Skipper Virat Kohli will go for the kill on Day Four of the Indore Test Getty Images

Day Three of third and final Test between India and New Zealand at Indore ended in India s favour as the hosts bundled out the visitors for 299 and took a massive lead of 258 runs. India could easily have gone for the follow-on, but instead decided to bat again. At stumps, India were 18 without loss, with opener Murali Vijay batting on 11 and Cheteshwar Pujara batting on 1. Gautam Gambhir had a problem with his right shoulder and had to retire hurt for 6. India have thus stretched their lead to 276 with two full days play remaining. Live cricket scorecard: India vs New Zealand, 3rd Test.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand resumed their innings from the score of 28 without loss, with a challenging task at hands. Openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham came out to bat with the intention of spending as much time on the wicket as they could and were fairly successful too. Latham has had a successful series thus far, with a score in excess of fifty in every game he has played on the tour (including the tour match against Mumbai). But Guptill had been struggling and it was important for him to come good. And he did return back amongst runs.

He got an early life at the beginning of Day Three as he was dropped at gully by Ajinkya Rahane off Mohammed Shami s bowling. He was on 21 then. But it seemed that the lady luck was shining on him and it was going to be his day. He played sensibly thereafter to bring up his fifty and added 118 runs with Latham in the process. This was duo s first hundred run partnership in the series. Latham too played a good hand and reached to his fifty. He look unperturbed by spin and pace, barring a half-chance to Ravindra Jadeja at short-midwicket, again off Shami s bowling.

But just when it looked they were set for a big partnership like the one Virat Kohli and Rahane had in India s first innings, Ashwin struck. Latham was the first wicket to fall, as he gave back a simple return catch to the off spinner. He scored 53 and once again failed to convert his start into a big one. His dismissal triggered a collapse of sorts as New Zealand lost next four wickets. Skipper Kane Williamson, who had missed the last Test due to flu, returned back to the team but could not do much. He was once again Ashwin s bunny, as he dragged one on to the stumps and went back for 8.

Next two batsmen, Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi, went back without troubling the scores. Guptill, who was quietly watching the procession of wickets, unluckily got run out when a BJ Watling shot hit the stumps at the non-striker s end with Ashwin touching the ball with his fingers in the process. Guptill scored 72 and could have got a hundred here, but fate had other plans. Watling then added 53 with Jimmy Neesham for the sixth wicket and fell for 23 when Jadeja got him caught by Rahane. Neesham then added another 52 runs with Mitchell Santner for the seventh wicket, before Jadeja got rid of the latter, who scored 22.

Neesham then tried to play with the tail but was finally dismissed for 71. Jeetan Patel and Matt Henry played small cameos but New Zealand were finally bundled out for 299. Ashwin finished with 6 for 81 while Jadeja took 2 for 80. Remaining two wickets were both run-out by Ashwin.

Day 4 Prediction

Kohli did not give New Zealand a follow on and decided to bat for the second time in the match. By making this move, he basically gave his bowlers some rest after bowling virtually entire Day three. He also made his intent clear, of going for the kill. The message is clear; he wants to bat the Kiwis out of the match. India still have six sessions to play. They would look to go big on Tuesday and ideally bat till tea, thus setting New Zealand a target around 500 in four sessions.

The Kiwis will find it difficult to last four full sessions, especially batting on the final day. The pitch will have plenty of wear and tear and Indian spin duo will pose a huge challenge on the last two days. The only way perhaps New Zealand could avoid a defeat is by keeping things tight on Day Four and not letting India get away too quickly. If they can get early wickets and keep the run flow under check, the hosts may end up batting for a longer period, thus increasing New Zealand s chances of surviving. Either ways, New Zealand will have to play out of their skin to save the Indore Test, which looks to be a herculean task at the moment.

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)