New Zealand v India, 1st Test, Auckland, 4th day February 9, 2014

'Never regretting not enforcing follow-on' - McCullum

37

Didn't regret not enforcing follow-on - McCullum

Brendon McCullum did not enforce the follow-on at Eden Park and watched his batsmen crash to 105 in 41.2 overs in their second innings. He then saw India motor to 222 for 2 in their chase of 407. However, McCullum said that at no point did he second guess the choice he made, and was instead proud of the character New Zealand showed to absorb whatever India threw at them and secure a 40-run win.

"You can't regret any decision you make and you make that decision, you put some thought into it," McCullum said. "Specially when it comes to the follow-on, you speak to your bowlers and your senior players. Some people have different theories but you try to garner as much majority as you can. Ultimately someone has got to make that decision and I guess that comes down to me. I made the decision and I never regretted it for a moment."

McCullum reasoned there was no knowing how much India would have got had they been made to follow-on, and that New Zealand could have been handed a tricky chase. "There's no guarantee we would have bowled out India for 100 in their second innings and I said right at the outset that we have got the bowlers to take 20 wickets. It was a matter of trying to give them the most amount of rest to do so and we may have won it more comfortably but I would hate to see us chase 150-200 on the last day on that wicket with (Ravindra) Jadeja coming in to play."

Neil Wagner had said after the end of day three that New Zealand would have taken a 400-plus target for India anytime, and McCullum agreed it was a daunting total, despite the hosts' batting meltdown on the third day. "After we decided not to enforce the follow-on, we sort of hoped we would get a little more than a 100 in our second turn of bat. But that's what we got. I still thought 400 was a very good score. I think there's only three [four] teams in the history of the game that have chased over 400."

Although history was behind New Zealand, India had batted themselves into a strong position. McCullum said he knew India would take the game deep and was happy that his bowlers were able to ride out the challenge. "It was still a lot of runs on the board but the wicket was starting to play pretty well as well, so it was always going to be a tough ask and we knew that it was going to be a close contest towards the end. We also knew the quality of their batsmen and how they are capable of putting together big scores and big partnerships. At one stage, when they were sitting 220 for 2, we were starting to get ourselves behind the eight-ball and it took something pretty special to get us out of that.

"You always have to have that optimism right throughout. Even at 220 for 2, I still felt that we weren't that far away and that if we could get a couple of wickets leading into that new ball, I still felt confident that we were going to be ok. But then again, my confidence doesn't necessarily marry out with reality at times as well.

"It was a matter of trying to work out the ebbs and flows of the game, when to push, when to pull, when to attack at times and defend at other times. Whilst we didn't ram home the advantage we had in the second innings with the bat, I thought we showed a lot of heart and a lot of character to continue to bash away and keep fighting hard and get the result in the end. So I am immensely proud of all the boys. Neil Wagner in particular was outstanding."

Wagner sent back both Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. The pair had added 126 for the third wicket, and once that stand was broken, New Zealand kept striking, and made the second new ball count as well, which McCullum was counting on. "We knew that was going to be a big part in the game. We needed wickets leading into that second new ball but we knew that the second new ball would certainly be of assistance to us if we did manage to be able to bowl at their middle to lower order."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Noboundary on February 10, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    I don't think it was a great decision! The argument that it was made to rest the bowlers is unacceptable... they had bowled for only 60 overs and that too only 13 overs were bowled the day India got out. I think they were more afraid of India's batting and feared they may have to chase down on a turning pitch the last day! If India had grafted instead of getting into the T20 mode they would have won this game!

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    I can't believe how much grief Kiwi fans are giving McCullum for not enforcing the follow on. Didn't he do that against WI and it didn't work?

    India's reaction to bowling in NZ's 2nd inns was totally unexpected, even from the most optimistic Indian fans. Let's take England for a moment, they would have "bowled dry", slowed the game down to a crawl, placed fielders all over the boundary and waited for a declaration.

    McCullum can be forgiven for believing that's how the script would go with India.

  • Ms.Cricket on February 9, 2014, 23:07 GMT

    McCallum is trying to take credit because NZ barely hung in to win (from a very strong position early on day 3). If NZ lost he would have credited the decision to the people who advised him. McCallum is NZ's worst captain from a country that has some great ones Stephen Fleming, Geoff Howarth, Mark Burgess, Martin Crowe etc.

  • David_Bofinger on February 9, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    There doesn't seem to be much follow-on enforcement these days. Perhaps because so much cricket is being played - captains are afraid that if they make their bowlers bowl two innings in a row they will be more likely to break down. But as an Australian I may be more frightened of that than most.

  • haq33 on February 9, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Wc1992....i even reckon had India won, mcullum would have started his press conference by saying "in retrospect probably missed a trick by not enforcing the follow-on". He knows he got away with a balls up but should admit it and learn from it. If the exact same situation arises next test, I would bet my house he would forget his own elaborate excuses and quietly enforce the follow on. Look at Dhoni, also so bloody stubborn by inserting the opposition at every toss....again it is stubbornness, which unlike mccullum, he is NOT getting away with. All i am saying is, have faith in your team as a captain and don't be defensive for no reason!

  • Singe on February 9, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    @wc1992. It's absolute arrogance to say that every cricket fan knew it was the wrong decision. We'll never know how many India would have scored against a tired bowling attack and then, who knows, in the 4th innings. The fact that it almost went pear shaped was due to a woeful NZ 2nd innings. Baz has said that he asked a whole range of ppl for an opinion so every cricket fan obviously didn't have the same opinion as you. Great win for the Kiwis, well done and now about time for BCCI to consider DRS? Certainly can't complain when decisions go against them.

  • wc1992 on February 9, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    i think its just a agroance of B M side to say no regret .... its more like we made a decision and we stuck with it and it came off ........ every cricket followers knows it was wrong decision ........you have big lead and moving ball why not and oppsition have no spinner to bother you on day 5 if you have to chase .......i am kiwi but hate those captan who only admit their fault when they lose and show off when they win

  • explorer76 on February 9, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    Some of the guys are reading too much into the decision to not enforce follow on. Initially I was also surprised at this decision but McCullum has clearly explained his thinking and I think it was a reasonable line of thought. It is not about not having confidence in your team, it is about not under-estimating a strong batting lineup specially keeping in mind that his bowlers had already bowled for a day and were not rested. No one expected new zealand to post a 500 score after being 30/3. Similarly indian batting could have bounced back posting a 450 odd score and setting up a potentially tricky last day chase of 150-200 for new zealand. The alternate was to bat for a little bit stretch the lead close to 500 and then declare, giving india a mountain to climb and put them under immense pressure. I am sure McCullum backed his team to win regardless of which path he took, but he thought the second path was more comfortable.

  • likeintcricket on February 9, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    @haq33, you are absolutely on the mark. Mccullum decision shows his lack of confidence in his team's ability and fear of opposition. He got away with this victory but actually have given a great morale boost to both India's batting and bowling. After dismissing India cheaply on the third day with a lead of 300 and with two session to play that day, the bowl is moving around and the bowlers are in supreme form with opposition in disarray just how a captain can make such a defensive decision. You are actually giving the opposition a chance to escape with less time to bat out and weather factor as well. I honestly think the momentum has already shifted and India will go all out for a victory knowing they can now take 20 NZ wickets cheaply.

  • on February 9, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Well first NZ played well and deserved to win. Congrats

    Since 1932 India had a chance to play the quickest bowlers Yadav and Varun Aaron with peak pace of 150 kph and average pace of 143 kph. Two bowlers along with Ishant and Shami was the choice to go.

    The absence of Gambhir, Sehwag as openers and Harbhajan and Mishra was felt. Like I have said before The T20 and ODI 2015 WC needs to be won. So with the inclusions of Gambhir and Sehwag is needed. For both we have

    Sehwag Dhawan Gambhir Kohli Yuvraj Raina Dhoni

    Shami Aaron Yadav Jadeja

    We made changes, added Dhawan along with genuine pace of Yadav and Aaron

    Of Tests the bowling attack overseas is the same, Yadav Aaron and Shami

  • Noboundary on February 10, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    I don't think it was a great decision! The argument that it was made to rest the bowlers is unacceptable... they had bowled for only 60 overs and that too only 13 overs were bowled the day India got out. I think they were more afraid of India's batting and feared they may have to chase down on a turning pitch the last day! If India had grafted instead of getting into the T20 mode they would have won this game!

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    I can't believe how much grief Kiwi fans are giving McCullum for not enforcing the follow on. Didn't he do that against WI and it didn't work?

    India's reaction to bowling in NZ's 2nd inns was totally unexpected, even from the most optimistic Indian fans. Let's take England for a moment, they would have "bowled dry", slowed the game down to a crawl, placed fielders all over the boundary and waited for a declaration.

    McCullum can be forgiven for believing that's how the script would go with India.

  • Ms.Cricket on February 9, 2014, 23:07 GMT

    McCallum is trying to take credit because NZ barely hung in to win (from a very strong position early on day 3). If NZ lost he would have credited the decision to the people who advised him. McCallum is NZ's worst captain from a country that has some great ones Stephen Fleming, Geoff Howarth, Mark Burgess, Martin Crowe etc.

  • David_Bofinger on February 9, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    There doesn't seem to be much follow-on enforcement these days. Perhaps because so much cricket is being played - captains are afraid that if they make their bowlers bowl two innings in a row they will be more likely to break down. But as an Australian I may be more frightened of that than most.

  • haq33 on February 9, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Wc1992....i even reckon had India won, mcullum would have started his press conference by saying "in retrospect probably missed a trick by not enforcing the follow-on". He knows he got away with a balls up but should admit it and learn from it. If the exact same situation arises next test, I would bet my house he would forget his own elaborate excuses and quietly enforce the follow on. Look at Dhoni, also so bloody stubborn by inserting the opposition at every toss....again it is stubbornness, which unlike mccullum, he is NOT getting away with. All i am saying is, have faith in your team as a captain and don't be defensive for no reason!

  • Singe on February 9, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    @wc1992. It's absolute arrogance to say that every cricket fan knew it was the wrong decision. We'll never know how many India would have scored against a tired bowling attack and then, who knows, in the 4th innings. The fact that it almost went pear shaped was due to a woeful NZ 2nd innings. Baz has said that he asked a whole range of ppl for an opinion so every cricket fan obviously didn't have the same opinion as you. Great win for the Kiwis, well done and now about time for BCCI to consider DRS? Certainly can't complain when decisions go against them.

  • wc1992 on February 9, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    i think its just a agroance of B M side to say no regret .... its more like we made a decision and we stuck with it and it came off ........ every cricket followers knows it was wrong decision ........you have big lead and moving ball why not and oppsition have no spinner to bother you on day 5 if you have to chase .......i am kiwi but hate those captan who only admit their fault when they lose and show off when they win

  • explorer76 on February 9, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    Some of the guys are reading too much into the decision to not enforce follow on. Initially I was also surprised at this decision but McCullum has clearly explained his thinking and I think it was a reasonable line of thought. It is not about not having confidence in your team, it is about not under-estimating a strong batting lineup specially keeping in mind that his bowlers had already bowled for a day and were not rested. No one expected new zealand to post a 500 score after being 30/3. Similarly indian batting could have bounced back posting a 450 odd score and setting up a potentially tricky last day chase of 150-200 for new zealand. The alternate was to bat for a little bit stretch the lead close to 500 and then declare, giving india a mountain to climb and put them under immense pressure. I am sure McCullum backed his team to win regardless of which path he took, but he thought the second path was more comfortable.

  • likeintcricket on February 9, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    @haq33, you are absolutely on the mark. Mccullum decision shows his lack of confidence in his team's ability and fear of opposition. He got away with this victory but actually have given a great morale boost to both India's batting and bowling. After dismissing India cheaply on the third day with a lead of 300 and with two session to play that day, the bowl is moving around and the bowlers are in supreme form with opposition in disarray just how a captain can make such a defensive decision. You are actually giving the opposition a chance to escape with less time to bat out and weather factor as well. I honestly think the momentum has already shifted and India will go all out for a victory knowing they can now take 20 NZ wickets cheaply.

  • on February 9, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Well first NZ played well and deserved to win. Congrats

    Since 1932 India had a chance to play the quickest bowlers Yadav and Varun Aaron with peak pace of 150 kph and average pace of 143 kph. Two bowlers along with Ishant and Shami was the choice to go.

    The absence of Gambhir, Sehwag as openers and Harbhajan and Mishra was felt. Like I have said before The T20 and ODI 2015 WC needs to be won. So with the inclusions of Gambhir and Sehwag is needed. For both we have

    Sehwag Dhawan Gambhir Kohli Yuvraj Raina Dhoni

    Shami Aaron Yadav Jadeja

    We made changes, added Dhawan along with genuine pace of Yadav and Aaron

    Of Tests the bowling attack overseas is the same, Yadav Aaron and Shami

  • jimmyvida on February 9, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    Lucky NZ is such a great fielding team. Made 400 almost impossible to get. Great guys. Well done.

  • haq33 on February 9, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    512fm...one scenario where a skipper would not enforce the follow on is if he does not truly feel confident of his side's ability to win. McCullum may have felt it was important to bat India out of the game and at least guarantee a draw. I am only guessing that this is what happened but I do feel it is likely. He probably expected to bat until tea on day 4 and guarantee a draw. A confident captain would have backed his team to bowl India out for 400 or less and if needs be, a final chase of 100-140 no problem. Yes his team were skittled for 100, seemingly justifying his cautiousness but the skipper should always retain supreme confidence in his side's ability to win from the position they were in after 1st inns. For all of his bravado with the bat in hand, his fear and/or inexperience as a captain clearly shows. I don't really buy the "fatigued bowlers" line either, NZ are a fit team.

  • memoriesofthepast on February 9, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    Clever move by the NZ captain after getting a lead of 301 runs in 1st innings during the play of day 3- more than 2 days to get 10 indian wickets. Indians were made to falsely believe that 407 could be chasable only to lose the test by 40 runs which is not a small margin. Congratulations NZ team for successfully defending a target of 407 runs and winning the test-even neighbour Aus have lost 2 tests unable to defend a target of 400+ one at Perth vs SA and other in WI. This win is pride for every NZ person but sure more envy for Aus.

  • haq33 on February 9, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    All things being equal, even if U believe it will make no difference whether U enforce the follow-on or not, U shud STILL enforce the follow-on as a default setting, unless there is some specific reason not to. Default setting = follow-on. McCullum knows this damn well and it is disappointing that he lacks the introspection or ability to accept criticism that would serve him well as a captain. He got away with a blunder today. The pitch was true, not a 4th innings minefield, he had a 300 run lead - shud have enforced, simple. I expected him to admit his mistake but no. NZ will not undergo any kind of revival with such stubbornness at the helm. Now NZ batsmen as a result will suddenly feel fragile again going into the next test and actually, Indian batsmen and bowlers may have gained psychologically.

  • 512fm on February 9, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    McCullum made the right decision and I'm glad he stands by it. Imagine if he enforced it and India went on to get 450 odd, thats a pretty tricky chase in the last innings and with our brittle 2nd innings effort we probably wouldn't make it. I mean the whole idea behind batting first is getting the advantage of not batting last, not sure why you would throw that away.

  • on February 9, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    @Jerryman Kyle Mills retired from tests in 2009 after playing 16 tests. And you don't expect dodgy kneed Millsy to bowl 10 over spells all day.

  • NALINWIJ on February 9, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    There is only 4 teams that chased 400 and only 3 times has a team that enforced a follow on lost the match. Australia did it once in 19th century and one in20th and once in 21st. winning the match takes the controversy out of the decision. The decision not to enforce follow on is based on 1.bowlers are tired, 2.batting will be harder as the match goes on. 3. declaration with a lead over 400 before tea on the 4th day. 4.weather permitting. I am not sure of the points 1 and 2 and they just got 400 lead.

  • jerryman on February 9, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Great test match. Congrats to both teams .India did put up a fight,which is the main thing,not just roll over India must play with DRS rather than objecting to it . Fielding must improve. NZ good allround effort. Should have enforced follow on. May think of replacing one or both openers .Guptil should come in and am a little surprised that Kyle mills is not selected. He is a thinking type of bowler as well. good luck in the 2nd test and try to hold your nerve to get a series win

  • on February 9, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Amazing win for New Zealand. Still don't get why Mccullum didn't enforce follow on on India . However ,all is well that ends well!!! Great showing!!

  • windies01 on February 9, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    Some people here are deluded, It is obvious to me that this India side is vastly overated, all the batsmen who light up the IPL, batter teams at home on flat. slow, spinning wickets are average, Kohli and probably Pujara the exceptions.

    The bowling is not cerebral enough, though there is some talent in Shami on occasion

    Go abroad, play abroad on quicker, slight seam movement, no generous spin, pacier bowlers who know how to bowl short, the batters are found wanting.

    India on their travels lost 2 should have been 3, and in patches look competitive still very average.

    Before there travels, I thought India would give England a game in this British Summer, I am now convinced England will beat India very easily at home, if England pick the right bowlers (they will now)....

    I thought India was better than this.

  • DJRNZ on February 9, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    I can't remember seeing a bowler with a big a heart as Wagner's. The guy is a machine! I was thinking he should be dropped if he didn't perform in this series. What a great test match, India did well in the end but really pleased we bet a much higher ranked side.

  • on February 9, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    Great win but to be consistently good we need two openers and a spinner who can tie up one end. Hands up anybody?

  • SameOld on February 9, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    People saying Baz made the wrong decision should realise There was no 'wrong' decision at 300 in front at the end of the first innings. The batsmen failed a surprisingly tough examination from the Indian seamers, that's what went wrong. Credit where credit is due: shami and co were very good in the third innings, and the Indian batsmen nearly produced a performance to match their bowlers and pull off an amazing heist. These things will happen when you're playing the #2 test side in the world. But they *didnt* pull it off, and that, for the kiwis, is huge. Like in a couple of the ODIs, it looked like it was slipping away, and then someone stood up. Fantastic stuff from baz, wagner, southee and the rest. n. Bring on Wellington.

  • unbeleaveable on February 9, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Great win and showed lots of team spirit, would bring Henry into the side for Sodhi and Guptill in for Fulton, why didn't Anderson bowl much is he carrying an injury? Certainly wouldn't play Ryder or Bracewell, they eptomise what you not trying to do to become a world class team. They are a couple of losers who only think of themselves, its a pity but that's the reality of the situation.

  • CricktingGenius on February 9, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Here is my problem with Mccullum. Every batsmen are on their teams for their "fire value", basically a professional batting team every batsmen take turns of playing musical chairs and to "Stand up" and score a lot of runs. This time it was Mccullums turn to stand up getting through the rough period. Its his job as a International batsmen to score a BIG score every now and then maybe 20% chance (5-6 batsmen gives 100% chance e.g 1 batsmen stands up and scores big per innings) So it's not like he won the match by himself, over a season its his job to "go big" in a few innings thats how batsmens average level's out, they get low scores for a few matches and then "fire". What gets me is his poor captaincy decisions and a dropped catch worth 100 runs almost completely undid his duty and turn in the batsmen team "musical chair"

  • Shadow_tkc on February 9, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    McCullum actually made 224 in his first innings, not 225 (225 is his highest test score, also achieved against India, back in 2010).

    Turned out to be a fabulous game of Test cricket - a lot of credit has to go to India for the spectacular fight that they put up after McCullum chose to bat again, but also to New Zealand for managing 503 in the first innings and fighting incredibly hard to get those final wickets at the end.

    How could you not like Test cricket? :)

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    I didn't realise this was NZ's first win against India in 12 years. I guess the last one was in that crazy 2002-3 series. Here's hoping for another 12 year drought starting with Wellington :))

    Before I forget, kudos to the "Swami Army" who turned out in Auckland. I reckon there were more Indian fans there than at most home venues. Good to see some Test support. The Swamis looked to be having a heck of a lot of fun, wish I could have been there too. Hope to see you lot on my TV screen for the 2nd Test in Wellington. Pity it's not in picturesque Queenstown or Hamilton or even Dunedin.

  • balajik2505 on February 9, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    India paid the penalty for too many dropped catches in the 1st innings. Murali Vijay needs to be shifted out of the 1st slip.

  • Sandt on February 9, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Though india lost the match, I am proud of the way they faught back in second innings. Forget about umpiring issues.India has to blame them only for this defeat. Ist innings if they had taken all those catches NZ should not have reached 200. We have seen it in 2nd innings.If you drop those catches you will never win. But it was a spirited comeback in 2nd innings both by bat and bowl.All India haters here please see this side of the match no one has given India a chance. Still they done well. NZ need to grow more to be a force in Intl cricket.As some one here was arguing that India is ordinary side please note that atleast this ordinary side has almost taken this test match from your so called fantastic NZ side.

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Great Test Match and I have to agree that McCullum not enforcing the follow on gave Indian an unexpected second wind.

    However, past Indian teams would have gone thru the motions, they would simply have bowled defensively and waited for a declaration, tried to play out as much time as possible and hope that a combination of a strong rearguard and helpful weather helped them to a draw.

    Something strange happened, the team came out firing with the bowling in a fashion that's sadly not seen often enough.

    Not winning this game means another loss against the team's overseas stats and as much as a victory would have been sweet, this defeat may be the best thing in the long run. A win may have glossed over many of the failings and weaknesses that need to be ironed out.

    The team knows that even a superlative 3rd and 4th inns effort is not enough to win. They simply can't be as poor as they were in Inns 1 and 2 leaving themselves with a 300 run deficit. Here's hoping for a rousing 2nd Test.

  • on February 9, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    It wasn't an easy for McCullum. He should be congratulated on his attacking field placements and Dhoni, too, for fighting bowling fire with batting fire in the fourth innings. This was the ideal test match, full of ebbs and flows. But only one team could win, and the more deserved team won.

  • on February 9, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Awesome effort New Zealand. More of the same in Wellington please. Hopefully McCullum can win a toss!!

  • erihana on February 9, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    the decision to declare was still not good. However, McCullums batting in first innings deserved a positive result

  • on February 9, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    yee haw, indeed! (another BC supporter)

  • prashanthprash on February 9, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    even though india lost the match, I am proud of the way they faught back in second innings. and also amazed to see so many umpiring blunders in a single match. international umpiring is in rock bottom

  • Alexk400 on February 9, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Mccullum poor decision put nz in agony. Somehow got lucked out with a win. NZ work hard and build up good score and throw it away as though they do not feel they deserve to be top team. They need to bring attitude and self confidence. They need to film study on indian batsman scoring strokes and limit them. Planning is one thing and executing is other. Sodhi bowling was disappoiment. He has decent action , good rev but very inconsistent. His bowling finish show where he is aiming which allow batsman to guess line and length and ready for it. I think he needs to bowl straight and let the pitch do its thing. Also he may have bowl 1000s overs in practice to get arm strength build consistency. He probably need to float more arc instead of pushing the ball.

  • on February 9, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    Woop woop woop! Woop woop woop! (Black Caps supporter)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 9, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    Woop woop woop! Woop woop woop! (Black Caps supporter)

  • Alexk400 on February 9, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Mccullum poor decision put nz in agony. Somehow got lucked out with a win. NZ work hard and build up good score and throw it away as though they do not feel they deserve to be top team. They need to bring attitude and self confidence. They need to film study on indian batsman scoring strokes and limit them. Planning is one thing and executing is other. Sodhi bowling was disappoiment. He has decent action , good rev but very inconsistent. His bowling finish show where he is aiming which allow batsman to guess line and length and ready for it. I think he needs to bowl straight and let the pitch do its thing. Also he may have bowl 1000s overs in practice to get arm strength build consistency. He probably need to float more arc instead of pushing the ball.

  • prashanthprash on February 9, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    even though india lost the match, I am proud of the way they faught back in second innings. and also amazed to see so many umpiring blunders in a single match. international umpiring is in rock bottom

  • on February 9, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    yee haw, indeed! (another BC supporter)

  • erihana on February 9, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    the decision to declare was still not good. However, McCullums batting in first innings deserved a positive result

  • on February 9, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Awesome effort New Zealand. More of the same in Wellington please. Hopefully McCullum can win a toss!!

  • on February 9, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    It wasn't an easy for McCullum. He should be congratulated on his attacking field placements and Dhoni, too, for fighting bowling fire with batting fire in the fourth innings. This was the ideal test match, full of ebbs and flows. But only one team could win, and the more deserved team won.

  • InsideHedge on February 9, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Great Test Match and I have to agree that McCullum not enforcing the follow on gave Indian an unexpected second wind.

    However, past Indian teams would have gone thru the motions, they would simply have bowled defensively and waited for a declaration, tried to play out as much time as possible and hope that a combination of a strong rearguard and helpful weather helped them to a draw.

    Something strange happened, the team came out firing with the bowling in a fashion that's sadly not seen often enough.

    Not winning this game means another loss against the team's overseas stats and as much as a victory would have been sweet, this defeat may be the best thing in the long run. A win may have glossed over many of the failings and weaknesses that need to be ironed out.

    The team knows that even a superlative 3rd and 4th inns effort is not enough to win. They simply can't be as poor as they were in Inns 1 and 2 leaving themselves with a 300 run deficit. Here's hoping for a rousing 2nd Test.

  • Sandt on February 9, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Though india lost the match, I am proud of the way they faught back in second innings. Forget about umpiring issues.India has to blame them only for this defeat. Ist innings if they had taken all those catches NZ should not have reached 200. We have seen it in 2nd innings.If you drop those catches you will never win. But it was a spirited comeback in 2nd innings both by bat and bowl.All India haters here please see this side of the match no one has given India a chance. Still they done well. NZ need to grow more to be a force in Intl cricket.As some one here was arguing that India is ordinary side please note that atleast this ordinary side has almost taken this test match from your so called fantastic NZ side.

  • balajik2505 on February 9, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    India paid the penalty for too many dropped catches in the 1st innings. Murali Vijay needs to be shifted out of the 1st slip.