Auckland: India were struggling at 130-4 after Day Two of the first Test against New Zealand, who posted a daunting 503-run first innings total built on a double century by Brendon McCullum.
Brendon McCullum celebrates his double century against India at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday. Pic/Getty Images.
When New Zealand resumed the day at 329-4, McCullum spearheaded a blistering end to their innings as they put on 174 runs in 31.4 overs. McCullum was the last wicket to fall for 224, one run short of his career best 225.
NZ’s Neil Wagner celebrates the wicket of Murali Vijay yesterday
The skipper rated New Zealand’s 503 as “obviously a brilliant effort” after being sent into bat on a green wicket with heavily overcast skies where he thought 200 would be competitive. “Never would I have thought that after being 30-3 and seeing the conditions we were confronted with did I think we could get 500,” McCullum said after play was halted 17 overs early.
“We have bowlers to take 20 wickets if we give them enough runs and I think we have given them enough runs,” he added. New Zealand claimed the prized scalps of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in a withering burst from Tim Southee and Trent Boult that reduced the tourists to 10-3.
When Rohit Sharma (67 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) began to rebuild the innings as spin was introduced in fading light, New Zealand orchestrated an early end to the day’s play by threating to bring the pace attack back.
“Our swing and seam bowlers are our best option so it seemed a bit silly to try and persevere with our spinners when there’s still a bit in the wicket,” said McCullum.
“I thought it would be better to bring them (Boult and Southee) back which obviously forced us off the field. What it means is we’ve still got a hard ball in the morning. Hopefully we’ll get some overcast conditions and it will suit both Tim and Trent again,” he added.