New Zealand have proved that International Cricket Council rankings don't matter on a cricket field. No. 8 New Zealand completely dominated No. 2 India on Day 4 of the Wellington Test on Monday. With Brendon McCullum (281*) and BJ Watling (124) spearheading a batting 'carnage', the Kiwis were 571/6 at stumps, their second highest second innings total in Test cricket. (Scorecard | Day 4 Report | Day 4 Highlights | Pics )
Making the Indian bowlers toil for two days, New Zealand have gone past their previous best total against India (483/5 in Auckland in 1990). New Zealand's highest Test score has been 671 against Sri Lanka in 1990-91. Martin Crowe missed a triple century in that match at Wellington by a run. (Martin Crowe wants Brendon McCullum to break his record)
While the main architect of the innings has been McCullum, who has now registered his best Test score, Watling too was responsible for providing crucial support. The 28-year-old South Africa-born cricketer has also posted his highest individual score in Tests - going past 103 scored against Bangladesh in October last year. His 367-ball knock is also the longest by any New Zealand wicket-keeper in Test cricket.
Watling, in the company of veteran McCullum, ensured that New Zealand posted the second highest second innings total against India - Pakistan's 599/7 in 2006 being the highest so far.
# New Zealand's only other total of 500 or more in the second innings is 537 against England at Wellington in 1983-84.
# Before the present Wellington Test, New Zealand's top five totals in the second innings have produced drawn games.
# New Zealand's 571 for six is their third highest total overall against India - their eighth highest in Tests and their second highest at Wellington, next only to the 671 for four against Sri Lanka in 1990-91.
# New Zealand's 571 for six is the second highest second innings total against India - the highest being 599 for seven wickets declared by Pakistan at Karachi in January/February 2006.
# Brendon McCullum (281 not out off 525 balls) has posted his third double century in Tests - all against India. He is the second batsman to register three double hundreds against India - the first being Ricky Ponting - two in 2003-04 and one in 2011-12.
# McCullum's aforesaid innings is his career-best in Tests.
# McCullum is the first New Zealand batsman to post double hundreds in successive Tests - 224 at Auckland and 281 not out at Wellington. His first double hundred was 225 in the 2010-11 Ahmedabad Test.
# Michael Clarke, Mahela Jayawardene and Zaheer Abbas have each registered two double hundreds against India.
# Of the eleven double centuries by captains against India, Michael Clarke and Brendon McCullum are the only ones to have recorded two each. Don Bradman, Greg Chappell, Graham Dowling, Graham Gooch, Carl Hooper, Clive Lloyd and Kumar Sangakkara have posted a double century each as captain against India.
# Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum share a New Zealand record for most double hundreds (three) in Tests. Fleming had recorded one double hundred each vs South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
# Apart from three double hundreds from McCullum, Graham Dowling, Bert Sutcliffe and Jesse Ryder have registered a double hundred each for New Zealand against India.
# At Basin Reserve, Wellington, seven double hundreds have been recorded in Tests - the highest being Martin Crowe's 299 vs Sri Lanka in January/February 1991. McCullum's innings is the second highest by a New Zealander at this venue. Interestingly, Crowe and McCullum are the only batsmen to have recorded double hundreds as captain at Basin Reserve.
# McCullum's unbeaten 281 is the second highest by a New Zealand batsman in Tests, next only to the 299 by Martin Crowe against Sri Lanka at Wellington in January/February 1991.
# McCullum's aforesaid innings is the third highest by a captain against India - the top two innings being England's Graham Gooch - 333 at Lord's in July 1990 and Australia's Michael Clarke's unbeaten 329 at Sydney in January 2012.
(Stats courtesy: Rajesh Kumar)