New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 3rd day February 16, 2014

McCullum, Watling live to fight another day

216

Crowe: India will be ruing their complacency

New Zealand 192 and 252 for 5 (McCullum 114*, Watling 52*, Zaheer 3-60) lead India 438 by 6 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

He has lost the toss after asking for a nasty seamer. He has followed it up with a loose stroke to put the series lead in jeopardy. He has a dodgy back and a knee, and a left shoulder that is making him take painkillers. Brendon McCullum has also pulled out his toughest Test knock yet to take the Test into the fourth day and make sure India will have to bat again. At three down he came in with 194 required to save the innings defeat, saw it become 152 with five wickets in hand, but in the company of BJ Watling he produced a tough rearguard that has given New Zealand the hope of clinging onto the series lead. The two came together in the fourth over after lunch and walked back together at stumps, having put together - at 158 - New Zealand's best sixth-wicket stand in a second innings.

These fighting scratchy innings are the thing Watling does, but McCullum - playing his 84th straight Test, only three players have played more straight from their debut - had to battle his attacking instincts, swallow his pride along with pain-killing pills. He also absorbed and absorbed all the pressure before opening up upon reaching fifty, launching a calculated assault in an endeavour to crush the tiring bowlers. He was helped along the way by Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma, who dropped him on 9 and 36, but arguably the biggest assist came from the MS Dhoni-Duncan Fletcher combine, which has a history on putting premium on making scoring difficult as opposed to survival.

Whisper it softly: India are still well ahead in the game. New Zealand are practically 6 for 5. However, it didn't look like India were ahead even when New Zealand were minus-125 for 5. Ishant Sharma, their best bowler of the series, bowled to McCullum with no slips and a 6-3 leg-side field. Ravindra Jadeja bowled 24 overs unchanged for two moments of excitement because he could keep the runs down. India were clearly preying on McCullum's pride, waiting for a mistake. Apart from the two mistakes India didn't capitalise on, they couldn't draw any from McCullum.

You expect attacking batsmen such as McCullum to rethink their defensive strategy when they are dropped at 9 off 33, or 36 off 108. You expect them to think, "What the hell, this is going nowhere, I may as well attack." That thought either didn't occur to McCullum or he fought it successfully. Along with Watling, he defended, defended and defended. He knew if he did get an edge coming forward there was a good chance it would go through the vacant slip cordon. Which was strange especially given how the first three wickets in the morning all fell because the ball seamed and took the edge.

Dhoni, though, was telling the batsmen he didn't trust their skill and patience enough to survive on singles for too long. And at any rate, there will be the new ball in the middle of the final session. McCullum and Watling were bent on proving them wrong. Every now and then a ball would misbehave, every now and then they would erase its memory as if with their feet while scratching the guard. It was such slow going that India seemed in total control, but drip by drip, with every ball defended, with every drop of sweat broken, McCullum and Watling were growing surer of themselves.

It was around the 55th-over mark when McCullum was seen flexing his left shoulder, and taking a pill. He might have had the pain before, but this was the first time he showed it. Were India beginning to think of the last two captains Ishant had let off his own bowling? Michael Clarke had gone on to score 329, Alastair Cook 190.

Like Clarke and Cook, McCullum loves India, as his average of 61 against them suggests. Three of his four best series as a batsman have come against them. Every now and then, even McCullum needed a release from the pent-up tension of just dead-batting. When Zaheer Khan, who had taken the first three wickets, came back for a mid-afternoon spell, McCullum pulled his first ball through midwicket for four. Back to defence. From 42 he took 32 balls, a tea break and a slog-sweep off Jadeja to release the tension again and bring up his slowest half-century.

By the time McCullum reached fifty, the new ball was 12 overs away, and New Zealand 93 short of making India bat again. India sat back and waited. The new ball has been doing things. There was one difference here, though. When New Zealand were facing resistance in Auckland, Neil Wagner went for the wickets even as they waited for the new ball, and brought in two new batsmen. Here India almost let these two bat through.

And when the new ball arrived McCullum laced it. The first ball he faced with it he crashed it through cover for four, and immediately deep point went back. New Zealand still minus-38 for 5. The attack on the new ball continued from McCullum as he went from 51 to 100 in 51 balls and with a slogged six off Ishant. You could see that was a release McCullum needed, a pause to gather himself again, and then get back to business.

Watling helped him along, always ready to run at the captain's call, twice diving in to save his wicket, inching to his fifty. During the day McCullum became only the fourth New Zealander to 5000 runs, Watling brought up his 1000 too. When they walked back they knew their job was far from done, but they also knew - former openers, both - they might be on to something really special.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • No_1_again on February 17, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Who said scoring 438 after opposition bowled out for 195 is safe and winnable position? Well-done McCullum and Watling.

  • on February 17, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    good batting by Nz...now it is dificult for india 2 win the match

  • Coolcapricorn on February 17, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    India - very consistent as usual in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! Just when we Indian fans think there is hope, it then gets brutally crushed which is so utterly demoralizing! Maybe a blessing in yet another series defeat would be get rid of MSD from the Test captaincy as his negativity & failure to adapt in playing abroad outside the subcontinent is leading to our team being whitewashed over & over again! To think he said he had a settled team only recently.......really amusing!!!

  • thozar on February 17, 2014, 0:07 GMT

    NZ fans are dreaming. All it takes is for one wicket to fall and India will win this in a canter. McCullum and Watling have defied odds and the Indian bowlers for a while but it wont be too long before one of them perishes. NZ have batted well though. I have to admit, I did not expect them to take a 100 run lead but they have but anything is chasable for India. I am going to stop predicting because it is the exact opposite of what transpires on the field. But this test is India's to lose.

  • thozar on February 16, 2014, 23:59 GMT

    @Sira Sudhindranath, true Swann will not be a factor for the Indian batsmen. No spinner is. But remember that England were dependent on his bowling for a long time. When his form suffered, their team's form also suffered. He has bowled well against India when compared to many other spinners. But, I get your point. The rest of the English attack has been a huge failure against even Aussie batsmen who are mediocre in test matches while our batsmen like Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, and Dhawan are brilliant batsmen who are best suited for test matches or ODIs or T20s. That is why I think our batsmen will have no problems against the mediocre English attack. The English batsmen cannot score quickly. Dry up their runs and they will gift their wickets. You also need impact bowlers like Ishant or Yadav or Shami to rattle them with pace. The English were long known for their weakness to spin but now they are weak against genuine pace too as exposed by Mitchell Johnson.

  • anto_eee on February 16, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    ok guys..watling 150 his carrier highest and..mecullam 300..good match..keep it up india...good mr captain..another good catch drop...but actually when i am watching this match..you know the clapping sound is coming only from inside the ground

  • anto_eee on February 16, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    Better we will send this team to india..dear cricket board dont play outside india in any matches...@night 1 o clk we are watching this dead and bulshit bowling of our indian team...waste of time..same time when we are watching this match..our BP is getting high and same time for them their pockets are getting high weather they played well or like thiss..good go india go..

  • nareshgb1 on February 16, 2014, 22:33 GMT

    NZ are ahead - after 100 overs Indian bowlers are tired and there for the taking.

  • Rick_T on February 16, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    Vishwas Reddy - I do not live in NZ so I am not certain why Ryder is not selected in the Test Team despite his commanding statistics. In the past it has been due to alcohol abuse and frequent transgressions. But I believe (I could be wrong) he has been in very good form for the past year and is on the verge of being selected again. Considering his average against India, I thought he may be selected for this Series but it appears the Selectors have not forgotten his chequered past.

  • Fijicricket on February 16, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    @Posted by av1234 on (February 16, 2014, 19:18 GMT) reason for you to think India will be trying to save the test is too obvious -you are a Pakistan fan

  • No_1_again on February 17, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Who said scoring 438 after opposition bowled out for 195 is safe and winnable position? Well-done McCullum and Watling.

  • on February 17, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    good batting by Nz...now it is dificult for india 2 win the match

  • Coolcapricorn on February 17, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    India - very consistent as usual in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! Just when we Indian fans think there is hope, it then gets brutally crushed which is so utterly demoralizing! Maybe a blessing in yet another series defeat would be get rid of MSD from the Test captaincy as his negativity & failure to adapt in playing abroad outside the subcontinent is leading to our team being whitewashed over & over again! To think he said he had a settled team only recently.......really amusing!!!

  • thozar on February 17, 2014, 0:07 GMT

    NZ fans are dreaming. All it takes is for one wicket to fall and India will win this in a canter. McCullum and Watling have defied odds and the Indian bowlers for a while but it wont be too long before one of them perishes. NZ have batted well though. I have to admit, I did not expect them to take a 100 run lead but they have but anything is chasable for India. I am going to stop predicting because it is the exact opposite of what transpires on the field. But this test is India's to lose.

  • thozar on February 16, 2014, 23:59 GMT

    @Sira Sudhindranath, true Swann will not be a factor for the Indian batsmen. No spinner is. But remember that England were dependent on his bowling for a long time. When his form suffered, their team's form also suffered. He has bowled well against India when compared to many other spinners. But, I get your point. The rest of the English attack has been a huge failure against even Aussie batsmen who are mediocre in test matches while our batsmen like Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, and Dhawan are brilliant batsmen who are best suited for test matches or ODIs or T20s. That is why I think our batsmen will have no problems against the mediocre English attack. The English batsmen cannot score quickly. Dry up their runs and they will gift their wickets. You also need impact bowlers like Ishant or Yadav or Shami to rattle them with pace. The English were long known for their weakness to spin but now they are weak against genuine pace too as exposed by Mitchell Johnson.

  • anto_eee on February 16, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    ok guys..watling 150 his carrier highest and..mecullam 300..good match..keep it up india...good mr captain..another good catch drop...but actually when i am watching this match..you know the clapping sound is coming only from inside the ground

  • anto_eee on February 16, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    Better we will send this team to india..dear cricket board dont play outside india in any matches...@night 1 o clk we are watching this dead and bulshit bowling of our indian team...waste of time..same time when we are watching this match..our BP is getting high and same time for them their pockets are getting high weather they played well or like thiss..good go india go..

  • nareshgb1 on February 16, 2014, 22:33 GMT

    NZ are ahead - after 100 overs Indian bowlers are tired and there for the taking.

  • Rick_T on February 16, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    Vishwas Reddy - I do not live in NZ so I am not certain why Ryder is not selected in the Test Team despite his commanding statistics. In the past it has been due to alcohol abuse and frequent transgressions. But I believe (I could be wrong) he has been in very good form for the past year and is on the verge of being selected again. Considering his average against India, I thought he may be selected for this Series but it appears the Selectors have not forgotten his chequered past.

  • Fijicricket on February 16, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    @Posted by av1234 on (February 16, 2014, 19:18 GMT) reason for you to think India will be trying to save the test is too obvious -you are a Pakistan fan

  • pradeepsays on February 16, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    It is very frustrating that the much touted leader of Indian cricket's generation next, kohli, has played a decisive part in the outcome of both the tests so far. In the first test, while having the new Zealand bowlers on their knees, he suddenly had a brain freeze and went for a ludicrous shot and got out. Until then India were on track to create history chasing! In this test, though still time remains, dropped a relatively easy chance when mcullum was on 9!! He was specifically placed there for that catch! Mcullum is now on 114 n.o. and a lead of 150 for new Zealand doesn't look far away! Who knows this might just be enough for India to panic! We hope not!

  • on February 16, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    well batted Bmac and wattles, first hour is key with the ball still newish, get through that unscathed and it will get easier, still nz need to bat all today, and maybe even half a session tomorrow if they are to pull off the great escape

  • on February 16, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    Nz are done for to be honest ..but good showing . If mccullum doesn't bat at least two sessions nz are done. Huge ask. One wicket and its curtains. Could be a real anti climax.

  • NonStriker on February 16, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    Yesterday morning all I wanted was some fight. Today, all I want is some fight. If we (NZ) can get out of this, even from here, it will be amazing but I think the steel shown by the captain will galvanise this team further. Also, great to see the continued good spirit between the teams (with the possible exclusion of Neil Wagner's theatrics). I doubt the Aussies are watching (or care) but the handshakes from the opposition for Rahane and McCallum show how the game should be played... (and boo to Bryan Waddle for his mean spirited comments as Rahane approached his century).

  • BatBowlCatch on February 16, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    Brendon McCullum stand up and take a bow. This summer you have proven to be the captain NZ has needed since Fleming retired. You have had some failures but have made a difference when it really matters. Your leadership has proven to be the difference all summer and today will be your biggest test of character yet, I believe. BJ and Jimmy, as the only recognised players left with true batting capabilities you need to take as long as possible, forgetting completely about strike rate, and stick by your captains side.

    If NZ can compile a lead of 200-250 the match is winnable. However, as soon as McCullum falls the match is all but over. Think back to what Danny Morrison did at no. 11 to save a test with Nathan Astle in 1997. Put your mind to it boys, and shut the critics up once and for all Brendon McCullum.

  • av1234 on February 16, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    After watching the McCullum, Watling batting, For some unknown reason, I am thinking the NZ will have a lead of 200+ and India is batting on 5th day and trying to save the match from loosing.

  • iceaxe on February 16, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    For some unknown reason, I thought today was day 5, but actually, it will be day four. Despite the heroics from NZ, we're still pretty much buggered. I can't see us batting another day, but miracles do happen. Here's hoping for a big one...

  • on February 16, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    @thozar: England in England is quite a different proposition. Note that even though they got clobbered in Oz recently, just about 6 months ago, they beat the Aussie team 3-0 at home (which could have been 4-0, if they had not run out of time chasing 225 and falling short by just 20 runs w/ 5 wkts in hand). Swann is not much of a factor against India as the Indian batsmen know how to negotiate spin. Where they will have difficulty is in dealing with the moving ball. While the English players, having been exposed to so much county cricket, can handle Khan, Sharma and Shami (and the likes of Yadav and Kumar) relatively easily. The notorious English weather can rob some time and maybe 2 out of 5 tests will be drawn because of that but I doubt if India can win any Test. But let's see what happens. I don't claim to have a crystal ball!

  • CurrentPresident on February 16, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    If you can't force a win when that far ahead, something is wrong with your leadership or lack thereof. How much more things need to go India's way before they can force a win?

  • bashbash on February 16, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    Unless India can produce an X-factor fast bowler who can run through the lower order with speed and aggression when playing on faster/greener pitches of Australia/SA/NZ/England, these situations will keep recurring. Until that illusive fast bowler arrives on the scene, in the interim Indian Govt should confer Indian Citizenship to Bret Lee who is still clocking >145k with ease and perhaps will continue to do so for another 2yrs. I happened to see him in Twenty 20 in Australia and he seemed in superb nick.

  • BobCo on February 16, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Just wish Dhoni would be as aggressive as captain as he can be (and more often than not, should be) when batting. NZ still behind in this game, but the door remains ajar at the moment. Felt if India went for the jugular yesterday, then they might have well and truly slammed the door shut in NZ's face, as in game over. 1-1. But instead, we saw some negative fields and an almost entirely negative Jadeja spell. It is test cricket. Waiting for a mistake at this level is sort of like waiting for a bus... sometimes they never come. Needed Dhoni to look to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Watling, in particular, was perfectly happy to just block all day, so why not bait him with a big gap at cover, and feed him some fuller balls? At least try something!

  • on February 16, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    You need that killer instinct to close of games like this, what we see in teams like Australia. Not something I would have expected from Team India, but they cant be anymore complacent on day4 or risk losing this test.

  • praneshr on February 16, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Morning session is very important one. If New Zealand survives then they can set something like 150 which will be a challenging total. Else it will be comfortable 10 or 8 wickets win for India.

  • kiwicricketnut on February 16, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    @ nostrogustro, i have to second that, i too thought his time was up before the home summer, with his average in decline and having not scored a ton in three years, i was calling for his head, (only in tests) but he's turned a corner, 3 centuries this summer is brilliant and the situation he was in yesterday made his knock ten times more valuable than his double ton, good on him, we coukdn't afford a specialist captain so im really pleased not just for him but the whole team, that he is finally scoring consistant runs, there are a few other mccullum detractors out there that have seemed to go quiet all of a sudden, just gotta give the guy credit where its due i reckon.

  • mirandola on February 16, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    It's nice to see India having a tad of success overseas; don't let it go to your heads!

  • fair_paly_1 on February 16, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Dev23

    Kohli for captain...are you sure? He is too temperamental which could get him into trouble with opposition and umpires. There needs to be someone like captain cool - Dhoni. What about Rohit Sharma or Pujara?

    Vishwas Reddy, Are you sure you want to agree with Harshit Jain, after reading Dev23's comment and mine below?

  • SaraJahanSeAchha on February 16, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Kudos to Kiwis. Being an Indian cricket fan, some indian batsman especially lower order ought to learn something from Kiwis. They don't respect their wickets. Look at Zaheer's dismissal, Jadeja, and even Ishant how recklessly they threw away their valuable wickets. They need to respect it more.

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    @Christian arneil So what are the other teams going to do about it? Win matches in India too? Dude.. That's happening in once in 10 years. Better than every single country who deserves to be ahead of India. And we have world's worst bowling attack barring Sri lanka and Bangla. Still those countries cant take advantage of it.. Stop being a wuss and accept the fate..

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    Has there been any other such instance in Test cricket history where a captain sets his field behind and take out slips when the opposition is down 5 wickets and and still an innings and 150 run behind?

    Also, why on earth does the Indian team go a bowler or two short in every game? Is it to maintain the inflated batting averages of the batsmen?

  • Champagne_Cricket on February 16, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    Hey Vishwas Reddy, I do not know how you came with the comment "dhoni attacked till last ball". As per the article, Dhoni employed defensive tactics. Either you did not read the article or you do not understand English or you are one of those who 'blindly' praise the team. Come on old sport. Grow up.

  • fair_paly_1 on February 16, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    Harshit Jain

    You say Dhoni wasn't defensive. You must have watched the match half asleep then and perhaps you were too tired to read any of the Cricinfo articles including what Martin Crowe said.

    It says in the above article: "Ishant Sharma, their best bowler of the series, bowled to McCullum with no slips and a 6-3 leg-side field".

    Purohit in his article said about Jadeja bowling: "He choked McCullum and BJ Watling with a leg-side field and a line from over the stumps".

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    @Jon nish : thanks man... this is exactly our hopes.... Indian tests team have come a long way since the SA tour... sure they are improving, except minor mistakes which are costing them heavily, even costing matches.... one fine day these guy will taste the test victory and hope they make a habit of that....

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    yadhav should be permanent in Indian team from England tour... you can't persist with zaheer too long, and you can't expect him to teach your bowlers long enough... yadhav should have been leading pace attack by now.. he was supposed to be leading pacer in SA tour, but injury vs England made him to wait a bit more.... it's high time to make him play more matches.... if at all ishant can be replaced which is highly unlikely then it should be either varun or ishwar.... I see no other choices currently and these 4 pacers should play for India for atleast 5 Years from now... which is again unlikely provided almost Everyone is injury prone.....

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    @thozar so u r saying Aussie batsmen who just thrashed southafrica the number 1 team in the world in 4 days an average team??? u must be joking!!! besides england beat India in India mostly bcze of cook not Peterson!!!

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    @Santhosh : well then you would have missed spectacular catches, run out, saved runs through fielding of jadeja if ashwin was included

  • on February 16, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    @Harshit : exactly.... half of these guys who commented here surely commenting based on the score card.... but the fact is both teams were very disciplined... dhoni attacked till last ball and kiwis never let their gaurd down till the last ball...

  • mensan on February 16, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    @Rick_T... very true. May I add that the Pakistani team that played the last test against Sri Lanka in Sharjah had total 287 test caps.

    Well done NZ. Good fightback even when your best batsman Taylor had to be away.

  • on February 16, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    @Rick : then why don't kiwi selectors select him???

  • on February 16, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    Hold on lads!! A world where India is in the top 3 is just terrible

  • on February 16, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    Very good recovery by Kiwis. The 1st session of the 4th day is very important for both the team..

  • Dev23 on February 16, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    I am really disappointed with Dhoni's Captaincy, this is another example of LETTING THINGS SLIP WHEN THE TEAM IS ON TOP by his strange tactics. When NZ were on the back foot he emplyed the six three field without any slips and ofcourse, the chances went abegging. It is a SIN to bowl on this pitch without slip fielders when your pacemen are operating. There was a similar example in SA, when he did not take the new ball when it was due and just watched the game slip away and eventually India ended up losing the match. PROBLEM WITH DHONI IS THAT HE WANTS TO SHOW THE CRICKETING WORLD THAT HE IS TOO CLEVER BY TACTICS WHICH ARE UNORTHODOX. MOST OF THE TIMES THESE TACTICS ACTUALLY WORK AGAINST THE TEAM. DHONI is a good player in all formats but UNFORTUNATELY A POOR TEST CAPTAIN. I would suggest India start grooming KOHLI for CAPTAIN'S ROLE WHO IS A REALLY SMART/COMPETETIVE CRICKETER AND WILL PERFORM A LOT BETTER AS A LEADER.

  • Fan1969 on February 16, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    @Rick_T You have calculated the total Test caps correctly but some observations. 1. Ross Taylor is not playing and with him the gap would be less. 2. India/NZ teams are much less experienced than SA, Eng, SL, Aus (with Watson) 3. When you add Test caps for India, Zaheer contributes 25% but is close to retirement and past his prime. Ishant is the most frustrating for an Indian fan because he has huge experience but his performances have been patchy and unpredictable. Good now but cannot extrapolate for even 3 months 4. Till recently India had huge batting experience but now all are new in Top 6. Overseas batting has historically been a weakness for the Indian test team and now they have no one to guide them.

  • on February 16, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Good show by Ishant even though he could not perform in his second innings. Time to retire Zaheer before selectors take the call. Poor Ishwar Pandey who could not find a spot even after getting selected in both the format of the game at Nz. No need to mention Umesh. His speed would brew suitable for this kind of tracks which has never been utilized by his captain. Ashwin deserves a place in tests more than Dhoni or many other players but he don't get there. He is not effective in Odi but he was there throughout the league. Poor Selection/Utilization of talent for sure.

  • on February 16, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Dhoni should stop following "3.5 bowler : 7.5 batsmen" policy as if he don't know the fact that batsmen could not alone win the tests. We need or bowlers completely to know our potential and core strength as this is the young Team experimenting.

  • on February 16, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    Here I miss Ashwin apart from the time when Rahane could not find a partner from trail enders including Jadeja.

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

    The only person unlucky so far was Anderson, who got the one ball that turned and bounced, and worse still, it went to Jadeja. Anybody else, and he had a 50/50 chance of being let off. What a mess India would have been in if He was still around. Hats off to some of you. If seems as if you played cricket and know what you are talking about.

  • Rick_T on February 16, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    Vishwas Reddy - You are incorrect to say that Jesse Ryder is no better than any other current NZ batsman. In fact, Ryder has the highest 1st class average of all NZ batsmen that have played for NZ recently and are currently playing or under consideration of being selected again soon (specifically openers). His average is 4 runs higher than 2nd place which is shared by Taylor and Williamson. Furthermore, his Test average against India is over 60 (from 10 innings).

  • thozar on February 16, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    @sudhindranath, what makes you think India will lose to England? This is not the same England team we played 3 years back when they were very good. It is not just that they will suffer from mental scars from the Ashes thrashing but the manner in which they were thrashed. Their tactics and skills were brutally exposed by the OZ bowlers and our players will be expecting to do more of the same. Their batting is weak with their best batsman KP out. Their bowling is also weak with the retirement of Swann. India can easily deal with their other medium pacers. If ordinary batsmen like Warner, Rogers, Steven Smith, and Brad Haddin can score centuries against them, then imagine what players like Dhawan, Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, and Rohit would do to them. We don't have a Johnson but Zaheer, Ishant, and Shami are more than enough to blow their weak batting away. I fully expect us to win at least 3-0 with couple of innings victories and rain saving the English in the other 2 tests.

  • Rick_T on February 16, 2014, 15:48 GMT

    Can all the Indian fans please stop lodging comments saying that India has the least experienced Test side in the world and that India is doing well despite this? It has been mentioned a few dozen times over the past 3 days.

    The reality is that it simply isn't true. In fact, without even checking the rest of the cricketing world, India has considerably more experience than the other team on the park at the moment. Prior to this Test, the NZ players had 235 Test caps while the Indian players had 315 Test caps (34% more than the NZers).

  • prpdepan on February 16, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    bmac you beauty. but still a long way to go

  • on February 16, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    C'mon, India, with some sloppy fielding, have allowed New Zealand some life. If this match is drawn, or if India lose, they have themselves to blame. It turns out to be an interesting match. India still have the edge.

  • sudhindranath on February 16, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    @Riz000: I think India's #2 spot is mostly due to some recent performances on home grounds. They may be able to hang on to it for sometime, especially if they can win the current Test against NZ. But they do have an away series in Eng (who are #4 now) where they are likely to lose 3-0 at least and in Aus (currently at #3) later this year. Even if Aus doesn't blow away SA 3-0, they are likely to get India 4-0. That would mean that by the end of the year, India will be in #4 position, which will be a much more realistic ranking for them.

  • on February 16, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    I don't think many of the people who have commented here even stayed awake to watch the match. If they had, they wouldn't blame the Indian bowling today. Disciplined, attacking enough...what you would expect from a decent to good-leveled bowling attack. They also wouldn't blame Dhoni's captaincy, which is usually defensive. Today, he tried to get wickets. And he did get 4 of them today. If anyone is to be blamed, it would be Kohli and Ishant (not for the bowling) for the dropped catches of B-Mac. Sometimes, even the opposition performs well...it isn't always our bowlers fault. In any case, I must praise McCullum and Watling for their extraordinarily composed innings. McCullum especially, because to curb your attacking instincts for such a long time is a huge feat. Congrats to NZ on this day.

    I still feel India will get wickets tomorrow morning, and we will have a smallish target to chase. If not...eh, it happens. The team is young,they will learn, and will win sooner or later.

  • on February 16, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Its much more pressure on INDIA bowling's We have to try randomly in bowling Give change to Ishwer pandey, Bhuvi, YADAV, Vinay kumar in Oversaes. Past August, Ishwar was leading Wicket taker in INDIA A tour to SA agai SA A. Even Poor Ishant can bowl lik this after long poor run, den Y Pandey not. repeatly givin chances to same bowlin pair in all matches was poor. Bench bowlers wil always Kept untested. if unfortunately Big 3 bowlers gets injured. new comer wil find much difficult to find right area to pitch.

    I Pacer like YADAV in bench was poorest. He can bowl 145+ consistently. He bowled out Australia in CT in England.so Y not give him a chances??? Even in ASIA cup, T20 WC Yadav Dropped?! Inform Vinay als not selected ??

    Performin bowlrs r not giving chances always & blaming lik child I tht INDIA hav no experienced seam bowlrs

    England,Aus,Pak,NZ,even SL has seprate Set of Specialist seamers in diff formats. Y not INDIA not trying that????? currtly,V don't hav evn 3 good seamer BAD

  • Iceman29 on February 16, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    We need to find some good seamers and spinners inorder to win abroad....currently our players are getting tired after playing only 2 test matches what if we have to play around 5 test matches abroad...we definitely need to rotate our bowlers during that time....Dhoni need to make smart changes....Zak cannot play continous test matches and we cannot depend on Ishant if the pitch is not assisting....bring in some new spinners like Mishra, Rahul Sharma, Karn Sharma (who can bat a little bit) and some seamers like Rishi Dhwana, Unandket, Ishwar and try to groom them...

  • on February 16, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    One fine day, all the stuff- batting, bowling, fielding, catching, luck - will come together and India will win an overseas test. Maybe that day is in the next few days, or on the England tour.

    Regardless, statistics apart, one should not club 0-8 drubbing in Eng-Aus with the 0-3 or 1-2 losses in SA-NZ. These two are completely different. The latter is an inexperienced team coming to grips with the rigor of a test match, enduring a lot of inevitable heartbreaking losses on the journey to success. In all 4 tests, we come up with a few phases of the Test India did not grab with BOTH hands (run out chance of Faf in Jo'brg 2nd innings, poor catching in NZ 1st test 1st innings, Rahane decision in 2nd innings, poor catching 2nd test NZ 2nd innings), this never happened in 0-8 losses. In those 0-8, indian were completely outclassed. Indian bowling can be slightly improved with bolder selection practices, but beyond that crying about bowling is crying about spilt milk.

  • Fan1969 on February 16, 2014, 15:05 GMT

    One more thing, much talk of defensive fields by Dhoni but given pacers were not really beating the bat often on a day 3 pitch if the field was close and NZ had gone to 350 then what would the same fans, criticising Dhoni, say?

    Field placing has to be based on bowler capability and what opposition batsmen can do. I watched quite a bit and the ball was not beating the bat very often in Session 2 and session 3. It is a decent batting wicket still.

    The bowlers were tiring and McCullum could easily have had 15 more boundaries if the field was all up and attacking.

    What the fans are all wishing is that why do we not have a Steyn/Johnson and keep attacking and getting wickets. But the cold fact is that the Indian pace attack is in the bottom 2-3 of top 8 test playing nations. They are improving but still way behind. We need to find a pace AR in overseas conditions as Ashwin and Jadeja both cannot play.

    Chill, we will win but by 5-8 wickets and not an innings defeat as we all wanted.

  • Fan1969 on February 16, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    Dhoni can be as good as the team. I find it quite irritating to see media/fans criticise Dhoni for his poor TEST record overseas. The fact is that in England and Australia past greats like SRT, Laxman, Gambhir and Sehwag did not perform with Dravid doing well in Eng but not Australia.

    What was Dhoni supposed to do, drop SRT, Laxman etc. or scold these greats for not performing? WHAT TACTICS WOULD HAVE WORKED? The only thing we needed was getting 300 plus runs every innings. TACTICS ARE AS GOOD AS THE EXECUTION.

    This team is very new with only Ishant and Zaheer having enough experience. India were in a great position against SA in 1st test, lost the second though Kohli did get a very poor decision on day 5 (caught behind from the upper arm).

    NZ first test we lost by just 40 runs and are doing well now.

    A fightback always happens. India do not have a Steyn/Johnson to blow out the opposition and no ARs to help the frontline pacers. It is a great improvement. Please be patient.

  • Coolcapricorn on February 16, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    When conditions are not helpful, our bowling becomes toothless & then to make matters worse - particularly when playing abroad, we ridiculously play only three seamers. This is not only in Test cricket but in ODI's too. Hence we either get drubbed or throw away winning opportunities as happened in SA & now in NZ. Obviously the best solution is to find & include a seam-bowling all-rounder in our teams but until we do so, we simply CANNOT play with only three seamers if we hope to do well abroad outside the subcontinent - including next year's WC in Aus/NZ.

  • ravindran2369 on February 16, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Indians are very talented in giving us hope after hope, but only to be defeated at the end, when will we win ABROAD!!!!

  • on February 16, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    @fair_play : good... now I spotted some real fan here.... a very rare sight you see

  • on February 16, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Could one have imagined after the 240+ first innings lead run lead that India could possibly lose this match? Almost losing to SA after a 450 run lead and now this. Obviously bowling is a weakness, but how much does captaincy, or lack thereof, matter? India need to find a pace bowler capable of taking 3 plus wickets in every inning.

  • fair_paly_1 on February 16, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    Vishwas Reddy

    Ok, I let you off then...fair play :-)

    Just a general observation, in my view there are no or maybe a very few real "haters" as such. The reality is that personal prejudices and jealousies aside, just like some outstanding performances, there are certain sportsmen as well that everyone admires even your enemies. To name a few Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting, Wasim Akram, Bret Lee and many more like them have worldwide admirers.

  • Riz000 on February 16, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Being a Pak fan I must say ICC have their rankings upside down how on earth is India no 2 in test? wen they lost to Eng home and away and also lost to Aus away, India has only found one replacement after sachin tendulkhar and thats kohli apart from kohli Rohit,dawan,vijay and co are walking wickets dear or dear...

  • Surajrises on February 16, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Unfortunately India are losing this match on the 5th day. Brendon, Watling, Neesham & Southee are going to hurt India so badly that the team will get demoralized and will lose to NZ. The Black Caps are gonna take a lead of minimum 150-200 and India will be bowled out under that score. Sad but the Indian fans have to gulp this sooner than later. Already feeling bad for Dhawan, Rahane and Ishant's first innings' efforts.. I am still hoping that the pitch plays well on the 5th day so that India can win this match but looking at Brendon's efforts and determination, doesn't look like India are going to win this match... Once again this proves our disability to bowl a side out inspite of having a good lead..

  • fairfan70 on February 16, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Club level attack exposed again (I am an Indian fan, btw).

  • on February 16, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Looks like we have to prepare ourselves for another Indian defeat Boys ! Indians are all weary and almost down and out. Those dropped chances may cost us dearly !

  • on February 16, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    people saying dhoni's TODAY captaincy was defensive surely have nor watched the game.... agree his previous captaincy was defensive ans agree he is not test captain material in the past.... but this time sure he was very attacking.... the reason I say this is I have watched the day from the start hoping that India will make inroads early and finish it today.... but that dint happen.... anyway..dhoni was very attacking today and bowlers did a pretty good job too... atleast that's what I observed...correct me if I am wrong... it's just that the partnership stuck and they played beautifully.... hope India makes early inroads tomorrow morning....

  • spinkingKK on February 16, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    Didn't watch the match. But, I can imagine from the report, how boring would have been Dhoni's captaincy. The man, for some reasons, doesn't care if an opposition batsman gets a century or they make a fight back. He just goes into some kind of shell and let things take its own turn. Again, I haven't watched the match. But, I did watch the match against the South Africans and the report suggests that this match had the exact captaincy ingredients. Hopefully, he freshens up tomorrow and bring in some energy into the team. Otherwise, I have to write off this series as another setup as well.

  • on February 16, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    @fair_play_1 : let it go... you never understood what made me comment that in the first place.... anyway thanks for admiring Indian players..... that comment was made in reply to other guy I was replying to and you took a random comment to reply back... so... chill...:-)

  • AussiePhoenix on February 16, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    True Kiwi grit, digging in and making the opposition work for it. Clever strategy when India consistently lose focus through over confidence and/or apathy. Entirely possible they put on a 200 run lead and give India a real scare in the chase. Hard work = results.

  • on February 16, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    I hope NJ takes a lead of at least 150 so that Indians are made to struggle hard for a win,if any. This would be the best way to end things otherwise an easy win may again cover up their recent horrendous performances for good.

  • tanstell87 on February 16, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Dhoni is a defensive captain and that's proved many times abroad....India had a great chance to win a rare test series in South Africa in 2010-11 series....with series 1-1 going in the 3rd test at Cape Town, South Africa were struggling at 130-6 in 2nd innings with lead of 128 & Dhoni spread the field & guess what South Africa scored 330 & India lost a great chance to win in South Africa....the problem with defensive captaincy is that this filed works in sub-continent but it doesn't work outside the sub-continent...same thing happened today...also with lack of killer instinct in Indian bowlers, India cant expect to win tests abroad....tomorrow McCullum will score 200 & India will lose this test...

  • on February 16, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Since 1932, the theory in India has been primarly spin and swing bowling which has not worked. Eco rates and line and length, Dhoni employs against pace, better strike-rates and better wicket-taking failed with only 5 wickets fallen for NZ. McMullum decided to not play the pull or hook shots against Ishant's barage of short bowls.

    India needs to abandon the Gavaskar-Boycottian theories against and needs to shift-into a aggressive approach of pace, bounce rather than line and length and playing a waiting game that Dhoni's employing. He may know that he will win eventually in NZ but by playing a waiting game it had a problem against SA and drew the match which was supposed to be won by taking wickets.

  • fair_paly_1 on February 16, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Vishwas Reddy

    In my first line, I was quoting your own exact words and yet you missed them again. Read your own comments (this time very slowly) you made at 10:20. My post was out of surprise to your weird suggestion.

    I have admired Pujara, Rahane, Kohli innings many times. For an example, read my comments on day two. So, when did I say "Indians never play good cricket"? Its either a matter of you can't understand your own post, let alone understanding mine or else something else in the back of your mind says so.

  • on February 16, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    No need to panic at the moment. I am confident that zak and shami will deliver the goods early morning tomorrow and match will be over by the afternoon. my prediction is not based on emotions but on skills of Indian bowling. It is my first comment as I am a non Indian fan of team India when they are not playing Pakistan.

  • sumit1982 on February 16, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Third day is the mixed day for the India Team. I think India team has one short pace blower.I think dhoni need to play 4 fast blower when travel outside sub-continent where pitches has juicy that provide assistant to fast blower.

    Day four ,First work to break these stubborn partnership.

    I think like Johnson who was is best form of his cricketing career going like that NZ skipper also going through that stage.

  • scarrule on February 16, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    @first slip -- yeah u r ryt. They failed to understand how imp. Fifa world cup is. Bt u cant say because of bare foot. It was that very same bare foot team that played against france in france bare-footed. Even though they lost with margin smthing 3-2. Bt all the audience gave them standing ovation for sportsmanship nd character they showed throughout tha game.

  • AamirKhan-SuperStar on February 16, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    Expected this to happen. India rolling over sides abroad doesn't happen usually. Yet India should win this one i hope they don't have to chase over 120.

  • Hello13 on February 16, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    Well played to NZ, McCullum has improved a lot since I last saw him. Now it's time for the Indian bowlers to step up, and hopefully the batsmen can chase down the total.

  • kankanamge on February 16, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    U never knows how McCullum can change a game when he's on great touch like this. So watch out!!!

  • on February 16, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    @fair_play_1 : you should answer your own question... how can I look into what neutral fans think??? as you said some Indian fans support Pakistan....yes we Indian fans are first cricket fans... be it any country we will support good cricket... atleast most Indian fans support good cricket.... so you are saying Indians never play good cricket??? that's what I say blind hatred....

  • SydneyIndi on February 16, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    V have a real problem here with our team. Nearing end of the day I saw Dhoni yawning on the field and Ishant doesn't listen to anyone, no hair cut, no headband, drops catches. It was painful to see Ishant & Zak bowling at 120 - 128 kmph whole day with occasional 132-134! But now they have a few wickets recently, they would be ok for the next 10 series under Dhoni! Y our selectors don't realise that on unhelpful pitch days these 2 really R not lethal. I also watched Mitch bowl a couple at 134kmph in SA as slow balls. Well V can't accuse Zak & Ishant of not using slow balls; they R using it every ball! When they bowl at 134 kmph it is their faster ball! V R not going to win O/S with these 2. Pls include Yadav & Aaron. Also note MSD hasn't scored a 100 in tests O/S and check how many tests he has played outside Asia and what that avg is. Y V put up with him? Note also D Karthik not in test team. Y, he threatens Dhoni's place so Saha in? When R V cleaningup all this from these bandicoots?

  • on February 16, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    still india's game. these are the2 wickets india need and that will be over. i dont think any need to worry for india yet. they can chase 200 here in 4 th innings. These two have to bat very well to set a good target. india improved very much from 1 st test.

    BM playedvery well and fought hard but still a long way to go

  • Mintsweety on February 16, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    India should still win this easily but I hope not. As a neutral I'm going for NZ and hope McCullum and watling can add at least another 150 before one of them gets out. Hopefully NZ get 250+ and the pitch starts deteriorating. Would love to see NZ win 2-0

  • on February 16, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Thanks to the great Indian fielding, the match has gone to thr 4th day. With some big hitting from the NZ tail , we are going to see India to meet a target of even 150.

  • Iceman29 on February 16, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    @Vishwas Reddy: well said buddy...these haters will always do their best to degrade us....I would say first clean the dirt at ur back and then point out other's for the haters....if Ind play badly we are the first to point out the negatives when they perform better again we will be the first to congratulate....some people dont understand that....

  • on February 16, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    Go Blackcaps go, You can win it.. Very special innings for McCullum and Watling.. You can do it. You can win it, make 250+ Lead, you're going to win it easily. Still Neesham and Southee has to come to bat. I hope McCullum and Watling stay on pitch till 1st 2 sessions. Good Luck for Tomorrow. Lots of Love and Lots of Wishes to all Blackcaps! <3

  • bala_krithu on February 16, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    NZ wiping the deficit is alright but it should have been 7 down at least. Dropping Mcullum was a huge mistake.

  • santik on February 16, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    india is still in the game and they should back themselves..if we can get couple of wickets early tomorrow, especially that of mccullum we are in the game.wicket is good for batting and anything under 100 can be chased. good luck team india..

  • Ranwick on February 16, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    One thing that you cannot deny is Brendon McCullums desire. Even if we lose this test match I'm just proud that we didn't roll over.

  • fair_paly_1 on February 16, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    Vishwas Reddy

    You say no non-Indian fan supports India when they play against others. If what you say is correct then isn't that weird? You mean there aren't any neutrals who support India to admire Indian cricket?

    I understand even some Indians support Pakistan when they are not playing India. So, why India has no neutral support then?

  • on February 16, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    Dhoni is the worst captain India has ever had. Indian selectors should have sacked him as captian long ago, though retained him as a batsman.

  • on February 16, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    Ms Dhoni made VERY poor decisions in the field today.

  • on February 16, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    @vishwas reddy: well said mate, hater gonna hate man.

  • on February 16, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    Everyone criticised McCullums 60's and 70's when he opened. I don't understand that. He was good by our standards. He's different to most. captaincy doesn'taffect his ability to score runs. He's very good like that. And apparently his teamates really like him, and like him as captain. Go figure...

  • on February 16, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    @chaminda : you call it hate, and I call it love for my country.... you unnecessarily raised population, that hurt my sentiments and that shows how you use that to degrade my country.... the reason I said don't use neutral fan is that I have seen none non Indian fan supporting India when they play against others.... hope this helps...

  • viswag59 on February 16, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    I was aghast to see Virat Kohli spilling a dolly. Also, I hope, Gavaskar's message to the "world famous" Ishant Sharma was delivered when his "curly locks" blurred the vision in his right eye as the return catch hurtled past his two hands and hit his chest!

    I won't be surprised if the Kiwis now build a lead that requires India to score 250+ in the 4th innings.

  • on February 16, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    @chaminda : well you know about India I guess... give respect and take respect.... you blindly blame India and we, atleast I will do the same... just like many others I am proud Indian and I don't let anyone degrad my country....

  • SpinLizard on February 16, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    It's never good to always see so many Indian fans bagging Ishant. He doesn't have the skill or nous of Zak, his talent is his height. I think he does a good job for the most part. But fer chrissakes, for a bloke who could/should be looking at ways to improve himself...GET A HAIRCUT! Or at least a headband.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    Heloo Frienda please dont blame our players. They bowled very well in first innings and also they willl take the rest wickets very soon. So keep faith on our bowler. Am sure we will win this match tommorow.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    ha ha your are hilarious dude.!!your hate towards another country is quite acceptable for ppl of your nature.Of course I am a neutral fan what do you think.it is a series between IND and NZ.but I agree with your point. in test cricket I don't see SL winning a test series in india in next 25 years.let alone alien conditions.however when it comes to shorter format it is a different story.Even though we lost four WC finals. we have pplayed consistent cricket.however add to vass murali in another two years we will have to find replacement for Sanga mahela and Malinga.and u cannot see any youngster who is capable of such in SL.

  • gcblackcapsfan on February 16, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Great to see McCallum toughing it out when needed, a real genuine captains knock. Also for BJ Watling making some runs in necessary situation. India still big favourities but Neesham & Southee really need to hang around and build a lead for NZ bowlers to try and defend.

  • first_slip on February 16, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Though India qualified in 1950, they have never actually made it to the World Cup. They refused to participate, partly because it would have meant their normally barefoot team having to wear football boots.

  • StevieS on February 16, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    What are we going to do about our openers? Who can replace both Rutherford and Fulton? This is a massive achilles heel and we will never climb to the top without decient openers.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    are indian fans never happy?? they are still bagging dhoni and sharma.... both of whom have put their team in the dominant position they are now in. sure mccullum and watling are doing very well indeed but its a losing battle. sharma bowled cery tight and disciplined today and could easily have taken wickets and dhonis batting has been sublime. pleasing to see nz going down fighting rather than colapse as they often do in these situations.

  • Blackholesun on February 16, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    Well played New Zealand !

    And what a shame for India again. Seems like bowlers are back to their earlier ways. Just look at Johnson, 7 wickets followed by 5 to break the back of the same (more or less) that broked India's back. That is what is called fast bowling. When your bowlers are bowling at 130-135 Km / hr then your line and length needs to be very accurate and you might also need to depend on the pitch to do something

    Can't do anything other than waiting for the next day. Hope our bowlers are able to pick up the remaining wickets as soon as possible.

    One thing is sure that if this team is going to Australia, we are going to get a big thrashing there.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    It was refreshing and surprising to see Indians bat so well in their first innings. One thing they got it right, they attacked. That gave them lead and time, which the latter could be the pivotal point in Indians making the victory at last. We ll said that, there is still a big barrier ahead, which could prolong the victory and could even potentially lead to another famous defeat. Dare I must say though, its just one wicket away for Indians coming back, but they will need to make that soon rather than later for their sake and fans sake. Well played though Kiwis to live another day.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    @humi circ : good to see some non Indian fan praising dhoni's captaincy.... to be frank... the bowling was not, so was captaincy.... he attacked every single ball.... the thing is both the batsmen played brilliantly.... by saying Indian bowling was bad these fans are taking credit away from the two batsmen.... hope Indian bowlers utilise the conditions early morning tomorrow and clean the tail quickly...

  • CricketingStargazer on February 16, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    What s happening to world cricket? The winter started with South Africa, England & India #1, 2 & 3 in the rankings. England have lost 5-0 to Australia. South Africa are only playing 3 Tests, so can't do any worse than 3-0 and India are making a determined bid to be whitewashed by New Zealand, ranked #8 and a full 35 ranking points behind, which will be a massive rankings hit.

    Realistically, India should still win comfortably on the 4th day. New Zealand need to bat nearly through the day and it will only take a single wicket for India to re-establish control. But it is an amazing effort by New Zealand from a lost position and India really are making this hard for themselves.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    @chaminda manjula : well now I know why you replied me.... obviously you are Lankan and I need not say about Lankan fans.... oh by way need I say about Lankan record in the past against India in India and AUS in aus??? it's null.... Lanka won zero matches in India and AUS.... and the population is 1.2 not 2..... I reason I say you lost argument when you raise.population issue is that, you don't have anything except the.population to argue with.... in India cricket is mot the only field and hardly anybody take cricket as profession.... better you should find the replacements for vass, murali.. take care of your team first....and dint message here like " being neutral fan " it sounds pathetic.... you can just directly say " I don't want India to win , I am jealous " .... hope this helps... want more stats?? Lanka never won a teat series away from home since 2000 ....

  • fair_paly_1 on February 16, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    India is in a good position simply because Dhoni won the lottery on the first day on a green juicy wicket that made even Sharma look like a champion bowler but is wicketless so far in the 2nd innings.

    Playing a test match with three specialist bowlers only and the tactics of containing runs in this 2nd innings rather than trying to take wickets is extremely defensive and doesn't really deserve a victory. If India continues with such tactics of trying to pile pressure by going batting heavy and hoping to score big, they will only win overseas sometimes and if they get lucky like this.

  • Ragav999 on February 16, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    India is waiting since 1930's and yet to win a Test series in Australia or South Africa. India did not beat even Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in the last 20 years. Australia has a fantastic overall record in India in Tests and ODIs starting from 1950's.

    India did well in the 2000's abroad by at least giving a fight like this series but the fans are concerned mostly about individual statistics and whether Sachin is the greatest batsman or not.

    True Indian cricket lovers should try to emulate the success of other teams and learn from them instead of selectively choosing the statistics to support their blind hatred of foreign teams.

  • iceaxe on February 16, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    As pleasing as a fightback for NZ this was, they will still have their work cut out for tomorrow. If any hope for a draw, they need to bat until at least an hour after lunch, and put up a decent total.

    Still, I'm ever hopeful...

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    Mr.Reddy I am no Indian hater.infact I am a cricket lover.u need grow up and learn the game and stop boasting on average performance.I would love to see players like virat and Rahane performing.I would say those two are the best batters of India.the reason I bough up the population,having 2billion cricket crazy,loving. nation plus the richest and strongest cricket board u cannot find two genuine bowlers at the same time.isn't that quite upsetting.I am not pathetic to laugh at your spelling mistakes.we all are human and English is not our first language. cheers mate.have great day.

  • humi_cric on February 16, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    As a neutral fan (Pakistani fan), I think few Indian fans are very harsh towards Dhoni captaincy, I watched the highlights and he was very attacking throughout the day. Not his fault if two of his fielders dropped catches; Ishant Sharma's was a very difficult one but Kohli was a sitter, Dhoni placed him there for that shot, he should be ready for that (very casual attempt). I am following cricket since 1984-85 but this is a very different NZ team, looks to me like India is playing against Australia or South Africa. NZ team second inning record is very paethetic but here they are doing something very special, so tomorrow's frist session is very important, if NZ only lost 1 or even 2 wickets then they will definitely create some panic in the Indian camp. Bowlers look tired today, so if NZ drag the game to the second session while atleast 3 wickets in hand, Indian bowlers will leak runs, as NZ bowlers are no mug with the bat. Anyway,expecting an exciting finish, good luck to both teams.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    While i am yearning for NZ to not to lose this test match but even in my wildest dream i am unable to see how nz can save this test. Brendon and Walting tried their best but rest of the team surrendered meekly. With 2 full days left and only five wickets in hand (2 to 3 wickets left actually because rest of them are tailenders) and with only about 6 runs lead so far this test is already lost for nz for sure. While nz batsmen have putup some fight but it is too late, even a 250 runs in first innings from nz would have made some difference but the moment they were all out for paltry 192 and then bowled very ordinary this test is lost for them. See the discipline with which indians have bowled, nz bowling was very ordinary compared to that. Hoping for a miraculous miracle and nz save this test.

  • cric_fan123 on February 16, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Today Indian players showed why they will never achieve no. 1 status in Tests. You don't drop a guy who scored double century once, but then India did one better and dropped twice. Its frustrating at best, India might as well win this match but if don't get their act together it wont be surprising if the score reads 12-0

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    India is either going to lose or the match is going draw. From 95/5 they have allowed kiwis to 250/5 due to poor fielding and captaincy. Jadeja bowled unchanged from one end after lunch when fast bowlers should have bowled from both ends. Dhoni is thinking about over rates only so that he does not get banned for England test match. What is the use of good over rate if we can't win a single match away.

  • on February 16, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    @coolcapricorn : exactly... this is where the seamer allrounder comes in handy.... and zaheer should do his mentoring off the field and let umesh yadhav take over....

  • sweetspot on February 16, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Chennai Super Kings extremely proficient with who they pick running into form? There will always be the haters and the lunatics who think the most consistent and best performing team from the IPL will supply not more but fewer players to the Indian team, but what about Jason Holder, Chris Morris and now Brendon McCullum?! Touched by gold, turned to gold.

  • Cricket_archive on February 16, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    India can never become a great team until they get some good match winning fast bowlers who will bowl with same intensity throughout the day and using some of their brains when the pitch is batting freindly.Indian medium pace bowlers lack the intensity,firepower,aggression and mental strength that the bowlers of some other teams have.I hope they will get one good fast bowler to help India win some matches.

  • Iceman29 on February 16, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Well played NZ....Disgusting to see the commitment of Kohli...cant drop a catch of a player like Mccullum he will punish you at the maximum.....hope India takes the wickets early tomorrow without any damage.....

  • sunny_skp on February 16, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    BCCI should start an AD campaign to promote FAST bowlers so that young Indians are encouraged to bowl fast. younsters seem to like batting or spin . No one wants to bend thier back. Ithink its the nature of us Indians.

    Atleast create a few wickets to assist fast bowling

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    the worst bowler ever ishant sharma avg. 37 and take wickets only when feels his position danger in team i am so disappointing that india could not find a better bowler then ishant.

  • Coolcapricorn on February 16, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Obviously apart from the dropped catches, I believe the fact that we don't have a fourth seam bowling option has come to haunt us! I said this with many other Indian fans before the series started but MSD simply doesn't try to adapt when playing abroad. Even though Jadeja may not have gone for runs & luckily took one wicket, it always will be the seamers who get you the wickets on most of these grounds outside the subcontinent. So when you go in with just three seamers with one who is 35+ in age and they are asked to bowl a lot of overs, they naturally start getting tired & becoming less effective the more they have to bowl when the wicket is not as helpful as it was in the first innings. Very frustrating but just let us hope we get some early wickets in the morning, otherwise the same may emerge as today with NZ building a good lead.

  • Mutunga on February 16, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Very pleased to see the NZ team putting up a fight in the face of such odds. Previous NZ sides would have crumbled before tea today.

  • SHENBAGAM on February 16, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    When India lost 8 tests in abroad 3 years ago, the margins were very high, since the Indians, once conceded the first innings lead, accepted defeat and threw away wickets in 2nd innings. They should take a lesson from this Kiwis' attitude. The Kiwis fight, still believing, they can draw the match honorably, if not win.

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Fantastic batting by this pair. Enjoyed watching them doing proper test cricket batting - grinding the opposition - and capitalizing on every thing slightly loose. On a different note, wonder if any Indian player has ever put a family situation before a chance to play? Appreciate Ross Taylor and the New Zealand team for that decision. A series deciding situation and the best player is happily given time off. Of course, probably, the competition is much stiffer in India - you give up your place and somebody may grab it permanently ;-)

  • sunny_skp on February 16, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    Career Suggestion: Indians start your career as Fast Bowlers. Its easy to get to play for India and make millions.

    Wickets dont matter as far as you keep Dhoni happy or play for CSK.

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    oh...and sorry for spell mistakes...typing from touchpad is difficult you see.... hope @@chamma87 is not pathetic enough not to understand the spell mistakes....:-)

  • CricActually on February 16, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    i am a Pakistan team supporter and would love to see India lose. But i wonder why is this panic alarm in Indian camp. I see no reason this match going into draw or India losing it. Be kool and calm, victory is on your doorsteps. this was a good fight back from NZ, but they cant stand for too long. even if they make another 200 runs, the good batting conditions, the strength of indian batting and the enormous time left in the test is on your side. Just be patient and give a time. Could have done better by snatching innings defeat but not be. But here is the consolation, a long waited, away test victory is on its way..Enjoy it.

  • sunny_skp on February 16, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    How many balls from Indian bowlers would have hit middle or Off stump if the batsman had missed it. Not many... Tells you why NZ has erased the lead...

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    conditions favouring india. time left favouring india..form of fast bowlers favouring india..but its attitude of two which is coming on the way. brendan and watling.

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    Watling is trying to prove that he is much bigger and useful Tuk Tuk than Misbah!

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    Well go All Blacks.......you guys awesome!

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    @chamma87 : when you start saying population things and all... then remember you were the who looks more pathetic.... I rest my case.... my advice to you is.... grow up and learn some cricket knowledge instead.of blind Indian hating...

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    India had no chance in SA??? yes with the players who have not even played 10 matches in. career even saffas win have a chance to win in subcontinent.... you should grow up.... and look beyond India... India is not the only country with bad results....

  • Silverbails on February 16, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    It looks like this pathetic Indian team are going to do their usual trick of pulling a definite loss from the jaws of a rare overseas victory!! If you drop a player of the sheer grit, determination and class as McCullum twice then you're really asking to get punished, which is exactly what was demonstrated at the Basin today. India don't really look like having the killer instinct in Tests, always letting teams time and again off the hook; having a clear inability to get the tailenders out. This match may go the full distance, depending upon what happens in the first hour of the fourth morning. And, there's even the very real possibility of India losing this one, to go 2 - 0 down. Why persist with Rohit Sharma and Ishant? They should be dropped immediately! ny chance is showing some fighting spirit Dhoni & Co. after quite an abysmal tour? Probably not, but here's hoping...I'm quite expecting a 1 - 0 or a 2- 0 win for the black caps. India should have a look and copy the Aussies...

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    @chamma87 : cont. try to accept the facts with some sense and not just keeping India in mind.... let me tell you more facts.... AUS last 10 test match performance in India is 8-0. i.e.8 loses and 0 wins... only eng won test series overseas since 2011, when I say overseas keep in mind. Asian teams playing in aus, SA, eng...and rest of Asia playing in Asia...... and reg bowling.... yea the same bowling bundles kiwis for 100+ and 200+ ....

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Nz will fall for next 50 runs in early session. shikar dhawan will beat 9 sixes for India glorious victory

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    @chamma : I don't see how I am comparing Indian team with other teams.... infact I just stated the facts.... I said England won in India, saffas won in England dint I???? and oh yeah aus, eng, SA have pretty much the same conditions, just like India, Lanka, UAE have.... the fact is reams like India, Lanka, pak needs to win in aus, eng, SA to prove themselves and same applies for aus, SA, eng... they named to win in Asia to prove themselves..... and coming to ENG winning in.India, guess when was the last time before that series, it's 28 long years they took..... I may sound pathetic ny stating facts, but the fact remains same, be it pathetic or astonishing, and the fact is no team other than saffas are world beaters, not even eng and aus.... jhonson is thuddlers sub continent.... and apart from Clarke nobody in AUS team knows how to play spin.... and with the retirement of KP and swan I see no future in ENG team..purple patch of cook dint last long.... cont.

  • stormy16 on February 16, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Good fight by NZ but India have done enough to win I reckon. Another wicket and India are home.

  • bismoy on February 16, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    India should not play 4 test in Australia as all match will be over by 3 days.With WC coming in 1 year time, best is BCCI avoiding the series.Atleast india batman confident will not go down before the WC.No way indian batman will be able to handle MJ and with indian pedestrian bowlers all Australian batman can make merry before WC.

  • sunny_skp on February 16, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    I think having four regular bowling options is really poor selection for a test match. There is a lot of work load on each bowler. If a bowler under performces or is injured there is no where to go. Indian bowlers seemed tired in session 3.

    Jadeja is not a wicket taking bowler. India needs wicket taking bowlers. Shami seems to have lost his mantle for taking wickets. His performance in NZ seems well below par. He does not seem threatening now a days. Zak does not seem to have variations. India really needs to focus on getting thier bowling options ready before the world cup starts.

    Look at how lilee helped Johnson. Why cant the same be done to Indian bowlers. Either Indian bowlers dont learn or Foriegn coaches dont coach Indians well. In short a waste of money. Should get Pakistani bowlers coach Indians.

  • Mutunga on February 16, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    Very pleased to see the NZ team putting up a fight in the face of such odds. Previous NZ sides would have crumbled before tea today.

  • johnhamilton on February 16, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    Great partnership from Bmac and Bj

    Took each ball on its merit, rotated the strike well, and excellent concentration over a very long period

    Really liked the fight from both players, especially Bmac, considering his obvious back problems.

    Bmac leading from the front again with a batting average in excess of 75 this summer, hopefully the doubters will maintain a healthy silence now

    Good chance we will still lose from here, but who knows with test cricket

    Indians should be thankful they got the green top on the first morning, but have played well

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    every team is strong at home... no big deal....

  • bismoy on February 16, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    Ishant sharma is back to normal, as mention before any tom dick and harry can take 6 wicket in 1 st day green track but fast bowler real test is in good batting condition, this is where MJ, steyn are 100 time better than like of avg bowler like Ishant.As long as india can't find a bowler like MJ we will sadly will not win anything in overseas. Infact BCCI should avoid Australia tours as 0-4 loss trashing is now just a formality considering MJ current form.

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    @aussie1993 : what's great in you now losing in SA??? aus and SA are pretty much same conditions.... and yes says were dominant.... not anymore.... again I am saying unless this Aussie team can't win in India which are spin friendly pitches...they won't be considered as world beaters.... same goes fir every team including India....

  • on February 16, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    everyteam is strong at home...

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    it is not necessary that india must win. let see tommrow nz will take lead to 400 then india will be all out on 150

  • henchart on February 16, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    Kiwis would be bowled out by lunch on day 4 with a lead of around 90 odd runs.Indians would make a heavy weather of simple target but ultimately win the test and send their die hard fans into raptures besides sweeping the glaring inconsistencies of their bowling attack beneath the carpet for about five months till the tests begin in England.

  • chamma87 on February 16, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    Mr. Reddy it is quite pathetic to see your attempt to justify the inability of Indian team to win in Overseas conditions.You just cannot compare your teams inability with other times and justify it.As a neutral fan it was evident that India did not stand chance against SA in the test series. Actully India was quite lucky to escape with 1-0 rather than white wash.on a another it would have been definite win for Sa on the first test.as a cricket follower you must learn that bowling is part of the game and if you dont have good bowlers that means you are incapable. Eng beat India in your own back yard.Thats it.Eng, miles better team than yours.SA beat Eng at eng. Now Aussie Beat SA in SA. Those three are the leading test nations in the world. India do not belongs to that league. There are miles ahead.you cannot compare Indian test team with above three. Period!! it also highlighs the lack of talent in your country by proving you cannot find 5 proper bowlers out of 2 billion population.

  • sunny_skp on February 16, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    If any team lacks confidence or donot have good records to show play India outside India and you will feel a million bucks after that. Look at McCullums records. His average with India is 60 as compared to 37 with other countries.

    Indian bowlers need to learn to bowl searching length and line. Make the batsman play every ball. Short balls and wide out side off will not force the batsmen to offer any stroke when they are in defense.

    Indians always make a seemingly easy victory difficult and interesting. Good for test cricket...

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    The series is becoming a serious drop catches series and it costing us more than NZ so far. In first test we dropped catches of Williamson and Macculum, they scored centuries and NZ posted 400+. In same test NZ fielders dropped catch of Dhavan who made century and nearly put India to winning chase, but India lost first test. In second test also when NZ we're struggling at 94/5 Indians dropped catches of Macculum on 9 & 36. Macculum is still batting and NZ are 6 runs ahead. We haven't know about Ishant Sharmas ability of catching but definitely nobody can except such error from a fielder of Virats class. Only time will tell how it will cost to India. Again I am reading some comments against Rohit Sharma. Unfortunate for Rohit, as after every failure he is being targeted. Anyways. Now Rohit should also realize he has to perform nonstop. A single failure costs him heavy critics always. At the same time he will not going to recieve any appreciation though after his knock. ATB India

  • aussie1993 on February 16, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    @vishwas ur wrong mate see australia's dominance in sa we have nvr lost test series in sa from 1992 and u guys hv nvr won test or odi series in sa

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    slow but sure twist to this match...hope India does not lose this chance too to win an overseas test...

  • StreetView on February 16, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    To all those arm-chair Bradmans who chide Dhoni for so-called defensive fields , comment only after you see the match. There were slips and short leg,short mid-on for most part of the innings. Its was the dropped catch from Kohli that spoiled things. And the track is good for batting now and it is not easy for the bowlers. Give credit to the NZ batters. Hopefully, India bowl them out tomorrow and snatch victory :)

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @dinesh balani : likewise had it been batsmen other than Indians, the lead would not be that much.... take positives from what we have.... don't keep expectations.... and what's with obsession with Johnson, yes he had great ashes, yes he had wonderful first match against saffa, make no.mistake he is highly inconsistent and is bound to get back to inconsistency after IPL.....

  • switchmitch on February 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    How many wickets did you get in this innings Ishant?

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @ram91106 : exactly, if any one watched the entire days play and they won't be commenting against Indian bowling or dhonis captaincy..... this is just very disciplined bowling and very composed batting on a relatively eased pitch...Indian bowlers were very disciplined ...the fact that kiwis run rate is so low the entire series tell much about the bowlers discipline.... though they have not got wickets they made sure the lead is not.too much.... surely they are going utilise the conditions tomorrow morning....

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    put alarm of 3am..after first session i was relaxed and go to sleep again..before going duty i just open tv to see the news of india celebration but macculam make me tense..good fight by nz..

  • ram91106 on February 16, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @People bashing India's performance today....the Basin Reserve pitch is usually at its best for batting on days 3 and 4...that India managed to oust New Zealand's best batsman Kane Williamson and nipped two other wickets is testament to how we bowled...On a day with bright sunshine and the grass turning brown it would have been worrisome for us if NZ had by stumps been 350 odd runs for ...5...instead they are 251 for 5...a lead of 6 runs...that speaks volumes about the bowlers performance...if you want to compare this pitch to another think Ahmedabad during SL tour or the recent Bangla pitch where everyone gorged themselves with runs...tomorrow's a new day...the pitch is at its most helpful in the morning session...however much a batsman scores on the previous day he is new the next day...takes time to settle down...if we are able to nip out Watling and Neesham early we can skittle them out for less than 350...however brilliant performance by BMac and BJ...backs to the wall feat bravo

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    @Danielrob : yes Indian overseas performance is not that. impressive in the recent past, but which team's performance was good overseas??? AUS lost ashes in ENG, white wash in India, Lanka. ans bangla less talk the better, PAK whitewashed in SA and there are only UAE wonders.... saffas barely managed to win against India in SA( thanks to our hopeless bowling) ENG managed to win in India, but.lost ashes, series against SA in England..... it's not that only India's performance is bad.... every team is performing only in.their backyard... and all the target is toward India.... well they will be targeted for many reasons....every team is in transition phase, and this gets only better by the day.... ..

  • on February 16, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Yet another question on indias bowling attack ....which is not able to take wickets at crucial times....had it been australian bowlers....the match would hv been over by now

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    it's amazing how fans views on.players changes with in a matter of days.... yesterday people praise dhoni for his attacking batting and captains knock, day before yesterday when kiwis were folded for 200+ they praised him as very attacking captain, now suddenly after a very hard fighting partnership, suddenly dhoni is the.most defensive captain and should step down.....Amazing, isn't it...... this shows how difficult it is to be a captain of a team witch huge fan base.... wonder how much mentally tough dhoni is facing all these critics from very long time.... surely nobody would want to be in his shoes.... it takes lot of courage to be a captain for Indian team.... that's why even legends like Sachin, dravid, kumble were not captains for longer duration..... I wonder if the future captain has such courage.... anyway good work dhoni...

  • Diamondback on February 16, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    As a neutral, it is really interesting to see how both Indian and NZ fans think that their team is in a weaker position when clearly it's India that holds all the aces. With Neesham and Southee to come, I don't see NZ winning this. However, this reminds of a game b/w Aus and Pak in Sydney where after conceding a lead of 200 odd runs, Aus set Pak a target of 170+ to win. Pakistan lost that match.

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    Now I understand why Bangladesh want to play India so badly.... LOL

  • DanielRob on February 16, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    Indians don't deserve 2nd rank on the ICC table in Tests. They play well in India and subcontinent no doubt about that but struggle overseas.Being an Indian fan i m very passionate about our cricket but certainly Team India's overseas record after Ganguly & Kumble's captaincy is "horrendous" to say the least. This team is a very young side and needs time to develop itself into a formidable unit. They certainly have the batting talent but lack in bowling. Zak and Ishant were bowling at 130 average speed that too on these pitches which is hugely unacceptable. Look at Johnson. I dont expect them to bowl at 150+, certainly not but they should atleast clock 135+ on these helpful pitches. i mean come on, now a days who bowls at 130 on green pitches. No other teams have fast bowlers who bowl at such slow pace now a days. Even SL seamers r much quicker thru the air leave alone the Pakistani seamers. Only B'deshis & Indians seamers' speed r alike.This is a shame for us Indians.

  • humi_cric on February 16, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    If Kiwis manages to save this match, this would be a huge blow to Indian team (specially to MSD). I only watched the last hour of play and Indian bowlers wasn't looking threatening. B.McCullum is the key, as if he continues to play for another two sessions tomorrow then Indian team will be under immense pressure. 2nd and 3rd days of a test are good for batting and if Kiwis takes a lead of around 200 or 250, match will be interesting (though still India will be favourite), as even B. McCullum wasn't timing the ball well after scoring a century, so pitch won't be easy for batting after tea tomorrow. This match is slightly similar to the recently concluded Ashes, in which AUS top order failed and wicketkeeper (watling & McCullum both keeper) contributed heavily with the bat, along with all rounders. After hitting a six to get his 9th century, the seriousness on McCullum face shows that he has a different plan for this match, hunger to win. Anyway, expecting an exciting finish.

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Only advantage for india is rr is less if they make nz all out in first session it is india game

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    As an Indian Fan I was hoping for 0-2 series loss so that the likes of Ishant, Rohit and Jadeja would be dropped. Nothing against Ishant but if you look at his pace and the seam position you know he is struggling. As you judge a batsmen technique,class and temperament on a testing wicket and not on a flat wicket the same logic holds for a bowler. The conditions on the first day first session will bowler friendly and Ishant exploited them. So until dhoni retires from test cricket in 2015 I see the same players being selected again and again and the likes of promising pacers like umesh sitting on the bench.

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    I am surprised by fans calling dhonis captaincy in this iinnings are defensive.... sure they have not watches match and they comment looking at the score card.... I was a huge critic.of dhonis captaincy in teat cricket, but this is the best attacking captaincy you can do in day 3 of a teat match where wicket is eased a bit.... he had men around the bat and in catching positions all the time....he had slips for all the three seamers for entire day, even short leg, leg slip for jadeja was there all the Time.... if you say dhoni's captaincy is defensive, then you guys ate taking credit away from these two batsmen who batted brilliantly.... yes the ball dint so much... some reverse swing was there for zaheer, atstraight away there were 3 slips and gully..and same happens with shami, there was a slip, and two men catching on both sides.of pitch, short leg.... what more attacking you cam get???? .... as I see this day saw some.good captaincy from Dhoni and very good batting from two batsmen

  • The_other_side on February 16, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    The most influential player for NZ along with McCullum is Mr. kohl I!!!! in the first test, he got out at a crucial juncture by playing a rash stroke and then in this test dropped McCullum with a lazy try!

    What else can we say !!!

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    tomorrow first session will be crucial, at one point I really though Kiwis will loose this test match by an innings so good come back by them. I will still favor India to win this match comfortably however If NZ can bat through out day 4 with healthy run rate we will have a cracker of a test match! and I hope that happens cuz it will be great to watch!. But I think that may not be the case, by the looks of it India may win this comfortably which they deserve because they batted and bowled well!

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    I haven't seen the match but if it is defensive fields then yes dhoni must step down from captaincy (though he can remain in the team as keeper). The problem is will the other captain be attacking ?

  • Dinkepo on February 16, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Seems to be everthing same since the ODI and Test started in NZ,Sure MSD will be the first captain who won the toss most of the mateches continuously and also loose the game continuously.

  • NostroGustro on February 16, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    Great knock BMac! THAT is the sort of innings I have waited so long to see from him. A true, gritty, survive at all costs knock. I have been calling for his replacement for months now. But I retract that now. He has shown tenacity in the face of personal pain and triumphed today. Add consistency to the tick column aswell. As long as his body allows it, Baz is locked in, in my XI.

    The match hasn't been saved yet by any means and the same again is required if NZ is to escape.

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    @Justipl : lol.... jessy Ryder, guptil??? kidding me???? they are no better than any current kiwi batsmen, they are just good as many odi, t20 stars..... and India playing with full strength... lol...yeah by full strength you mean 8 players playing in NZ for 1st time, 5 players playing their 5th game, 8 players not even played 25 matches....and no leading spinner, literally no 3rd seamer, that makes literally only two bowlers of which one guy is a joke and only shami is promising..... yeah this is full strength..... you must be thanking gods foe not having umesh yadhav, harbajan, ashwin not playing in this series.... ans the fact is in the last 4 matches India played 3 matches have been an epic fights between two teams and being the moat rookie team around, India did more than what they could have done in alien conditions..... your comments looks more like a excuse for the lose.... no Taylor , green pitches, small grounds... search more

  • wildernick on February 16, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    Very good fightback from NZ, hoping that they can deny this Indian seam attack tomorrow morning first session and then possibly push on toward a 200 + lead...big ask but not impossible!

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    If NZ post anything more than 200 and allow india to bat in the last session tomorrow then anything can happen with the 4th innings syndrome and a powerful NZ bowling!! India shud get the kiwis out by the first session tomorrow morning to win!!

  • on February 16, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    This match is for sure a match to loose for India if they cant make good this opportunity.If Mccullum and Walting can grind their way the entire day tomorrow they can notch up a lead of around 200 plus which I am sure India will try to chase and loose like how they did in the 1st test.Unless India takes 5 wickets at the earliest its curtains for India once again

  • johnhamilton on February 16, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    Great partnership from Bmac and Bj

    Took each ball on its merit, rotated the strike well, and excellent concentration over a very long period

    Really liked the fight from both players, especially Bmac, considering his obvious back problems.

    Bmac leading from the front again with a batting average in excess of 75 this summer, hopefully the doubters will maintain a healthy silence now

    Good chance we will still lose from here, but who knows with test cricket

    Indians should be thankful they got the green top on the first morning, but have played well

  • Adamp23 on February 16, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    Probably the defining moment of the season for the blackcaps. So often in the past when faced with a first innings deficit we collapse and lose within 3 days. There was a chance again of this happening but a fine captains knock has prevented an innings defeat and who knows from here. I think India will still win but today and this season has shown that New Zealand has made drastic improvements and will be in the top 3 for all formats in the near future.

  • Rags57 on February 16, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    I am completely lost on Dhoni and his strategy - I wake up in the morning to see a 98 for 5 score and after that only see defensive captaincy. Dhoni can be proud of choking the run rate but he does not seem to have realized that India may even lose the game from here on. The new ball is twenty overs old and even when it was new there were not many exciting moments for the Indian pace attack so with the ball getting older even Neesham, Wagner and Southee could make life difficult for this bowling attack. Scoring anything more than 150 could be tricky and India are known to collapse when they are under pressure. Dhoni can not blame it on ill-luck - it is purely poor captaincy. Believe it is time for a change over to Virat Kohli. Dhoni could play as a batsman but even there Dinesh Karthik is a better wicket keeper batsman than Dhoni.

  • FSL2013 on February 16, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    India batted well in first innings so I dont see a total of 150 or even 200 threatening them but 4th innings are always tricky... nevertheless I would like to see a match out of this and would love to see a thriller ending the game.

  • Al.Turner on February 16, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    I expected best batting conditions today and little movement, our chance to pull back into the game after being the poor team to have to bat first.....the Indians bowled their hearts out today....gave little away BUT in fact that helped keep our boys tight...ironically poor bowling which our boys likely would attack would have seen an attacking mistake....McCullumn is proving to be a real hard KIWI and a batsman that can play to the conditions....he does not get intimidated....We need a highest score from both to pull out a draw and may I dream a win!!?? We must survive the first most dangerous 20 overs ....test not over today! Yeah-a McCullumn leading from the front. Watling another hero too

  • mensan on February 16, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    Almost sure that NZ will lose this test match but it's great to see them fighting back. Watling at last coming back into form and Mc Cullum playing a captain's knock. The absence of Taylor has really affected NZ team balance. I hope he proves me wrong but I dont think Tom Latham is test class (same was the case of Rod Latham).

  • Dinkepo on February 16, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    As i mentioned many times MSD tactics failure by let the opponent middle order settle down and put pressure back on indians who finally lost the game, which team cal loose such this chances except india, we can seen clearly what happened in the last test Aus Vs SA, how MC used their bowlers to crate pressure on most experienced SA batting line up and finally won the match as per their plan so that MSD plan and action on field still avarage even win this game.

  • Kulaputra on February 16, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    NP_NY does watch paint dry then.

    Indian bowling is good in patches. Unfortunately, there are multiple innings between these patches and rarely does it occur in the same match.

    We have slow "fast" bowlers and a fast "slow" bowler.

    Whom are you kidding Sandeep Patil - Pick up Shreyas Gopal, The U-19 left arm spinner Singh and kiss good bye to all the has beens. You have shown a lot of guts - show some further guts

  • on February 16, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    I must agree apart from the first innings in first match, dhoni's captaincy has been attacking all the way...even in this innings there were men around bat and in catching position all the time...good work dhoni... again macullum catch was dropped early...this could prove costly.....and jadeja has done a fantastic job, he never let the batsmen to go after him...he made sure run doesn't flow from his end...good job both teams....infact both captains

  • MiddleStump on February 16, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    India finally played as well as, er, India. Dropped catches led by a sitter from Kohli. Ishant Sharma bowled and fielded like the I Shan't we all know. Even with only 4 bowlers Rohit did not get to bowl today which means he has got two days off in 3 days since he practically did not bat yesterday either. New Zealand must be a lot more confident and relieved they are playing India and not Bangladesh or even Durham. Then again it might be a bit premature for them to celebrate since they could easily revert to their established ways anytime in the next two days.

  • dogandbone on February 16, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    first test Williamson gets dropped early to a simple catch and scores a ton...test lost.....today McCullum gets dropped to a simple catch on 9 and then again at 36 and goes on to score a ton...India again is the test lost???? kindegarden stuff from India

  • RichardMLindsay on February 16, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Indian fans, I am loving this series as a Kiwi. Shame it's only a two test series. We would love 3 or more tests against you. There is so much interest in this series. Should be an interesting Day 4. India still on top of course but we are fighting to make a game of it. Enjoy!!

  • JustIPL on February 16, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    India could not impose any authority. No need to keep india at bay thay are already at bay by themseleves. Indian fans should thank that NZ are without ryder, guptill, taylor & doug bracewell otherwise they would have not this closer. Certainly, india don't belong to their ranking on the ICC table. But with still two days to go NZ are destined to lose this game. Morning spell will fetch a wicket or two and then india can claim the victory. But NZ will be winning a lot self confidence despite losing this game as they will establish that they are a much better side than india when full strength. Or is it the gift of supporting B3 idea that indian bowlers did not get NZ out. lol.

  • on February 16, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    people should not forget that there is 2 more days left yet in this match, that's is 180 overs....all three results are possible.... although India winning probability is more than the other two results...Will wake up early tomorrow

  • on February 16, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    its time that Peter Fulton be replaced by a young and dependable batsman and that India bring back Harbajan Singh

  • on February 16, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    @aussie1993 : how long do AUS need to wait till they win a test match in India again??? last 10 matches in India AUS lost 8.... keep waiting till then...oh you can enjoy the two draws you got in those 10 matches....

  • on February 16, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    as long as ishant play in any format...I will always want India to keep on losing.

  • Johnny_129 on February 16, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    I am used to this but it is still painful to watch - India can not break a partnership between an average and below average Test batsman!! Would not be surprising if both and McCullum and Watling get 150 plus!!!

  • Mervo on February 16, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    India have the better batting side but their pace bowling is so weak. I had great hopes for Shami. I really thought he would do well there.

  • on February 16, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    NZ resurrecting from the dead! Now only 5 runs behind.

  • NP_NY on February 16, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Unfortunately for India the second new ball does not come with a Mitchell Johnson, Dale Steyn, Trent Boult, or Junaid Khan. New balls don't mean much to sides like India, SL and Bangladesh. Watching this Indian bowling is like watching paint dry.

  • Priyanka_Cricket on February 16, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    seriously, dhoni should be kicked off as test captain, 10 test matches lost a row, and this one gonna be draw again because of his poor captaincy.

  • Johnny_129 on February 16, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    India is finding it difficult to break this McCullum-Watling partnership - Could this be yet another case of India SNATCHING A DRAW from the jaws of victory??? I would not say SNATCHING DEFEAT from the jaws of victory - cos, quite clearly, Sri Lanka are the masters of that!!! These teams really lack the killer instincts.

  • aussie1993 on February 16, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    poor indian now waiting for 3 year long test victory this is some horrible records still the indian fans calling draw like that achievement

  • on February 16, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    Here we go again! Dhoni spreads the field when India is on the verge of victory. Way to go NZ, keep fighting hard and score at least 150 runs lead to teach a lesson. GO NZ!

  • on February 16, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    very good resistance shown by macullum and watling.... looks like we Indians have to wait till tomorrow to celebrate the end of waiting.... bowlers become little complacent after that 5th wicket.... but good thing is Indian bowlers kept run rate in check... so they don't don't have to chase big total in 4th innings...... oh ans yes, our ishant sharma is back to form, if you know what I mean.... :-P

  • pull_shot on February 16, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    When was Mac Cullum was allowed to play 200+ balls by any opposition except by india, Indian bowlers ur great ruining all chances created by our batsman first in SAF 1st test and now but also don't forget 500 u guys gave away in 2nd SAF and 1st NZ test.

  • kiwicricketnut on February 16, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    well the massive void in our batting line up has been exposed with no taylor, especially when we are carrying two inept openers,the main problem is our guys don't rotate the strike enough, williamson and taylor excluded the rest are block-bashers really, watling has the right temprement but needs to score a bit more frequently, he doesn't bash it but he doesn't rotate the strike much either, i honestly think this is the teams biggest downfull, because even when you hit well and it goes for four you still have to stand there and face the next ball which means our guys face ball after ball having to concerntrate for longer than if they regulary pick up singles and get to the non strikers for more regular breaks for the mind, it also forces the bowler to reset their plans increasing the chance of preserving your wicket even further, while this test is gone now i hope this is something the batting coach addresses before the next one because its a big flaw in our game.

  • yjreddyindia on February 16, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Almost after three years of gap India is going to register their first win in abroad.feeling happy about team india performance.GO INDIA GO.

  • on February 16, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    Well.. Wake up early in the morning to see India win a match after a long time. For me, they have played competitive cricket both in SA and NZ.. Had there been a bit of luck, India would have levelled the test series 1-1 in SA, Won the one dayers 3-2. Any neutral cricket fan will agree with me. Any thoughts guys?

  • on February 16, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    India preparing the coffin for the Black Caps. They are following the plans perfectly. Zaheer, Shami and Ishant will want to lift the Basin Reserve wicket and ship it to India. The BCCI should employ the Basin Reserve groundsman so they can prepare such wickets in India!

  • on February 16, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    This dropped chance of McCullum could cost India like any thing.

  • bappcric on February 16, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    Indian bowlers need to take Johnson's lead - develop JUST the BICEPS ( not shoulders ). That will give that extra 10 km to frighten batsmen. Now how he got those - ask him. Ha Ha Ha.

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  • bappcric on February 16, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    Indian bowlers need to take Johnson's lead - develop JUST the BICEPS ( not shoulders ). That will give that extra 10 km to frighten batsmen. Now how he got those - ask him. Ha Ha Ha.

  • on February 16, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    This dropped chance of McCullum could cost India like any thing.

  • on February 16, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    India preparing the coffin for the Black Caps. They are following the plans perfectly. Zaheer, Shami and Ishant will want to lift the Basin Reserve wicket and ship it to India. The BCCI should employ the Basin Reserve groundsman so they can prepare such wickets in India!

  • on February 16, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    Well.. Wake up early in the morning to see India win a match after a long time. For me, they have played competitive cricket both in SA and NZ.. Had there been a bit of luck, India would have levelled the test series 1-1 in SA, Won the one dayers 3-2. Any neutral cricket fan will agree with me. Any thoughts guys?

  • yjreddyindia on February 16, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Almost after three years of gap India is going to register their first win in abroad.feeling happy about team india performance.GO INDIA GO.

  • kiwicricketnut on February 16, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    well the massive void in our batting line up has been exposed with no taylor, especially when we are carrying two inept openers,the main problem is our guys don't rotate the strike enough, williamson and taylor excluded the rest are block-bashers really, watling has the right temprement but needs to score a bit more frequently, he doesn't bash it but he doesn't rotate the strike much either, i honestly think this is the teams biggest downfull, because even when you hit well and it goes for four you still have to stand there and face the next ball which means our guys face ball after ball having to concerntrate for longer than if they regulary pick up singles and get to the non strikers for more regular breaks for the mind, it also forces the bowler to reset their plans increasing the chance of preserving your wicket even further, while this test is gone now i hope this is something the batting coach addresses before the next one because its a big flaw in our game.

  • pull_shot on February 16, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    When was Mac Cullum was allowed to play 200+ balls by any opposition except by india, Indian bowlers ur great ruining all chances created by our batsman first in SAF 1st test and now but also don't forget 500 u guys gave away in 2nd SAF and 1st NZ test.

  • on February 16, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    very good resistance shown by macullum and watling.... looks like we Indians have to wait till tomorrow to celebrate the end of waiting.... bowlers become little complacent after that 5th wicket.... but good thing is Indian bowlers kept run rate in check... so they don't don't have to chase big total in 4th innings...... oh ans yes, our ishant sharma is back to form, if you know what I mean.... :-P

  • on February 16, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    Here we go again! Dhoni spreads the field when India is on the verge of victory. Way to go NZ, keep fighting hard and score at least 150 runs lead to teach a lesson. GO NZ!

  • aussie1993 on February 16, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    poor indian now waiting for 3 year long test victory this is some horrible records still the indian fans calling draw like that achievement