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

'Pleased to be only five down' - McCullum


'One of the few times we've had to come from behind' - Bob Carter

Brendon McCullum was happy to get through to the end of the third day at the Basin Reserve with New Zealand only five down. McCullum and BJ Watling added an unbeaten 158 for the sixth wicket after New Zealand were reduced to 94 for 5. McCullum said it would have been a disappointing end to a productive summer had his side gone down without a fight, but acknowledged that much more was needed to be done on day four.

"If we had been rolled over in this Test, that would have been slightly disappointing after how successful the summer's been," McCullum said. "That is the beauty of winning consistently and not finding yourself in too many of these situations. And when you do find yourselves in them, it seems a bit easy to get out of it.

"Just pleased to be able to get through to the end of the day and make sure we are only five down. We have got a lot more ground to cover tomorrow and being five down is key for us. If we had been six-seven down then this Test was over. That was a big couple of hours at the end there. It is a good start for us today but we know we have got so much hard work to go tomorrow."

McCullum restrained himself from attacking the Indian bowlers, especially till he reached his half-century. He said he had only done what the team needed from him at that point. "That is what the team required. And as captain that is what you have got to try and achieve. You are not always going to but you have got to try and work your game to the situation."

McCullum said the Indians had bowled "brilliantly" and made it difficult for New Zealand. The hosts had also been in trouble in the first innings in Auckland at 30 for 3, and even then, it was McCullum who had rescued them, making 224 eventually. When asked if another double was on his mind, he said if he could, that would certainly help the side.

"To be honest, we probably need a double-century to keep us in the game. If BJ and I can emulate what we did today tomorrow, tomorrow night would be great to go out and make some decisions about where the game is heading rather than constantly try and fight out of it in this situation."

Bob Carter, the New Zealand batting coach, said he was pleased with McCullum-Watling stand, given that the team had struggled to put together partnerships earlier in the match.

"Today was a very tough day of Test cricket. They didn't give us anything," Carter said. "They [India] have bowled well since the second innings in Auckland. They bowled very well in this game, certainly in that first part of the day, and I thought we came back at them using very fine technique. I think we built on that partnership and their bowlers got a little bit tighter.

"I think our key was to have a partnership. As you saw, we were really struggling to get a partnership. And this has been something that we have worked on. And this is one of the few times where we have had to come from behind. We have sort of been leading most of the summer.

"This was a real test of us today and tomorrow is the same - a test of our batting to see whether we can put up a score on the board in order to put India under pressure. They are a fine team, they are going to come out and bowl well again tomorrow. We know we have got a challenge on our hands, and it is something we are really looking forward to."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • ESPN on February 16, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    @jimmyvida:Since you asked here is the reply. There is no need to show the trajectory the ball as jadeja is a left of over the wicket bowler it has to be the arm ball if he has to get an LBW. Furthermore there is no DRS. So there is no point. The question I like to ask is NZ a great team under Brendan McCallum or India is just an overrated team when they do not have their fan base to cheer them on? Some would saw they are the Asian flat track bullies.

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    @ Jimmyvida: ask BCCI to allow DRS in India's matches then there will be no such confusion.

  • henry on February 16, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    @jimmyvida...many listen to the radio commentary in NZ and some even call it "truth radio" you hear it as it is....television commentary is spin

  • Channan on February 16, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    Maybe someone can help me out here. Early in his spell Jadeja bowled Mc Callum a straight ball that appeared to be hitting the middle stumps. Brendon tried to sweep and missed. All three NZ TV commentators said quickly that the ball was going down the leg side. Usually, in cases like these they would show the trajectory of the ball. They didn't. Why? The angle shown on my TV indicated he was out.

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Easily the best innings by a batsmen in this tour (ODI and Test included). And boy, how morale-boosting it is when it comes from the captain himself. This test may still well be India's, but I wondering interesting things would have got had there been a third game in the series.

  • henry on February 16, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    you should be thanking the Indian fielding for only being five down....not like NZ havent given India enough chances to have the test finished by many in the first innings and again in the second innings...

  • VENKATESA on February 16, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    I can't remember even one test innings from our Captain Dhoni where he had successfully scrapped thru' a tough session or couple of sessions in testing conditions against good seam attack & constructed a Match saving / match winning Innings in his career spanning around 10 years.. He should atleast learn from someone like a McCullum since both are naturally attacking batsmen.. Its only in adverse situations like these a players mental strength & calibre come to the fore.. I know that McCullum was dropped twice but atleast he was willing to change his game & fight it out for the team's sake.. Learning is a continuous process & it doesn't stop once you get established in the team.. So learn to fight it out for the team MSD.., thats how you will become the best WK Batsmen going around & thats how you can take your team forward.. If Dhoni is consistent in the tests then we can think of playing 5 batters + Dhoni + 2 Allrounders ( Pace or Spin will be decided by conditions ) + 3 bowlers..

  • ESPN on February 16, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    What a great test match this is turning out be. If NZ can score 250 and last at least another 75 overs they have a very good chance of winning this test as well. The way McCallum batted today I wouldn't mind out a fiver on them to win it! Great advertisement for test cricket.

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    Wt South Africa needed yday was Baz - Watling esque stand. Its true that the pitch was misbehaving but still SA should have made Australia work hard for their wickets.! Anyways All da best for NZ for the 4th days play...

  • Lakshan on February 16, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    McCullum is the only hope for us. He's one of the greatest in the world & he is able to turn anything upside down. If Baz strikes India would left two chooses is go to hell or back to home.

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