Virat Kohli ended day two unbeaten on 44 runs ©Getty Images

India's batsmen played admirably in tricky conditions to reach the end of day two of the World Test Championship final in Southampton on 146 for 3.

After being inserted to bat by New Zealand on an overcast day at the Ageas Bowl in southern England, India's openers were disciplined and needed only 103 balls to bring up the half-century.

The Black Caps needed some inspiration and it came via Tim Southee, who took an excellent slip catch to remove Rohit Sharma for 34, diving low to his right off the bowling of Kyle Jamieson.

India had 62 runs when that first wicket fell and they had only added one more when the other opener, Shubman Gill, was dismissed - caught behind off Neil Wagner's bowling.

Trent Boult next removed Cheteshwar Pujara, a plumb leg-before-wicket dismissal, and India looked vulnerable at 88 for 3.

Captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane - who had a short spell playing at this venue for Hampshire in 2019 - steadied the ship.

It was a stop-start afternoon, with the bad light limiting how much cricket could be played, but India's talisman Kohli looked in imperious yet patient form, reaching stumps on 44 runs from 124 balls.

Rahane is on 29.

The first-ever World Test Championship final, this Test can go to a sixth day if necessary, and with more rain forecast that may well be needed.

New Zealand picked five seam bowlers and all of them had a go today, with Jamieson - who allowed only 14 runs from his 14 overs, bowling nine maidens - ending with the best figures.

Their decision not to pick a specialist spinner could prove important as the game progresses, as India chose two.