Chasing 407 runs to win the first Test, Shikhar Dhawan (49*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (22*) took India to 87 for 1 at stumps on day three.
India managed to recover from early blows and were 130 for 4 in reply to New Zealand 503 when bad light forced the umpire's to call off the play early on day two of the second Test at Eden Park on Friday.
Rohit Sharma (67*) and Ajinkya Rahane (23*), who were at the crease when play was abandoned for the day have added a 79-run stand between them for the fifth wicket.
Brendon McCullum's sparkling 224 guided New Zealand to a commanding 503 in their first innings despite a six-wicket haul by pacer Ishant Sharma.
India are still 373 runs behind Kiwis' first innings total and require another 174 runs to avoid follow-on.