Just 19 runs away from becoming New Zealand's first Test triple centurion, Brendon McCullum is undecided whether to go for the personal milestone or make India bat a second time and force a victory when Day 5 of the second Test in Wellington resumes on Tuesday. New Zealand have a 325-run lead with four second innings wickets in hand at Basin Reserve. The Kiwis are also leading the two-Test series 1-0. (Scorecard | Day 4 Report | Day 4 Highlights | Pics )
"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. (Martin Crowe wants Brendon McCullum to break his record)
"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%," the 32-year-old McCullum said on Monday.
New Zealand are 571/6 at stumps and with Jimmy Neesham well set on 67, the pair should resume for at least the first hour on Tuesday to make sure that India cannot win the match and level the series. While McCullum kept the team's plans close to his chest, Monday's other hero Bradley-John Watling may have let the cat out of the bag.
"It's the longest innings by a New Zealander but he's still pretty fresh and he'll come out tomorrow and keep going," Watling told reporters when asked if McCullum was suffering from any effects of his 12-hour six-minute stay at the middle so far. (Also read: We will try our best to win, says Dhawan)
"We'd definitely love to win the Test. I still think there's a job to be done in the first hour tomorrow morning and see where we're at. It's still a good batting track but I think if conditions are right I think our bowlers could swing it and put them under pressure and try and win a Test match," Watling said.