-44) dropped a return chance off Agarwal before getting his first wicket two balls later, Jamieson taking a catch at long leg.

Jamieson's incredible day continued as Hanuma Vihari (7) edged behind to Watling to leave India at 101-5.

Rahane and Pant got to tea before the rain arrived, ending a strong day for New Zealand.

Virat Kohli is expecting to play all three forms of international cricket for the next three years, at which point he will re-evaluate his workload.

The 31-year-old India captain, who is preparing to lead his side in the first of two Test matches against New Zealand on Friday, feels the topic of player workloads at the highest level of cricket is not going to go away.

For Kohli, occasional breaks from India duty, such as when he was rested for the T20I matches against Bangladesh in November, are his best way of coping with what he feels are intense demands.

"I think it's been eight or nine years that I have been playing almost 300 days a year with the travelling and practice sessions," Kohli told reporters before the opening Test in Wellington.

"The intensity is right up there all the time, so it does take a toll on you. 

"We do choose to take a lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you to. 

"You are going to see a lot of that in the future from many players. Not just myself, especially from the guys who are playing all three formats. It's not that easy.

"Periodic breaks for me seems to work pretty okay. At a time when the body doesn't respond as well, maybe when I am 34 or 35, you might have a different conversation at that stage. 

"But, for the next two to three years, I have no issues at all. So the mindset is on the larger picture, and from that point, I am preparing myself for a rigorous three years from now."

The responsibilities of being captain are an added pressure for Kohli, who is the world's highest ranked batsman in Test and ODI cricket.

The 31-year-old added: "Being captain, having intensity in practice sessions and discussing the game, it does take a toll on you.

"I can keep going on with the same intensity and I also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution so that we can ease into another transition phase that we faced some five or six years ago."

India have won the last five Test series they have played, though they come into the New Zealand games on the back of a mixed limited-overs slate.

New Zealand triumphed 3-0 in the ODI series after India had stormed to a 5-0 victory in the T20Is between the two nations.

Kane Williamson praised the way New Zealand handled the pressure after his depleted side completed an ODI series sweep over India with a five-wicket win at the Bay Oval.

The Black Caps' attack – minus Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, as well as Matt Henry and Adam Milne – restricted India to 296-7 in the third and final game, despite a century from KL Rahul.

Martin Guptill (66) and Henry Nicholls (80) gave the hosts a sound platform in their reply, sharing an opening stand of 106, and despite a mid-innings wobble, Colin de Grandhomme smashed an unbeaten 58 to see his team home with 17 balls to spare.

Captain Williamson was particularly pleased with the way New Zealand fought hard with the ball, Hamish Bennett claiming 4-64, to restrict their opponents, India having at one stage reached 162-3 during the 31st over.

"As you know on some of these surfaces with some short boundaries, the job of the bowlers is so important," Williamson said during the post-match press conference. "They also operated nicely in partnerships and we were able to hold our nerve in key moments.

"Today was a great example. Once again, we were put under pressure by India, but we were able to have a really good death phase, which helped us keep India to about a par total.

"A lot of positives in different areas, so it's an opportunity to build on this series and keep moving forward as an ODI side."

Opposite number Virat Kohli admitted India had been second best throughout the 50-over games, a dramatic reversal after they had won 5-0 in the Twenty20 series.

"With the ball we were not able to make enough breakthroughs. And in the field as well, we were not good at all," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.

"We didn't deserve to be on the winning side at all in the series. [We] haven't played so badly, but if you don't grab your chances at this level then teams are going to hurt you."

The focus for both nations now turns to Test cricket, with a two-match series beginning at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on February 21.

Williamson was able to provide a positive update on injured duo Boult and Ferguson, saying: "[I'm] Expecting all of those guys to be fit for the first Test and they're all tracking nicely."

India have been fined 80 per cent of their match fee for a slow over-rate in a high-scoring ODI defeat to New Zealand at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

The tourists were four overs short of their target after time allowances were taken into consideration during the Black Caps' second-highest successful run chase in the 50-over format.

India captain Virat Kohli pleaded guilty to a sanction imposed by match referee Chris Broad, so a formal hearing was not required in Hamilton.

Ross Taylor made a magnificent unbeaten 109 not out and stand-in captain Tom Latham smashed a rapid 69 as the Black Caps ended a run of eight consecutive defeats with a four-wicket victory in their first game of the three-match series.

Shreyas Iyer (103) earlier struck a maiden international century and KL Rahul blasted an unbeaten 88 from 64 balls in India's 347-4, but New Zealand reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

Kohli said: "It was an outstanding performance by New Zealand, they batted outstandingly well. We thought 347 was good enough, but Ross is an experienced batsman and Tom's innings was the one that took away the momentum.

"Credit to Taylor and Tom. The opposition played better than us and they deserved to win. I think the debutants [Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal] gave us a good start and hopefully they continue.

"Iyer was outstanding getting his first ODI hundred under pressure, KL again. These are positives for us."

Ross Taylor hit an unbeaten century as New Zealand pulled off their second-highest successful ODI run chase to beat India by four wickets and end an eight-match losing streak.

The Black Caps started the three-match ODI series at Seddon Park on Wednesday smarting from a 5-0 Twenty20 whitewash at the hands of India and had captain Kane Williamson among a string of absentees due to injury. 

New Zealand's hopes of stopping the rot, which started with a 3-0 Test series loss to Australia, looked slim when India posted 347-4 after being put in by stand-in skipper Tom Latham.

Shreyas Iyer (103) scored a maiden international hundred and KL Rahul blasted six sixes in an unbeaten 88 from only 64 balls after Virat Kohli (51) made yet another half-century.

New Zealand made light work of chasing down such a huge target, Taylor (109 not out) crafting a 21st ODI century to get them home with 11 balls to spare in their first match in the 50-over format since a heartbreaking Cricket World Cup final defeat to England.

Henry Nicholls (78) and Latham (69) also made contributions in a stunning victory, with head coach Gary Stead not present to witness it after taking a "pre-planned" break.

The tourists - missing the injured Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - lost ODI debutants Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal in quick succession after an opening stand of 50.

New Zealand had a long wait for another breakthrough, though, as Iyer and Kohli put India on their way to posting a big total, the skipper hitting six boundaries in an effortless knock before he was bowled by Ish Sodhi.

Iyer struggled for fluency, but started to take more risks after he and Kohli put on 102, with Rahul at his explosive best in a brutal onslaught as India piled on the runs.

Rahul set about Sodhi and Tim Southee with a magnificent display of timing and power, while Iyer had his first hundred after being dropped by Colin de Grandhomme on 83.

Southee finally ended Iyer's knock to halt a partnership of 136, but Rahul and Kedar Jadhav (26 not out off 15) added another 55 off only 27 balls.

Nicholls and Martin Guptill set the platform for the run chase with an opening stand of 85 before the latter ramped Shardul Thakur to Jadhav and Tom Blundell was stumped off Kuldeep for only nine in his first ODI innings. 

The in-form Nicholls was in great touch as he coasted to another half-century and Taylor clattered Jasprit Bumrah for six over midwicket with disdain.

Kohli swooped to run Nicholls out, but Taylor raised his bat for a 45-ball half-century and Latham signalled his intent from the start as he and the former skipper made it advantage New Zealand. 

Shardul was smashed for 22 in the 40th over and Taylor celebrated an imperious hundred off only 73 balls after Latham lofted the expensive Kuldeep (2-84) to Mohammed Shami at long-on.

Jimmy Neesham and de Grandhomme failed to hang around following that stand of 138 between Lathan and Taylor, but the number four was still there to hit the winning runs in the penultimate over.

Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal will open for India in the ODI series against New Zealand after Rohit Sharma was ruled out for the rest of the tour.

Agarwal was called up to the Test squad on Tuesday after Rohit suffered a tour-ending calf injury.

Shaw was also named in the 16-man Test squad along with Ishant Sharma, although the paceman's participation depends on whether he recovers from an ankle injury.

Fit-again Jasprit Bumrah was also included for two Tests that will come after a three-match ODI series against the Cricket World Cup runners-up, which gets under way at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli confirmed it Shaw and Agarwal will be at the top of the order in the absence of Rohit as India look to maintain their momentum after a 5-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash of New Zealand.

Asked about the possibility of KL Rahul opening in the 50-over format, Kohli - who revealed the team management had asked for another opener to be flown out - replied: "No, we are looking to stick to that same plan.

"It's an unfortunate situation that Rohit can't be a part of this series. In all formats, he's on the list first and the impact he's had is there for everyone to see.

"We don't have any one-day tournaments to look forward to so it's an ideal time for him to go away and rectify this as soon as he can. He played the T20I series, so from the team's balance perspective heading into a World Cup year, it doesn't hamper combinations.

"Prithvi's in the team and will definitely start and whoever the replacement is [Agarwal] - we've asked for an opener. KL will play in the middle-order, we want him to get used to that role at number five and keep as well."

Virat Kohli urged New Zealand to keep Kane Williamson as captain after India swept their T20 international series on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma's 60 and Jasprit Bumrah's brilliant bowling condemned the Black Caps to a seven-run loss at Bay Oval and a sobering 5-0 series defeat, which included two Super Over failures and a string of batting collapses.

New Zealand have now lost eight successive games across all formats, inviting more questions for Williamson after he said he was "open" to a change in leadership following the underwhelming Test tour of Australia.

The 29-year-old, still resting his injured shoulder, was seen speaking with Kohli along the Bay Oval boundary as both batsmen skipped the dead rubber.

The discussion seemed to have a profound effect on the India star, who gave his counterpart a resounding vote of confidence.

"We get along well, we've known each other for a while," Kohli told Sky Sport NZ.

"It's amazing to know that in different parts of the world you're thinking the same things, you're talking the same language and you're headed in the right direction.

"Although the scoreline looks very different for New Zealand, I truly believe New Zealand cricket is in the best hands with Kane and he is the right guy to lead this team and lay out that vision for them, which he has in the past as well.

"Results can't always determine your leadership, but he is the right man and I truly believe that, because I spoke to him today and the way he thinks about life and the game - he's just the perfect, perfect man to lead the side.

"I wish them all the luck and all the power to come back stronger. They're a side everyone loves to watch and play against as well. We just had a very nice conversation and [it's] something that I'll remember."

Tim Southee, New Zealand skipper in Williamson's absence, felt the 5-0 series hammering was unfair on the Black Caps.

"I don't think it's a massive gap," Southee said. "I know the series scoreline suggests that, but I think with the games being reasonably close it's just about doing those small things a little bit better."

The teams have two days to rest before meeting in the first of three ODIs at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

Aaron Finch was run out following a mix-up with Steve Smith as Australia lost the third ODI to India on Saturday and the captain said the pair would discuss it over a beer.

Finch rushed for a single after Smith shot to short third man but the former skipper never fully committed and Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer combined to send the ball to Mohammed Shami, who whipped the bails off at the non-striker's end.

Although Smith went on to score a stunning 131, India limited the tourists to 286-9 in Bengaluru.

Rohit Sharma (119) and Virat Kohli (89) formed a pivotal 137-run partnership and India went on to win by seven wickets with 15 balls remaining, sealing a 2-1 series triumph.

"We haven't discussed it yet, maybe we will tonight over a beer," said Finch of the incident with Smith.

"He played an exceptional knock, he rode the momentum when he had to, controlled the innings at various parts when we'd lose a wicket.

"He really controlled that middle part which was really important to give us a chance at the back end. It was a top knock, real quality."

Australia won a five-match series in India last March 3-2 and Kohli was proud to have atoned for that defeat.

"We just want to go upwards and onwards. Getting one back given that we lost the series at home last year is really satisfying," said Kohli.

"Australia were even better than last time. There's Steve, David [Warner] and Marnus [Labuschagne]. A quality bowling attack, and really intense in the field too.

"We lost the last three in the last series and coming back and winning the last two games after losing the first one, is very satisfying."

Shikhar Dhawan had to leave the field early in Australia's innings and was sent for an X-ray on his left shoulder, which he hurt while diving in the field.

Kohli was proud of how India coped without Dhawan, who could be a doubt for their tour of New Zealand, which begins with the first of five Twenty20 games on Friday.

"We're quite experienced, Rohit and I, and we were short of Shikhar's experience," said Kohli.

"We got a good start. We expect openers of the quality of Rohit and KL [Rahul] to give us starts like that.

"When KL got out it was a tricky situation. The ball was gripping and turning a bit, and this is where experience comes in.

"We [Rohit and Kohli] spoke of stringing together a partnership and all Australia want are wickets and if we don't give them wickets we can chase seven or eight runs an over later on. We have that belief in our skill."

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli delivered sensational performances as they led India to a seven-wicket triumph over Australia, meaning the hosts clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1 despite Steve Smith's century in Bengaluru.

Smith's 131 and 54 from Marnus Labuschagne provided the highlights of Australia's innings after Aaron Finch elected to bat first, but India restricted their opponents to 286-9.

India were hampered by the loss of Shikhar Dhawan for their reply, the opener's shoulder injury casting his participation in the upcoming tour of New Zealand into doubt.

However, once Smith's resistance ended amid a flurry of late wickets, Rohit (119) and Kohli (89) guided their side to an emphatic win, completed with 15 balls to spare.

Dhawan had to leave the field early in Australia's innings and he was duly sent for an x-ray on his left shoulder, which he hurt while diving in the field.

By that stage India already had their tails up, with Mohammed Shami (4-63) having drawn David Warner (3) into a reckless shot outside off that yielded an edge behind to KL Rahul.

India had their second wicket soon after – a mix-up between Smith and Finch resulting in the latter being run out for 19.

Smith, with support from Labuschagne, made up for his mistake, the duo both working their way to half-centuries and propelling Australia to 173-2 midway through the 32nd over.

Ravindra Jadeja claimed the breakthrough wicket, though, with Kohli taking an excellent catch low to his right to dismiss Labuschagne, and the promoted Mitchell Starc fell to the same bowler three balls later.

From looking well poised, Australia were now on the back foot and, though Alex Carey (35) offered a decent cameo, the emphasis was all on Smith.

The 30-year-old – who had surpassed 4,000 ODI runs in the 34th over – brought up his ninth one-day hundred with a crisp single, and then let rip, hitting four boundaries before succumbing to Shami.

However, Australia were unable to get up to 300 as Shami also removed Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa at the death.

Despite being shorn of the injured Dhawan, India swiftly got into their stride in reply, Rohit looking in superb touch either side of the loss of Rahul (19) to Ashton Agar in the 13th over.

Rohit, who made 209 from 158 balls against Australia in Bengaluru seven years ago, set about targeting Ashton Agar and Labuschagne – who he hit for a huge six – as captain Kohli also clicked into gear.

A single to third man off Josh Hazlewood took Rohit to another glorious hundred, his eighth against Australia, and his sixth maximum brought up the century partnership before he finally fell to Zampa.

At that point, India needed just 81 from 13.2 overs and Shreyas Iyer (44 not out) quickly settled in alongside Kohli to make victory certain, despite the captain falling to Hazlewood with 13 still required.

Virat Kohli hailed KL Rahul's contribution as India beat Australia in Rajkot to level their ODI series at 1-1 and set up a decider on Sunday.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul scored a rapid 80 and had three dismissals behind the stumps as India scored a 36-run victory, defending a total of 340-6 by bowling out Australia for 304.

Rahul moved from number three to five in the batting order, with captain Kohli nudging up to three, as India adjusted their line-up after a 10-wicket thumping in the opening game of the series.

Kohli said: "I think it's very important to figure out what is the best team you can put on the park and when someone's batting as well as KL was batting today, it's very difficult to leave someone like that out.

"Batting at number five and batting like that for the team, this is probably the best he's played at international level according to me. That knock showed maturity and class.

"We know exactly what we're doing in the changing room. On the outside there's a lot of panic that we don't really focus on."

Kohli made 78, sharing a 103-run partnership for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan, whose 96 helped anchor the innings.

"Back to three was good for the team so I'm happy from that point of view that it helped the team," Kohli said.

Paying tribute to Dhawan, Kohli added: "In ODI cricket, he's been one of our most consistent performers. When he plays well it's a good sign for the team. I'm very happy that he scored runs as well. It always augurs well when Rohit [Sharma] and Shikhar both score runs."

Australia's ODI skipper Aaron Finch accepted his side had allowed India to put too many runs on the board.

"Yes, probably, but they played very well," Finch said.

"The whole way through the innings, we were probably one wicket shy of where we really needed to be to contain them at the back end and on an outfield like this with a good wicket and world-class players it can be hard to stop no matter what attack you've got."

Steve Smith's 98 kept Australia in touch, and Marnus Labuschagne made 46 in his first ODI innings, but Australia folded in the closing overs.

Ahead of the series decider in Bengaluru, Finch sent a message to his team, saying: "You just have to make sure that when you get in, you capitalise and you go really big.

"That's probably the area where we were slightly off tonight with the bat, just one wicket too many down as the run rate kept going up."

India avenged their Mumbai mauling with a 36-run defeat of Australia in the second ODI in Rajkot to level the series.

The tourists had embarrassed India in the first match, cruising to a 10-wicket win with unbeaten centuries from David Warner and Aaron Finch.

India posted a more challenging total of 340-6 on Friday, featuring 96 from Shikhar Dhawan, 80 from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli's 78, to give Australia a tricky chase and they fell short on 304 all out to set up a series decider in Bengaluru on Sunday.

At 220-3 with more than 12 overs remaining, Australia were firmly in the hunt, but India's bowlers got on top and the tourists did not recover from losing Steve Smith, whose 98 was the fulcrum of their innings.

Smith played on to give Kuldeep Yadav his second victim in the 38th over after dismissing Alex Carey to bring up 100 ODI career wickets.

Warner had earlier been dismissed for just 15, flicking at a length ball from Mohammed Shami (3-77) outside off stump and caught spectacularly above his head by Manish Pandey at cover.

Finch fell for 33 and Marnus Labuschagne made 46 in his first ODI knock, but Australia's hopes of a late flurry were savaged by Shami yorking Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins with the first two deliveries of the 44th over before Navdeep Saini and Jasprit Bumrah mopped up the tail.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had earlier put on a run-a-ball 81 for India's first wicket, before the latter fell for 42, pegged lbw by leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Dhawan and Kohli kept the runs flowing, with their stand of 103 eventually broken when Dhawan, four short of an 18th ODI century and looking to reach three figures with one blow, was caught at fine leg by Mitchell Starc off Kane Richardson.

India had collapsed from 134 for one to 255 all out in Mumbai, but this time it would be a different story.

The classy Kohli scored at just over a run a ball before becoming the second of three victims for Zampa (3-50), before Rahul injected late pace into the scoring by plundering his 80 from 52 balls, clearing the ropes three times before being run out in the final over.

A blow for India on an otherwise positive day came with Dhawan taking a blow to the ribs when batting that prevented him from fielding.

Veteran Windies batsman Chris Gayle has admitted he is not a fan of the proposed four-day Test cricket format, insisting that shortening the game would lessen some of its appeal.

Gayle, who has scored a total of 7214 runs in 104 Test matches, with a high score of 333, is no stranger to the format.  The player last set foot in the Test area six years ago but has not lost the affinity for the grueling nature of the longest format.

It is of little surprise that Gayle recently added his voice to the throng of players and former players that have come out strongly against the possibility of reducing five-day Test matches to four-dayers.  The topic is expected to be discussed by the ICC over the next few months.

“I am not a fan of that (four-day Tests). I played 100 Tests, I mean a few finished in three days, a few in four but five days Test cricket is the ultimate and to have a four-day Test…I am not a big fan of that,” Gayle said.

“It has set the trend and it’s been there for ages so why go and mess with that. If they give other players a chance to experience that, it can be a life-changing experience to play five-day cricket. It is a mental state so that you can cope in life as well,” said Gayle.

 Indian captain Virat Kohli, South African skipper Faf du Plessis, English captain Joe Root and Indian great Sachin Tendulkar are among the other players to have spoken out in opposition to the change.

Virat Kohli's maximum wrapped up a comfortable seven-wicket win for India over Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match Twenty20 series.

The opening clash was wiped out by rain in Guwahati and Sri Lanka's innings on Tuesday also proved a damp squib, the loss of late wickets limiting them to a modest 142-9.

India chased that down with 15 balls to spare at Indore, Kohli confirming the triumph in style to cap an explosive knock from the skipper.

Sri Lanka's top three made credible contributions but the tourists' line-up as a whole failed to fire.

Kusal Perera's brisk 34 included all three of his side's sixes, with Avishka Fernando (22) and Danushka Gunathilaka (20) providing support at the top end of the order.

Jasprit Bumrah had opened the bowling by conceding two wides and was then hit for four, but that went against the trend that was to follow.

Sri Lanka were frustrated in their efforts to reach anything close to a par score, despite Wanindu Hasaranga sending the final three deliveries to the boundary to book-end Bumrah's inconsistent spell.

With such a modest total to chase, India could afford to be patient and it took Sri Lanka until the 10th over to end KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan's 71-run opening partnership, Hasaranga claiming the former's scalp.

Dhawan went soon after, lbw to the same bowler, but it was never likely to trouble India's bid for victory and Shreyas Iyer added a handy 34 before falling in what proved to be the final over.

Kohli put the seal on things, swiping Lahiru Kumara over the ropes to finish with 30 off 17 deliveries.

The final match of the series takes place in Pune on Friday.

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