New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 4th day

NZ undecided on batting tomorrow, says McCullum

Abhishek Purohit in Wellington

February 17, 2014

Comments: 162 | Text size: A | A

BJ Watling was dismissed in the first over with the new ball, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, 4th day, Wellington, February 17, 2014
Brendon McCullum on BJ Watling: "He has got that real resilient streak about him" © Associated Press

Drops cost India dear

  • Shikhar Dhawan has said India paid a "heavy price" for putting down Brendon McCullum twice. The New Zealand captain was reprieved on 9 and 36, and he ended the fourth day batting on 281, having given his side a lead of 325.
  • "It was the same wicket yesterday and then (we) bowled very well," Dhawan said. "Third day wicket, did a great job. Got half the team out. Unfortunately we dropped McCullum and paid a heavy price for that."
  • Dhawan denied India had become defensive, and said they were seeking wickets, until New Zealand had chugged too far in front. "No, not really. Even when McCullum was batting on a big score, attacking fielders were there. At the end of the day, there was a bit of a defensive field. But we needed to save runs too."

Brendon McCullum has said that New Zealand will decide overnight whether they will push for a 2-0 series win on the final day of the Wellington Test or settle for 1-0. McCullum was unbeaten on 281 as New Zealand ended the fourth day at 571 for 6, leading India by 325 runs. McCullum has an opportunity to become the first New Zealand batsman to score a triple century, but was unwilling to commit to the side batting on the final morning.

"Obviously we are 1-0 up in the series," McCullum said. "We have worked really hard to get back into this contest, so that is one decision we have to look at, whether we try and push on for a Test win or we look to consolidate the lead that we have got knowing how far out of the game we were.

"Those are the decisions we have to mull over tonight. The decisions were not in our court a couple of days ago. It is nice to be able to be in that luxury position to make those decisions, and to know that you have worked incredibly hard to get into that situation to give you that luxury of making those decisions.

"I cannot assure you on that (batting tomorrow) yet. Whatever we decide, we will make sure we give it a 100%."

BJ Watling, McCullum's partner in their record-breaking 352-run, sixth-wicket stand, suggested the side's decision to bat on the final day would depend on conditions on Tuesday morning.

"[It's] still a good pitch and I think it is pretty flat," Watling said. "Off the straight there is not too much turn out there and the bounce is pretty consistent. I think a couple might have stayed down, a couple might have jumped a little bit but nothing too extreme.

"We would definitely love to win the Test but we still think there is a job to be done in the first hour tomorrow morning and see where we are at. It's still a good batting track but I think if the conditions are right, our bowlers could come out there and swing it and try and put them under a bit of pressure and possibly try and win a Test match."

McCullum was pleased with the day New Zealand had, after they began effectively at 6 for 5 and added 319 runs for the sole loss of Watling. He said: "We set our game plans and our strategies, and you dream the dreams and you don't always live them. Today, BJ and myself were able to put ourselves in a very good position, and the way Jimmy Neesham came in and created that partnership. At the end of the day, we are incredibly pleased with where we are at."

McCullum was also happy with the way his partners, Watling and Neesham, went about their batting. Watling ground out a defiant hundred while Neesham stroked an unbeaten 67 to extend New Zealand's advantage.

"I am really pleased with BJ, as well. We know how much of a scrapper and how hard a worker he is," McCullum said. "He has got that real resilient streak about him. [It takes a] special kind of pluck to stand up and do what he did in this Test match, and bat as long as he did for us to able to create that partnership and pick up some accolades along the way as well. [I'm] delighted for BJ and also with Neesh for the way he started. It has been a good day for us."

When asked about his own physical condition, having batted more than 12 hours with a sore back and shoulder, McCullum admitted he was feeling exhausted, particularly in the final hour.

"I am a little bit tired actually, to be honest. The last hour was a bit of a daze," the New Zealand captain said. "I was just trying to get through and thankfully Neesh was playing some shots and ticking the scoreboard over. So thought I'd just hang in there. I guess I was trying to make sure you get through the day knowing you have earned the right, to get through the day after the pressure we have had to absorb. I am pretty tired at the moment. Body is a little bit sore, but when you are scoring runs, your body does not hurt so much."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 18, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Well, now we know. McCullum delayed the declaration beyond all reason, although, at 10-2, it might just have worked. However, ultimately, we saw that even 10 overs more would have made no difference.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (February 17, 2014, 23:54 GMT)

MCullum is a bad captain as shown by his record including against England and India in the Frist Test. One thing is sure he will take a poor decision.

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 17, 2014, 23:34 GMT)

from 94 for 5 and to give 550 Plus runs to batsman #6 to 11 will not you win any games, forget about pitch, juets get wickets, If NZ draw this game it is win for them they have batted almost two days to save this game. India should have won this game, the defensive field on 4th day was useless, you are down in series, one have to buy wickets, if they score too much so what, we should try to chase it, with defensive fields one is sending message of waiting to happen kind of attitude.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 22:20 GMT)

Its a shame that country of 1 billion people cannot produce 4 fast bowlers. Ishant and Shami have never looked so spineless and docile bowling on a bouncy albeit flat track. Indian bowlers look toothless on flat tracks while Mitchell Johnson destroys batting lineups and causes collateral damage whenever he can :) Dennis Lillee and MRF pace academy should be questioned about its purpose and held accountable for the results.

Posted by regofpicton on (February 17, 2014, 22:06 GMT)

This has to be a wind-up, please tell me it's a wind-up!!!!

Posted by Andy_D on (February 17, 2014, 21:33 GMT)

India will not get past 325 in 90 overs with all the Kiwi fast bowlers. Indian batsman cannot be trusted for new balls - especially M Vijay who blames new ball for losing early wickets.

Posted by Deceptionshy on (February 17, 2014, 21:23 GMT)

@ Dan Parker - I completely agree with you, India still relying on Zaheer to deliver, its really shame that with plenty of riches, BCCI does little to encourage fast bowling in India. Its not that we dont have fast bowlers, we have Umesh Yadav and Varun Aron who can bowl consistently @ 150KM and couple of others in the fringes. But BCCI never plan their careers properly. On the contrary they groom and plan the batting careers with special talent. This is the Irony of India, With so many well equipped stadiums in India, BCCI should make half of them into seaming/Fast tracks...this would encourage the bowlers. I dont understand the logic of not giving chance to Umesh or Varon against the SA or NZ, they are pretty quick and any batsman in the world, no matter how big are not comfortable against quick bowling.

Posted by KiwiPom on (February 17, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

There is another way of looking at this. Sometimes a good rule of thumb is to make the decision the opposing captain doesn't want you to make. I could make a good case for either here - but surely India, when the chips are down, would welcome a chance to go for it.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 20:46 GMT)

NZ should bat 2 hours and score 120 runs more and then declare.It will be almost impossible to score those runs and if they tried to be brave who knows few wickets down and NZ can win a historic match.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 17, 2014, 20:36 GMT)

@kiwipom How much damage has the New Zealand fightback done? Maybe, some of the fight has gone out of India. If they give India 80 overs you will find out; the new ball would be available if they bowl them reasonably quickly: 15 overs per hour should not be taxing to beat if they want to do it.

Posted by simonviller on (February 17, 2014, 20:08 GMT)

This is just diversionary tactics by McCullum to throw the Indians off . I don't think he's that naïve to declare and let India back in the game ? NZ has more to lose by trying to win this game ,than by trying to bat on to a draw . It would be a big mistake to set India the present total to win ,with the batting line-up they have they will go for it and most likely get it ; they would have nothing to lose after all ,at this point in the series .

Posted by Presynaras on (February 17, 2014, 19:55 GMT)

It's not lack of bowling talent in India, it's lack of trust in that bowling unit. For the first time in the history of Indian cricket, we actually have 'Fast' bowlers, people who could bowl more than 140-145 consistently. Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Vinay Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, all are capable of bowling at 140 above. I don't remember ever having so many quick bowlers. Nehra with his 140 at the beginning of his career, seemed a unique talent & rarity. Indian management has to trust them & give them more chance. Ishwar Pandy especially is a special talent. Also I am not happy abt people giving up on Ashwin & declaring he can't bowl overseas. He is just 4 test matches old overseas wise. Shane Warne was awful during his first six tests, Kumble struggled hard for years overseas & Bhajji didn't get heaps of wkts either, during his first four overseas series. We need to place more trust on Ashwin and give more chances. Jaddu is a 5th bowler and no lead spinner

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 19:21 GMT)

Good strategy.. They just want to keep India guessing overnight. That's it.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (February 17, 2014, 19:16 GMT)

If he declared early and then saw India close on their target it would make a waste of what was a monumental effort by himself and watling. They should post more runs, keep India squirming and then consider giving them a demoralising last two sessions with a win an impossibility and a draw the only recourse.

Posted by KiwiPom on (February 17, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

I can't believe he's even thinking of declaring overnight. I can't believe he's even thinking of declaring at all. If he declares overnight he doesn't have enough runs. If he declares sometime in the morning he doesn't have a new ball. I'd try to bat as long as possible. On that pitch we can't bowl India out in the time available. We'd be risking all to gain nothing. If he's thinking of declaring overnight to show people he's not interested in himself then he's actually shooting himself in the foot.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 17, 2014, 19:00 GMT)

@Naveed Iftikhar I agree. Attack for a maximum of 8 overs, leaving 80 in the day. Try to get that triple century and then declare. The chances of India scoring 360 in 80 overs are very remote but, were they to go for it, it might just give New Zealand a chance of an extraordinary win. The declaration has to leave a target that is just about possible and, if the opposition are good enough to get it, there is no shame on anyone.

Realistically though, this is going to be a draw.

Posted by liaqathussain on (February 17, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

Bat as long as New zealand can,A 1-0 lead is enough to seure the series and that would be a big series win, Why leave the door ajare even with a possibility for the Indians to chase down what ever is given to them, Just look what Pakistan did and chased down 300 in two sessions of a test on day 5,

And this is a Indian batting line up so best for go for safety first

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

Just bowl short. Indian batsmen will get out from fright and complain that it was a greentop (kohli) even though its as lifeless as dhonis captaincy.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

NZ should take the lead close to 375 and the way both batsmen are playing, they can get another 50 runs in 7/8 overs and then attack India with full and short balls.

Posted by gmoturu1 on (February 17, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

Baz should bat for 1/2 hr, get his 300 and declare. No matter how the pitch plays, scoring more than 300 is tough on a last day's pitch. Apart from Kohli, Dhawan & Rahane rest of the wickets should be easy to get IMO

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

shame on India for allowing themselves to be put in this situation... people saying that McCullum's innings is a unique situation seem to forget South Africa's almost miracle run chase.... the two things in common are India's bowling attack... Ishant and Zaheer are NOT frontline bowlers.... third option? yes! but not opening attack.... it's sad / laughable that despite the plentiful riches of the BCCI, the country still relies on a 35 year old fast bowler as part of its opening attack

Posted by TRAM on (February 17, 2014, 17:50 GMT)

Does not matter when NZ declares. This match is drawn. For India, RGSharma will score 65. He, Zaheer & ISharma will play another 10 seasons because of their awe-inspiring performance in this series.

Posted by explorer76 on (February 17, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

The strategy for NZ should be fairly clear. Come out and bat for around hour, and try to put at least another 50 runs in that hour. If they could get close to around 400 in the first hour to hour-and-a-half, then let india have a go at it. Otherwise keep going until they have secured a draw.

Posted by Lermy on (February 17, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

Lets hope test cricket has gone beyond this "draw at all costs" mentality to protect a series lead. Fantastic fightback from NZ. Now lets see an attempt to build a great climax to what has been a fascinating series. It would be a crime to see this end with a days stodgy batting, but that apparently is conventional wisdom. I don't think test cricket will survive too much wisdom.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

He should go for it. NZ should play one hour in the morning, not for the records but to reach almost unbaetable position. Jimmy will complete his century and Brandon will complete his triple. Give India a target of 375 in 75 overs, 5 runs/over. It will be a good contest. India will have incentive to level the series and NZ could go 2-0.

Posted by Muzahir1 on (February 17, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

Dear Brendon, please don't declare until you are firmly entrenched in your position and don't regret later like Mathews did during their last test match in Dubai. Play positively for your triple century which I am sure you will score and as Watling says the pitch is still good for batting and India will copy Pakistan approach and strategy to throw the bats till 4 down. Best of luck and once again please don't throw your chances and declare during lunch if you want. Abdul Muzahir Sri Lankan from Saudi Arabia

Posted by Jimmyvida on (February 17, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

Poor Dhawan! Yesterday Pujara made a fool of himself. Today, they handed the 'baton' to Dhawan. Brendon should bat until Neesham gets his hundred. Except for the new ball bowlers NZ are extremely/overly/too defensive. At least 4 balls in an over are picked up by Watling between 1st and 2nd slip. "Get to THAT if you can." Or, "Get yourself out, FOOL." NZ has already won this series. Keep it that way. Pour more humiliation on India. Giving them a fair chance would be foolhardy.

Posted by Fogu on (February 17, 2014, 16:24 GMT)

NZ should bat IN out of the game by batting past lunch. All the fans who want an exciting finish will bear down on BMac if he declares too soon and loses. When you are ahead, you don't allow the opponent back in the game.

Posted by rvndas on (February 17, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

Hope Mccullum does not make a foolish decision for the second time.

In the first test, he had not forced follow-on which should have been done normally by any captain. As a result, New zealand went through tenses moments Though Mccullum said he had no regrets for not imposing follow-on, he would have deeply regretted had they lost.

Now in the second test after leading such a brilliant fight back, any captain would like to add another 60 to 70 runs and then put the opponent for batting. This will give a sense of security to the bowlers to attack the opponent. In the worst case scenario it will be a draw. If new zealand does not bat and consolidate the lead, it will be a decision which will be regretted later. Hope Mccullum takes a wise decision.

Posted by Youngturk_Shiva on (February 17, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

As far as India, MSD and Duncan are concerned the series is already lost and please for GOD sake dont ever go to your shell just to stay away from the risk of losing few points on the rankings by not going for the kill... If Dhoni and Duncan really wish India to be the best atleast in future please get the firepower of Punter or for that matter even Pup into this test.... Whatever the target be, just go for it and we d have the talent for it with the likes of Shikhar, Virat, Rohit and even Murali Vijay... Please dont try to get home with 1-0... Either 1-1 or 2-0... If we the fans had taken 4-0 twice few years before for nothing, we are ready to take 2-0 expecting more improvement in the coming days... let this be the first step towards real improvement in terms of spirit and aggression.... Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

Posted by Tej_Crick_Crazy on (February 17, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

This is absolutely true that this inning can not be compared with those of Eden Gardens.Indian bowling attack as well as leadership is mediocre everywhere out side Subcontinent.

Posted by myStraightTalk on (February 17, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

India lost 13 away matches badly. I wish I have a job like that where my higher manager does not care about my result under my management(captainship). If I was Dhoni I would have resigned long time back. If I was selector I would have sacked Dhoni long time back. Who is the boss for the captain/coach/selector ? INDIAN PUBLIC?

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

NZ will continue their batting for sure

Posted by Youngturk_Shiva on (February 17, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

As far as India, MSD and Duncan are concerned the series is already lost and please for GOD sake done ever go to your shell just to stay away from the risk of losing few points on the rankings by not going for the kill... If Dhoni and Duncan really wish India to be the best atleast in future please get the firepower of Punter or for that matter even Pup into this test.... Whatever the target be, just go for it and we d have the talent for it with the likes of Shikhar, Virat, Rohit and even Murali Vijay... Please dont try to get home with 1-0... Either 1-1 or 2-0... If we the fans had taken 4-0 twice few years before for nothing, we are ready to take 2-0 expecting more improvement in the coming days... let this be the first step towards real improvement in terms of spirit and aggression.... Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

Posted by Roger_Allott on (February 17, 2014, 15:59 GMT)

It would be madness for BMac to declare overnight and risk the series win. He's got a very rare opportunity to bag a triple and possibly even a quad, which would be at least as great for team morale as winning the series 2-0. Bearing in mind the hopeless position NZ were in when he got to the crease, there's every possibility that this innings will go down in history as one of the greatest ever by any batsman.

Posted by m_ilind on (February 17, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Scoring 325 runs in 90 overs is definitely achievable for India, but the game has changed now, with NZ in the ascendancy. India will definitely feel the pressure! They have to bat with patience and assess their target at tea to see if they are going to go for it. My money is on NZ bcoz of their bowling attack (& fielding). India's complaceny has hurt them badly. The two dropped chances off McCullum were sitters.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

well played NZ... this clear shows how week Indian team away from home.. I had never believe there are no 1.. where they really don't deserve to be No 7 team...

Posted by vj3478 on (February 17, 2014, 15:38 GMT)

Ind bowling back to business after an off day.

Posted by sudhindranath on (February 17, 2014, 15:23 GMT)

What is a "safe" target from NZ's point of view? Look at Day 2, when things went India's way. They scored 338 runs and after the innings break, NZ scored 24-1. Let's double that and say 338 + 48 i.e. 386 runs. In one full day's play.

So, if NZ scores another 60 runs in the first hour, the target will be 385 - to be scored in one day minus one hour, perhaps 75 overs. So, if India has to win from there, EVERYTHING will have to go right for them, and then some.

On the other hand, if India lost 2-3 wickets before lunch for about 40-50 or even 60 runs, NZ will have a great chance to win this match. It will be interesting to see what state of mind Kohli will be in when he comes to bat at #4 - considering that it was his dropped catch that is the reason for all this.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 17, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

Great example of thin line between impossible and determination.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

I still remember with a bad taste in my mouth, how Imran Khan declared Pakistan innings when Miandad was on 280 and in full form to break all records. McCallum is the captain himself and should go for the first triple of NZ. A 1-0 is better than giving up country' 1st triple and risking a 1-1 draw.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 17, 2014, 15:07 GMT)

@Texmex haha... true. He deserves captaincy in T20s and somewhat in ODIs, but not in Tests.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 15:07 GMT)

All Frustrated Comments from Indian Fans... It happens in Cricket like No-Hit (My Classic) scored double ton in ODI against Aus ! Cool.... The reality is India Will do for Win if NZ Declare during morning Session especially if Shikkar and Kholi are around. Really some change / dimension is required to Indian Cricket as far as leadership is concern. Give a try to Virat in Tests. All the best to my Indian Team for tomorrow and forthcoming matches.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 17, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

325 in 90 overs is achievable on this pitch now, particularly for the team desperate to level the series and register first overseas victory in 3 years. So NZ should add 60 odd more to make the conditions tight between all 3 possibilities and the game will also be very interesting to see.

Posted by sudhindranath on (February 17, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

Best of all worlds. McCullum gets to 300. Neesham reaches 100. Target reaches 400. With 75 overs left to get them i.e. 15 overs for India to bat before lunch. And at lunch, India are 23 for 2... how about that?!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

Brendan, a save here is seen as a win, considering where exactly the game was two days ago. The last thing you want to do is give a batting line-up to score 325 in an entire day WITH NOTHING TO LOSE.

By now everyone has agreed that the Indian batting line-up is overrated and their averages are much inflated thanks to conditions they always bat on, even on foreign tours. But still, when you have nothing to lose and a track this flat, anyone can do this. Didn't Pak chase some 350 odd runs a couple weeks ago in 50-60 overs, that too on a turner pitch. Why take the chance

Posted by Nocricketforbs on (February 17, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

If McCullum playsd for India , He will preference to that milestone because personal achievements are first priority that team win. Also he is very unfortunate to born and play for NZ. If play scored these double centuries as Indian player , he would become highest paid Indian player from BCCI, highest income earner from advertisement. highest paid player for IPL. And cement his place for next 10 years even if he not reach the double figure in the matches.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

Why is he undecided about the out come of the Game, NZ are going to win it. Just take scenario 1. If they declare after Brendon scores his triple hundred India hve to scores 400 + in the day and its not going to be easy. They lose 0ne or two wickets, thanks to Umpiring decisions not NZ bowlers , then India tries to save the match. The more they try to save the match they lose more wickets . Scenario 2. He declares overnight then India try to have it easy and then lose wickets, to some umpiring decisions and NZ bowlers, since India are playing defensive strokes close to body and snick to WK. There is panic in the team and Kohli goes berseck and loses his wicket and comes Ajinkya hero of first innings and gets bolwed first ball, now Dhoni has to bat whole day with Jadeja , who does not keep quiet nor Dhoni tells him to, because Dhoni always says the batsmen know their job and I need not tell them what to do. So India lose the Test any way and its NZ 2-0 at the end of the day.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 14:49 GMT)

First McCullum should reach 300 safely and then go for 400 if the tail hangs around

Posted by Tej_Crick_Crazy on (February 17, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

Indian tigers or lions whatever they are called may be but it had been history that Indian team is mediocre out side Asia. Dhoni had been the best captain all time. How ? Playing only India ? Indian team can itself win without any captain if they play at home they don't need any captain. True leadership is tested when the team plays out side home soil where Dhoni had been very very poor as a captain.He is the one of the pawns of the very strongest lobby.Other wise no captain is lucky to survive after so many humiliating defeats after defeats.

Posted by Nampally on (February 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

I am sure McCullum will declare the innings & go for a victory on Day 5. He is a Skipper who can turn possible draws into Victories. Dhoni turns possible Victories into Losses! This is the tale of 2 Captains with diametrically opposite capabilities. India should have won the first Test in SA- nearly ended up as defeat! This test match was in India's pockets @94 for 5. Now at 571 for 6 with 325 lead looks like India is staring at another defeat. How can a Nation with such vast Cricketing population cannot find a Leader better than Dhoni- at least that is the Selectors view? It is baffling to find Dhoni Captain of all 3 formats even after he lost all overseas Test series + ODI's. McCullum has to choose between his record setting score or Winning the Test match. I expect him to go for a win against a tired Indian team- who can fail even on plumbest of pitches when morally so far down. India is still one of the best Test team but with Dhoni as the Leader, it looks like a "Minnows" team!

Posted by Selfishkar on (February 17, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Unlike Indian cricketers who value personal records over team wins, it is refreshing to see NZ, AUS, Eng and SA prefer the later. India will never declare with Tendulkar in 90s which has cost India wins on few occasions.

Posted by Texmex on (February 17, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

As an India supported I would like to see NZ bat all day on Day 5 and pile up 900. That way we will see the end of defensive captain Dhoni.

Posted by wapuser on (February 17, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

India are going to have a go at the target with Shikhar at the top and the pitch being hat flat.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

@Parag Bhardwaj on NZ have already won series & remember Lara too scored 400 in a tamed draw

Posted by Saeed.Lodhi on (February 17, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

Would love to See McCullum go past 300 .... First New Zealander if he goes past it ...

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

Let's say McCullum does get to 300.....Then it is going to be SOME very entertaining batting when tries to get a quick fire 400!

Posted by StJohn on (February 17, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

Got to bat on - put the match totally beyond reach (ideally getting the triple century in the process) and then declare. 325 ahead isn't quite enough - that is gettable in a day. 1-0 up in the series, why risk it?

Posted by Blackholesun on (February 17, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

Oh ! No No, McCullum MUST go for his triple ton in first half hour and then declare, such moments are rare and he absolutely deserves it. No NZ batsmen has ever scored a triple ton and he is so near it. Moreover he is not getting young that he may get another chance soon (well who knows he may ;-D)

I expect him to complete his triple ton tomorrow. Cheers !! :)

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 17, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

Bat all day mate and break Lara's record of 400*. Great opportunity to do so.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

First things first. Absolutely great show by Mac! I am an ardent Indian fan. But, I salute him for what he did for his team, curbing his natural instincts and playing with all the aches & pains. Marvellous!

He deserves a triple. It is not often one gets it. Half an hour would not make much of a difference for India's chances; one way or the other. Looking at the way the pitch is behaving, draw is the most likely chance.

I feel grateful to Mac for conducting a free 2-day workshop for the Indian batsmen and Indian cricket admin.

BATSMEN: The current top six is good; but not great, yet! All of them got a solid lesson in batting in TESTS. Except Rahane; who may not need it. Everyone else needs. Badly!

ADMINS: Lesson is even bigger. India just don't have a set of bowlers to get 20 wickets, WITHOUT assistance from the pitch. Do something. Anything!

After India, I am fond of WI & NZ. Delighted to see that NZ got the core; young talented players & a good Captain. Hope, WI does it too!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Go for 400+ McCullum. If you are breaking the record, go for 400. U have already won the series. Settle with a draw, Score 400 and create an impact in World cricket. U have a chance to put yourself in "All times great" cricketer's list.

Posted by volmitius on (February 17, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Captain marvellous !! This innings will surely be remembered for a long time to come..and this test match well these are the kinds of contest a cricket lover lives to watch..for 3 days India were on top and come the evening if 4th u have New Zealand commanding the game. hats off champion for doing what u did with back neck shoulder pain. Hats off

Posted by fair_paly_1 on (February 17, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

For my two cents: NZ should bat another, say, 15-18 overs to get to a lead of about 400. In the process, a triple hundred is possible too for B Mac.

For India to score 400 in about 70 overs is extremely difficult in a test match. This way NZ at least get a shot at winning another match - you never know!

Posted by Puffin on (February 17, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Please let him get that 300. It would be a shame to bat that well and fail, or not get the chance to be not out 300+ at the end.

As for India: the problems are too obvious to mention.

Posted by CricketisKing on (February 17, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

After the first two sessions of the Test this pitch became a road. Nothing in it for the bowlers. If this match was being played in India and if the situation was similar with India batting the way NZ did, everybody would be calling India flat-track bullies and such. This pitch is so flat that a decent club team can score 600 runs without much effort. Unless the batsmen makes mistakes or decide to gift their wicket away, there is no way a bowler can get a wicket.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

I think NZ have a great chance of winning this. A lead of 320 plus is handy on the last day. I am sure our Indian Batsmen would oblige and fold up like a pack of cards. So Brendon complete your 300 and declare , it would take less than 50 overs for the Indian Batting to fold up. Indian Fans dont worry our captain will give some excuses and play the same bowling attack inspite of having umesh and aaron ...its routine guys.

Posted by SBRLVII on (February 17, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

And yes when will india learn their lessons....a dropped catch was the difference between an innings defeat to NZ(and a drawn series) and a whitewash against a lesser side(on paper)...

Posted by SBRLVII on (February 17, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

They will definitly bat for extending the lead to 400 for two reasons, one is they know the batting strength of india especially kohli can be a danger man and if he comes to the party 325 wont be a problem at all and two the 300 Bazz really deserves this...

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 12:26 GMT)

BRENDON MCULLUM 401 Not Out ..... Its a really really sweet looking proposition. I say 100% he should have a go for it

Posted by SaraJahanSeAchha on (February 17, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

Indian batsman should learn from NZ batsman how to respect their wickets. Wickets of Rohit, Jadeja, Zaheer, Ishant were very ordinary but batsman had no patience to stick on. I happy for NZ but Mc Callum once again got off to dropped catches, he has made merry of this toothless Indian bowling in un-helpful conditions. NZ should be more aggressive and push for 2-0. In this pressure conditions on last day, Indian wickets might fall like a pack of cards.

Posted by MMHS on (February 17, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

Mac should make the game & series safe first by batting really positively for at least 8 overs & put another 50. I am sure he is not the type of player who 'll miss the chance to whitewash India for personal milestones. He & Neesham 'll set 10, at best 13 overs for personal glory & then set a target. I am not sure if India can win even if he declares overnight (it 'll not be that easy on a cracky, windy, 5th day Wellington track) but nobody ll take that chance with 1-0 lead.

I actually see this match ending in draw - India going after whatever NZ set the target, loose few wickets & finally late order batsmen playing out last session. MS is such a poor Test Captain, he opted to bowl 7-2 on 4th morning when his fast bowlers were fresh & Ajax effectively around 70/5. I believe, had he not been CSK captain, long ago would have been sacked as Test Captain.

Posted by android_user on (February 17, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

Either way we got the series and have mentally won this game so i say just get 300 to be the first by a kiwi then whatever happens, happens.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 12:13 GMT)

But ironically these defeats will have no effect on their ranking. They lost ODI series against South Africa and New Zealand, but they are still no. 1 by a fair margin of 4 points. On the other hand pakistan still at no 6 even after winning series against india, southafrica and srilanka. ICC ranking system is very strange. Can anyone explain? when you loose from a no.7 ranked team then why your points not decrease that much?????

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

Brenden its a no brainer mate. How often is the world's #7 ranked Test team get a chance to beat the #2. You are in the box seat, don't even give India sniff and this time tomorrow night you will be celebrating an ODI and Test series double! A truly great achievement.

Posted by Suggsy on (February 17, 2014, 12:07 GMT)

If McCullum bats tomorrow, it's only because he wants his 300... There is no way India is going to get 325 tomorrow...

Posted by andrew-schulz on (February 17, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

Team goals are always more important than individual goals. Shabbir, McCullum did not make a mess of the big three, they made a mess of India, who are nowhere near the big three.

Posted by OneUp2Down on (February 17, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

I wish that Brendon would bat for at least one hour tomorrow - half an hour (or less) to get to 300 and then go after Brian Lara's record. With that Black Caps would make Cricket like Rugby in NZ. Good for the game and will serve NZ well for the World T20 and the World Cup. On the other hand, I hope Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had an invaluable lesson on how to play Test Cricket. If a test cricketer only uses one hand to take a catch, he should be the designated refreshment carrier in the next five test matches - to learn to use both his hands :(

Posted by studbaker on (February 17, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

If you want to improve your batting average, break records or comeout of batting slump just play Indian bowlers. They are very cooperative and helpful. They bowl at 125-135km, bouncers too which can be sent over the ropes, no-yorkers. Real nice guys.

Posted by haj_pappa on (February 17, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

go for lara's record, brendon!!

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 17, 2014, 11:28 GMT)

@David Davies Having a wicket keeper as opener in a test match isn't a luxury, it's just plain daft. There's a reason nobody plays their keeper as a permanent opener. Ever tried standing behind the stumps for a day and a half and then running into the change rooms and having 10 minutes before you come out to bat against a brand new ball and daisy fresh bowlers?

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 17, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

Congrats to McCullam for the brilliant batting. No need to take credit away from him by talking about 2 drop catches. If you cannot take 2 catches offered by same batsman in the same inngs, then you do not deserve the wicket. It was incredible batting from NZ in the 2nd inngs.

Posted by studbaker on (February 17, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

@Ramesh - thats an insult to Bangladesh team. This Indian bowling lineup is weaker than Bangladesh`s.

Posted by cheesemethod on (February 17, 2014, 11:20 GMT)

Because of the position that NZ were at 2 days ago, declaring now would be suicide on a flat track. So much hard work could be wasted. If they want to go for the win, put on 400 to chase. I normally love seeing an aggressive declaration but this is a different situation, id even be happy to see nz bat another whole day, draw the game, win the series and baz can help himself to a 400+ Record score while demoralising the indian bowling attack. Of course that wont happen. A triple for baz and hundred for jimmy then a few overs of smash before declaring is the most likely plan. Who knows, if he reaches his 300 he has the potential to knock out 50 in a few overs.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

BMac is intelligent guy. I know he will not declare and he should not. He knows that our batting is not that bad. It is possible that we may fold up for 100, but why take chance. We got rid of Ishant from ODI's. Now this 0-1 or better still 0-2 can get us rid from him in tests too. NZ has played better cricket overall than us. They deserve to win. And we, until unless do not have bowlers who can take 20 wickets, we should stop playing this format at all. Funny thing is, all these years people would say why Ind does not produce fast bowlers, now we have 2 (Varun & Umesh) and rather than playing them on green & hard wickets, we will play them in Mumbai/Ahmedabad.

Posted by elvis57 on (February 17, 2014, 11:04 GMT)

Great performance by NZ, really enjoyed their cricket this summer. It would be terrible to lose from here - bat on another 45 minutes to put it out of reach and then hope the demoralised India will crumble. Kohli should be dropped for his slack effort in dropping McCallum.

Posted by M.Faheem on (February 17, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

McCullum should be thankful to Indian bowling; all of his three double centuries are against them...

Posted by lovethosetests on (February 17, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

definitely a little early to call it, (121 more runs after 12 hours of batting is surely no cake walk), but I'm with kiwicricketnut on this one. Not often do players get even a faint whiff at the BIG one.

Get the game safe, then treat it like a T20 for the chance to get a kiwi as the holder of the highest score in test cricket (401 - Brian Lara).

I for one would be more thrilled with a chance of an NZer at the top of that list and a 1-0 series win, than the faint chance of a 2-0 win if we declare early tomorrow.

Posted by JJJake on (February 17, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

If was in NZs position I'd look at what Clarke did to SA. He batted till stumps, rather than declare and give SA time to prepare. He went out the next batted until he had a good assessment of what the pitch was go to do that day, then decide. That only gives opposition openers10 mins.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (February 17, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

i think New Zeland should play for another 25 overs and try to score about 125 runs.It will not be wise to declare right away as they got 4 seamers who will not be that lethal on a 5th day track.If they lose McCullum early tomorrow morning then they should play till they lose all 10 wickets.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

Certianly NZ would not like to lose the chance of BIG win here hence they should declare overnight. Its not rocket science we have'nt being close to defeat NZ on thier soil but lets not forget Team is going through transition despite that we have good batting side which can challenge NZ on the Final day.

I am Optimistic

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

Yep, they are 1-0 up in a 2 test series. He has to keep batting, go for the 300 and put the lead beyond India at, say 360-380 and then let the fresh bowlers throw everything at India to try for a 2-0 result. But McCulllum must ensure India cant win first.

Posted by games_icon on (February 17, 2014, 10:32 GMT)

he should reach his 300 first and pile as many runs as possible as quickly... even if they reach another 100, it would be nearly impossible to get in 75-80 overs...

Posted by JJJake on (February 17, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

Incredible effort by NZ. You've got to love Test Cricket the way the game can twist and turn. I could never predict NZ would be in this position after the first couple of days.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

Personally I hope BMac gets his triple century, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

But whatever happens tomorrow, there will be changes in the team for the Windies. Neesham has played his way in, you can't leave him out now, nor can you leave out Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Anderson, Watling, Southee, Boult, or Wagner.

There must also be room for Sodhi unless the pitch is as green as the Basin was at the start. Latham has been on fire domestically as an opener, so should be given a run there, along with Watling who has opened before and showed how well he can play the new ball yesterday.

Having a wicket-keeper as opener means there is space for 5 seam bowlers plus a spinner, whilst maintaining a batting lineup that has quality down to 7. An incredible luxury.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 10:21 GMT)

they certainly go after the indian bowlers in the first hour of the final day and then might declare the innings. A target of around 400 will be good for NZL. India should try to win the game if they score 200 runs quickly without loosing more than 2 wickets.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

I think the Indians deserve this, they just become over confident with one good day's performance and try to show off a lot instead ov conentrating on their job, they thought we got them cheaply once so no problem will get them out again and win by an innings ! Well Dhoni and company wake up and face reality you do not have the bowlers for taking twenty wickets in a Test Match OVERSEAS except maybe Bangladesh!

Posted by prasanna_79 on (February 17, 2014, 10:15 GMT)

The posituve thing for Indian fans is , we weren't totally outplayed in any of the past 4 test matches overseas.., we have been competitive & could have easily won at least 2 of the last 4 test matches with some positive & proactive captaincy + some responsible batting in a couple of sessions.. The young team is learning.., just give them some more time.. But we def need a change in captaincy though..!! TIME FOR DHONI TO QUIT CAPTAINCY.. Also.., Dhoni should be clearly told by the selectors that he should bat more responsibly & at no.6 as he has the experience to bat at no.6.. Then the role of jadeja should be clearly defined.., he also should take his batting seriously & should bat more responsibly.. also he needs to improve upon variations in his bowling.., like pace, trajectory, angle, flight etc.., just darting the ball can get u the desired results in India but not on flat pitches.. If his role is just to contain.., then play with 5 bowlers to win matches pl.. Time for Dhoni

Posted by keptalittlelow on (February 17, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

Congratulations to New Zealand, you have proved to the 'Big Three' that smaller teams can fight too and beat the 'Big Three' ,Well done.

Posted by NareshPodi on (February 17, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

Ishanth, you please cut down your long hair.. Catch was dropped because of that.. you are really a lucky and you are safe. Hats-off to Macca, superb. Indian side batting is good but need to perform well together and especially, learn to build partnerships well.

Regarding bowing, whole universe knows about it. Out of billion+ people, unable to find one quality bowler.. amazing.. really amazed to watch Mitch Johnson's bowling...

Posted by DJRNZ on (February 17, 2014, 10:12 GMT)

Why risk a a series win against a much higher ranked team???? BAT BAT BAT and get the 300! See if Neesham can bring up a test ton!!

I'd rather know for sure going into tomorrow that NZ has a 1 nil series win by batting for a good few hours with BMAC making 300 than risking it.

NZ have shown anything can happen in cricket and India has the players to pull off something crazy if things go their way!

Will be foolish to declare but if we did I think it'll be at least a target of 400. India could smoke 325!

Posted by Drew2 on (February 17, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

@Thyag Rajan a year ago is ancient history now, just like all the white washes Australia handed out to India in the past. If Mitch is fit next summer, you might find the tables turn completely around.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

What an innings McCullum - take a bow!!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

I am so happy for NZ. I am Sri lankan i am sure most of us feel the same go NZ cant explain my happiness in words

Posted by KeithMillersHair on (February 17, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

They will not declare overnight, but they should declare early tomorrow and make a match of it. A lead of 325 might look pretty gettable in a full days play, but make it a lead of 375 and take 45 minutes out of the day, and NZ will be favorites. Either India will play for the win and give the Kiwis a chance to get wickets, or India will play negatively and that puts NZ in a good spot too. I see the only possible problem is that with the 300 milestone coming up B.Mac might not play as freely as he would otherwise early in the day, and as a result the Kiwi scoring rate may be slow and leave them with not enough time to knock India over. Whatever happens it will be a great day's play tomorrow!

Posted by Mindmaker on (February 17, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

Well done Blacks Cap!! This is where you need to start developing the killer mentality always demonstrated by the Aussies. See how Michael Clarke declared against the Saffers and reaped the rewards. You need to always aim high and mentally scar your opponents such that in the next game with them you already hold the high ground. Do not aim for a draw!!

Posted by Cricsnake on (February 17, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

I'd love to see BM reaching his triple and bat another session to declare or all-out. As a SL I must say that do not underestimate Indian batsmen. They might be very dangerous on any surface, on any time any day. However I highly appreciate the bravery and positive thinking of BM. You got a full day with around 100 overs and anything can happen. If NZ declare now there would be 60 - 65% chance for an Indian win unless they made any blunders. However I would love to see a Triple from BM and a fast run chase from Indian batters like Pakistan did against us.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (February 17, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

well i think mccullum you have earned the right to chase not only a tripple ton but just keep on going and see if you can crack 400 and have your name in lights forever, don't declare unless you lose your wicket with a lead of no less than 350, i know you will put the team first and probably not do this, your aggressive nature and desire to win will probably out weigh any thought of personal milestones, if we are to climb the rankings we need to at least try and win this at some stage but im sure every cricket fan in nz would not begrudge you batting all day tomorrow bringing up whatever milestone you want, you earned it with one of the most couragous knocks in modern history, i'll take 1-0 and a series win with some mccullum records tomorrow because bowling india out on that pitch tomorrow is not that realistic all be it possible, i have no doubt he will make the right call.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

@vingally - In your deep disappointment, I think you may have missed the fact that coaches neither bat nor bowl. If you want to blame someone, then blame Indian cricket and its fans who are so obsessed with the achievements of the batsman that they have forgotten the bowler to the point where India cannot even produce spinners capable of taking wickets abroad.

Posted by RKCH on (February 17, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

New Zealand are leading in the series and already have a psychological victory in this test so there is no need to declare at all. Just bat and bat as long as you can.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

@shane bond doesnt matter if it is 550/4 or 700/5 we still white washed the aussies 4-0 less than a year back with mitch in the team.. mate

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 17, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

INDIA dont have the bowlers once wickets have lost the juice. Dhoni, the selectors and BCCI - should wake up. How on earth are 4 bowlers going to take 20 wickets when 5 struggle to. Lets not forget the dropped catches. No wonder teams around the world are knocking big innings vs India. WELL PLAYED TO NZ - your concentration levels are high. Indian fans be realistic - Kolikata has NOTHING to do with this.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

WWJD...In this case what would a great captain (Say Waugh/Lloyd do). I believe they should bat violently for about 45 mins and then give India a crack. In the 45 mins NZ should be able to get the target over 400. A 2-0 win is too good to let an opportunity go...A 1-1 is still not a bad result chasing a 2-0.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

@Shane Bond - Didn't know you commented on here... For the love of God, don't let McCullum declare.

Posted by luggang on (February 17, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

NZ should keep on batting for as long as possible, maybe mccullum can get 400

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

India needs raw pace and aggression like Mitchel Johnson. Zaheer has lost his pace and is harmless now. We need to groom Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. We need Dinesh Karthik as opener and wicket keeper. In bouncy conditions he is better than Dhoni. Virat Kohli now needs to be made captain. Dhoni to be a part of Indian team only in Indian conditions.

Posted by AvidFanDownUnder on (February 17, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

I would just keep batting till about lunch (or till the wickets are taken) and deny India any chance of victory - for a team at No 7 to beat a team at No 2 doesn't happen often and no need to risk trying to win 2-0 when 1-0 will do just as well.

Must admit when I saw the score yesterday I was telling everyone NZ were brittle - boy was I wrong - McCullum, Watling & Neesham (on debut) have shown that NZ do possess fight and aren't there to make up the numbers. Congratulations and well done.

Posted by shak_attack on (February 17, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Indian team needs a lot of back bone to show up tomorrow and think about chasing New Zeeland's total, what ever that may be. New Zeeland should rub Indian faces on this ground so the Indian should forget about BIG THREE.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (February 17, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Although this reminds me of 2001 VVS special knock against Aussies one should not forget that VVS was flawless innings(i think Dravid's was too) That Aussie bowling attack was superior (we were following on at home) But well done Mac. You and Taylor form the backbone of NZ cricket

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

Go for 300 Macca! Secure the series before thinking about giving India a sniff!

Posted by android_user on (February 17, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

@Prabhakar You're talking like India will post 550/4 against Johnson. We always lift our game a notch or two vs Aussies.

Posted by tom120 on (February 17, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

First of all kudos to Brendon on playing a remarkable inning. Watling & Neesham also played brilliantly. McCullum should not declare overnight. They should bat till lunch add 80-90 runs and then declare or continue batting till they get all out. The pitch has nothing for the boowlers. It would be a stupidity to give India an opportunity to win this match and level the series. India will definitely try to win the match if declared overnight. Recently, Pakistan scored 310 runs in 58 overs against sri lanka in a test match to level the series. Why would you take a risk of losing a game when you are already 1-0 up in the series, if they were 0-1 down , then it would have been understandable.

Posted by gul_khan on (February 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

This is a no brainer. You bat for as long as you can. NZ need to make sure they win the series and not give India even a sniff. The onus is on India to take twenty wickets, not on NZ to make it easy for them.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:52 GMT)

Definitely should not declare... Absolute minimum, come out blasting in the morning. Not quite enough runs on the board to be 100% and a test win is NOWHERE NEAR as important as a series win. A draw for this game is quite fine.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

by far the best innings i have seen in last 10 years not only he saved a test they might win also

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

Please don't compare this fight back with the Eden- Laxman , Dravid classic. Ishant Sharma/Mohd Shami are still not in the Glenn Mcgrath/ Jason Gillespie class. Ravi Jadeja is still not of Shane Warne's class. With due respect , the same NZ team would have struggled to score anything above 300 against that attack on any wicket. In fact, this NZ line up will struggle to score 300 plus even against the present Mitchell Johnson led attack.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

Brendan just get the triple, shut the dooron this indian for the indian fans show respect for the achievments and lack of thought possesed by your team. This is a team with generally stars in the making in all departments, world cup yep differant format not far away. hhmmm nz vs pakistan this space.

Posted by jee1 on (February 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

If Mccullum has learnt anything from 1st test,he wont declare overnight..He made a wrong decision not to enforce follow-on in 1st test,and almost had to pay for it..

Just bat till lunch tomorrow..Let Neesham and Southee take risks and go for aggressive shots,while Mcculllum consolidates his position and go for his 300.. NZ have scored 100 runs in a session with a normal run rate today..So,the target tomorrow should be to get 150-170 runs in 1st session tom(Neesham -get a debut century).. And he shd have Dhoni guessing as to when he will declare..He shd declare over-lunch.. That will leave India to get 480-500 odd runs in 2 sessions..If bowlers have any luck,they may pick up a few wickets..If NZ have absolute luck,they can take all Indian wickets and script a spectacular win..In any case ,NZ will win the series..

Go Nz!!!

Posted by WicketLeaks on (February 17, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

India withers again after being in the box seat and fails to press home a win away from home. Real questions hang over this Indian attack, and heads should roll.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (February 17, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

What is there to think over? Bat and bat and bat to keep the Indians in the field for as long as possible! Run them in to the ground by utterly smashing them after being in the box deer for nearly 3 days!

Posted by vingally on (February 17, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

Great Knock by McCullum... It is full of disappointment for Indian fans. Only 1 wicket in full day shows our bowling strength.... Please get rid of Duncan Fletcher and Dhoni combination... nothing is working... worst coach ever .... BCCI might come up with 2 tests with new zealand to erase this memory.... where India win comfortably... all the batsman will be treated as heroes... all Sponsors will be lined up from Shampoo... to Comb.. well done BCCI..... IPL rocks Indian team pathetic....

Posted by madnayar on (February 17, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

Bmcm should not declare at overnight score. Bat for 10-15 overs more aiming to achieve a lead of 380- 400 runs and then throw down the gauntlet to the captain cooool. Let us see whether Team India accepts the challenge ( They should because they are already one down and have to prove that they are not zeros outside India ) ) .If Dhoni & co take it , we have a corker of a match on view.

Posted by baskar_guha on (February 17, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

This is a poor test pitch -- totally skewed in the start for bowlers and now nothing at all for them. This will end in a draw because Kiwis will not be foolish to set a target less than 400 for India to chase on this flatter than flat track. Of course the next time Kiwis show up in India, the pitch will turn square from ball one which will also be skewed but one would get a result.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

As an Indian fan and salute Brendon and BJ. I watched Dravid and Laxman's epic at Eden Gardens in 2001. This goes one better as Watling was an unknown batsman at #7. A lesson in endurance, focus, and a never-say-die attitude.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:28 GMT)

Brendon this a golden opportunity to score 400....!!!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:28 GMT)

NZ should not declare at all. Do not give India a chance. Their batsmen are too good to be given any opportunity. Don't let a series win slip through our fingers....! Well done to Baz, BJ and Jimmy, absolutely brilliant day of cricket!

Posted by MarkFielding on (February 17, 2014, 8:27 GMT)

Baz, I think we all want to see you be the first NZ batsmen to crack 300. In the scale of things the outside chance of a win is small potatoes to you breaking MC's record. Go for it!

Posted by Oscar465 on (February 17, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Series Win trumps Test Win anytime.

Bat on and on and on, grind them into the dust. Then let Boult and Southee have some fun before you slip the leash on Wagner.

Win the ODI series, win the Test series, and leave India demoralised.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Dear Brendon,

If you don't bat on, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Even if you get out without adding to your overnight score, the uncertainty of what might have been is worse, so bat on for at least an hour before you declare! Furthermore, the series is already in the bag unless you declare overnight and thus roll out the red carpet for India.

Posted by Ven61 on (February 17, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Go for a 1-0, NZ. McCullum, get a 300+

In any case, Dhoni will be unwilling to go for a win tomorrow.

Posted by DarwinAkbar on (February 17, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

Safety first! After all that hard work, the last thing NZ needs is to have India chase down the total and grasp defeat. The series is already won. 325 in 90 overs is very gettable. I hope BMac bats sensibly to get his 300. After that, throw the bat for a few more overs and put the match truly out of reach. Insure against loss first before going for the win, especially as NZ is 1-0 up, and not need to win to take the series!

Posted by erihana on (February 17, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

Get your 300 fella. You deserve it, and another 50 odd runs puts it out of India's reach... maybe? I would have taken a 1-1 series result at the start of the season, and McCullum scoring big runs is bloody great. That captaincy saga seems a bloody long time ago!

Posted by android_user on (February 17, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

this score by BMC is the best because it came against the best bowling attack in the world! lol... nothing more pleasing than seeing indian team get trashed! well done kiwis well done BMC thanks for the entertainment...

a happy srilanken.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:19 GMT)

It will be a shocker for me if Baz declares overnight. He might be playing the mind games - hopefully he is. NZ needs to go out there and try adding another 70-90 runs in the next 15 overs, and then declare if they want to go for the kill. Neesham will get a century on debut; Baz will get his first 300, and NZ will be in a much better position. Most importantly, there will be only two results possible for the game: a NZ win or a draw. Indian batters are extremely good chasers - especially Kohli and Dhoni. They can chase anything when they have nothing to lose. A recent example is the Pak vs SL game, when Pakistan chased 354 in 59 overs on the 5th day.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

week from now, no one would care about the result of this gane, but everyone will remember if McCullum goes for magical 400 mark

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

They must keep batting and batting and batting. There is no way they let India bat tomorrow for free. India have to get NZ all out and earn the right to chase the win. We have a win in the series now we only need a draw or better. We must win the series - that is what counts.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:15 GMT)

Once again Indian bowling exposed. School cricketers would have bowled better. If the indian bowling can't perform against a side like NZ they stand no chance against the might of Aus, SA and Eng. BCCI as the chief governing body should think about terminating test cricket and replacing it with IPL to suit their fragile bowling attack. With the Big-3 introduction who know if such a change might be introduced soon.

Posted by Alexk400 on (February 17, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

Forget winning Test , Win the series. Play 30 min tomorrow. Make as many runs and get your 300. Whether NZ can win from there or not ..well pitch is flat , india capable of scoring 350 with dhoni around. Dhawan is dangerous. Even if india lose 6 wickets for 140 , nz can not get 10 wicket on flat picth. We all know what happen in that ODI than nz thought they had enough runs and screw it up. I do not want to see that again in TEST. play 30 min tomrrow get ur 300 and get 350 target.

Posted by aks1987 on (February 17, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

What a splendid knock that was by McCullum. I sincerely hope he bats the first session tomorrow and get himself 300. Maybe even 350 .

Posted by ninn on (February 17, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

If it is drizzly and overcast as forecast I'm predicting a declaration. We would all love to see the 300 barrier broken but the prospect of swing in the morning and a second new ball near the end of the day with our current attack is mouth watering. The ultimate glory would be a series whitewash and BMc will put the glory of the team ahead of personal glory. there is precedence: Fleming did it twice, stranding himself 274* and Bryan Young 267*.

Posted by Ozzz.z on (February 17, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

What a champion effort, the greatest innings n test cricket I've ever seen. Good on you BMac BJ and Neeshy.

Posted by M.Faheem on (February 17, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

The pitch seems too batting friendly. If India get a Sehwag-like start, it will be difficult for NZ to curtail them. From NZ's point of view, they should aim at setting a 400 run target (min) in 75 overs.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (February 17, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

Surely he's foxing about an overnight declaration? 325 in 90 overs on that pitch is very achievable. If India did manage to clean us up cheaply tomorrow morning it would very much be game on.

He must want to push to be the first kiwi to 300 as well. Even though i've always been a McCullum fan and defended him on occasions I always thought Taylor or Willamson had the best chnace to make 300. But has been an absolutely remarkable effort from him and Watling, so often we would've folded for an innings defeat after being 90 odd for 5.

So much grit and determination shown in that partnership. Many would say those have never really been characteristics of McCullums game, I think at times we've seen glimpses of it but all too often he has returned to type much to the chagrin of NZ fans.

If possible bat till lunch with a lead of perhaps 450 with 60 overs left then declare? We are 1-0 up after all

Posted by choppa13 on (February 17, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

NZ should bat on for at least an hour to bat India right out of the game they shouldn't even give them a sniff after working so hard to get into this position don't chance it 1-0 series win is far better then chancing another test win, Indian batsmen are to good to chance it and pitch is still good for batting with a little variable bounce. Not that brendon is that way inclined but after his enormous effort he deserves the chance to get to 300. Go on brendon keep batting

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

325 in 90 overs @ 3.6 RPO is very much chase able by Indian batting line up. So i dont think they will declare overnight. They will play some overs tomorrow and add some runs plus bat out some overs. If they are confident enough to bowl india out in 80-90 overs then they should be confident enough to do that in less overs.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:08 GMT)

Wow what a knock Brendan! You deserve to go for the 300. Even if we put India in to bat, probably need just a little more on the board anyway I think just to be safe!

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

Brendon McCullum: You Beauty :). You nailed the ' mighty opposition' quite nicely and made a mess of 'Big Three'.

Posted by Tarvinder_Singh on (February 17, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

Wicket's not gonna change much for tommorrow. And the way NewZealand toiled the 1st hour and still were able to put over 320 runs onboard at the end of day, they can't declare yet. The class and mental strengh Indian batsman show , especially while chasing , they can back themselves chasing 325. But as a neutral spectator i would love to see that 19 runs of Macullam's bat and declare immediately after that . Needing around 350 would be a fascinating chase on cards i guess . Looking forward Kohli Vs Wagner. love the attitude of Wagner though. C'mon NewZealand , DECLARE ! n give us a Chance :)

Posted by Kakariki on (February 17, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

What a boss. McCullum has shown real restraint here, and along with Watling and Neesham, have saved and potentially won another test match. Go get your 300 hundy then have a go at bowling them out, tomorrow's going to be a great day regardless.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 17, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

Should be a no-brainer - bat as long as you can and don't try to declare any-time before lunch. Can't get another opportunity to win a series like this. This will go down as one of the greatest fight-backs ever. So don't give them a sniff of victory - they have got nothing to lose. Better play time.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (February 17, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

McCullum play hear innings of the life time . Amazing but india need to improve their bowling so much they even not touch 140 km/h in overall innings .

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (February 17, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

BMAC don't do mistake of declaring with O/N score . Bat for 15-20 overs tomorrow . BMac can take time to get his 300 and jimmy will go for onslaught . Give India to chase 400 odd in 65-70 overs . NZ have bowlers to bowl India in 60 overs

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