India opted to press their foot down hard on New Zealand's neck on the fourth afternoon of the first test in Kanpur tonight.

Captain Virat Kohli chose to bat on in India's second innings through until just before the tea break, before declaring at 377 for five.

New Zealand will chase a highly improbable 434 to win, with 37 overs left on the penultimate day at Green Park and one full day tomorrow.

No team has scored more than India's 387 for four against England at Chennai in 2008 to win a test in India. That is the fifth highest alltime successful fourth innings chase.

Advertisement

India's declaration came when allrounder Ravi Jadeja completed his half century, finishing on 50 off 58 balls, while Rohit Sharma was on 68 off 93 balls, their stand worth 100.

The session had produced 125 for one, a marked contrast to the opening session in which New Zealand took three Indian wickets for 93 in 34 overs.

Reserve wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi came on for a rare test outing behind the stumps to replace a weary BJ Watling just before tea.

The only wicket to fall in the second session was Ajinkya Rahane, who had been lucky to get to 40. He was dropped twice in one Mark Craig over on 14 before being smartly caught by Ross Taylor at slip off New Zealand's steadiest bowler, left arm spinner Mitchell Santner.

Sharma and Jadeja helped themselves as New Zealand's bowling wilted, Jadeja being largely responsible for 15 runs coming off one Ish Sodhi over.

The one concern for India might be the threat of a late afternoon shower, but Kohli seemed relaxed about that prospect, judging by his demeanour in the pavilion.

India sent a 12th man out to the middle repeatedly in the final half hour of the session, presumably carrying messages to the batsmen.

The final 20 minutes of the two-hour period just dawdled along, which suited New Zealand just fine.

Santner was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with two for 79 off 32.2 overs, while Sodhi also took two wickets and Craig one.

New Zealand have won just two tests in India in 31 attempts before Kanpur, at Nagpur in 1969 and Mumbai in 1988.