New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum continued his love affair with the Indian bowling attack as he registered his ninth century in the second Test in Wellington on Sunday. (Day 3 report)
McCullum, who scored a double hundred in the first Test against the same opposition in Auckland, fought hard in the second innings at Basin Reserve to give his side a slender 6-run lead at stumps on the third day. McCullum shared an unfinished 158-run stand with wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling (52 not out) to take Kiwis to 252/5 with two full day's play left. (Day 3 Highlights)
En route to his unbeaten 114, McCullum also completed 5000 Test runs, becoming only the 4th New Zealander to do so behind Stephen Fleming (7172 runs), Martin Crowe (5444) and John Wright (5334). (Scorecard)
The normally free-flowing McCullum reached his hundred in some style as he hoicked Ishant Sharma over long-on for a six. He took 197 balls to reach triple figures with the help of 12 fours and six. Currently, his 237-ball knock is punched with 14 fours and a six.
McCullum came in to bat when the hosts were staring down the barrel at 3 for 52. He had to drop anchor and curb his natural aggressive style of batting, in contrast to his 304-ball enterprising 224 at Eden Park.
The 32-year-old's approach was simple - firstly bide out time in the middle and then score freely whenever the opportunity arose. He had reached his fifty (29th) in 146 balls, after which he upped the ante in the final session.
However, McCullum's knock was not without luck as he was dropped twice, once on 9 by Virat Kohli standing at short mid-on and then on 35 by Ishant Sharma, who spilled a sharp return catch.