'Pleased to be only five down' - McCullum
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