Ishant Sharma and the India
team appeal unsuccessfully for the wicket of New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum. Reuters
Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling might have frustrated India on Day three of the second Test, but MS Dhoni and co. are still in pole position of coming away with a win against New Zealand come Day 4 at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
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McCullum's quite outstanding hundred was well supported by a dogged unbeaten half-century from wicketkeeper Watling, which in turn helped New Zealand turn a possible innings defeat to a six-run lead at the close of play.
For India it will be simple, pick up five wicket ASAP, while New Zealand will want their two settled batsmen to carry on and frustrate the Indian bowlers for as long as possible yet again.
"To be honest we would probably need a double century to keep us in this game," McCullum told Radio Sport after scoring a brilliant century. "If BJ and I can emulate what we did today tomorrow, then tomorrow night it will be great to be able to make some decisions about where the game will go rather than trying to fight out of it.
"If we had rolled over in this Test match it would have been slightly disappointing given how successful our summer has been.
"That's the beauty of winning consistently and not finding yourself in too many of these situations. When you do find yourselves in them it's a bit easier to get out of. It's a good start for us today [Sunday] but we know that we have so much more hard work to go tomorrow."
For India there were a couple of dropped chances, crucially off McCullum, which in turn came back to haunt them, but batsman Cheteshwar Pujara insisted India still remain firmly in the driver's seat to push towards a win.
"If you look at both the Test matches we have taken so many good catches," Pujara said. "Not only on this trip, but in South Africa also, the Indian fielding has been fantastic. We have effected many run-outs and held many good catches. So you are bound to drop a few catches here and there.
"It has been a fantastic game so far with many turns. But we are still in a very good position. If we can get a couple of quick wickets early on tomorrow, a lot of time is available. We are happy with the way things have shaped up.
"We could have been happier with a couple of more wickets but we are in a good position and in with a good chance to win this Test match."
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