New Zealand continue to frustrate the visitors on Day 4 courtesy Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling's world record stand for 6th wicket worth 352 runs. Catch all the highlights from the day's play here. (Match Scorecard | Text Commentary | Day 4 report)
Shikhar Dhawan after Day 4: "New Zealand batted beautifully all day. they gave us nothing all day today." (Pics Gallery: McCullum on verge of history as his 281* sends Team India on a leather hunt)
BJ Watling after career-best 124 on Day 4: "It's nice to get a hundred but its special to win a Test match too. We weren't thinking of records. We still have to do some work tomorrow first thing."
forget 300 tomorrow. I say go after Brian Lara Baz! #400- Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) February 17, 2014
10:50 (IST) There's a huge round of applause from the crowd. And from the Indian team as well. Such has been the day for the Kiwis. They scored 319 runs today for the loss of just one wicket. The record partnership today has guided New Zealand towards safety. BJ Watling hit a crucial ton whereas captain McCullum is playing his best knock when it mattered the most.
Remarkable turn around in Wellington lead by McCullum's 281no, this Indian team needs an attacking spinner for overseas conditions! #NZvInd- Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) February 17, 2014
10:45 (IST) That's stumps - McCullum will have to wait for another day for a 300. He ends the day at 281 not out. James Neesham with a brilliant hand of 67 not out. Kiwis 571/6, lead by 325.
10:37 (IST) McCullum 280*, has completed 12 hours of batting at the crease. His current partnership with Neesham is worth 120. NZ 566/6, lead by 320.
10:32 (IST) James Neesham reaches his maiden fifty in debut Test. NZ 554/6, lead by 308.
10:29 (IST) FACTOID: Brendon McCullum now has the distinction of have batted for the longest time by any Kiwi batsman in a Test innings - 707 minutes at crease.
10:23 (IST) McCullum moves closer to second-best all-time Kiwi individual score - tied with Stephen Fleming's 274.
10:18 (IST) Jimmy Neesham showing good application here, drives Jadeja through extra cover for four. NZ 539/6, lead by 293.
10:06 (IST) SIX! On middle, McCullum strides forward and smacks it hard over the long on region. The ball goes over the fence for a huge hit. McCullum overtakes Stephen Fleming's 2nd best of 262.
10:00 (IST) McCullum goes past another record, overtakes Glenn Turner's 259 to be 5th highest individual scorer for Kiwis in Tests. NZ 512/5, lead by 266.
09:50 (IST) McCullum drives Ishant hard through extra cover for four. NZ 509/6, lead by 263.
09:42 (IST) FACTOID: Brendon McCullum is the fourth batsman in Test history to reach 250 with a six, after Peter May, Stephen Fleming and AB de Villiers.
09:37 (IST) Fifty partnership up between McCullum and James Neesham. NZ 498/6, lead by 252.
Well played BJ Watling, world record holder. What a wonderful test player he has become.- Martin David Crowe (@MDCroweMentor) February 17, 2014
09:28 (IST) An hour after tea and the Kiwis are still very much ahead. They've added 53 runs for the loss of Watling's wicket in 12 overs. NZ 493/6, lead by 247 runs.
09:19 (IST) McCullum is unstoppable here! What a way to bring up the 250-run mark! Short of a length ball on middle, McCullum gets into the position quickly and pulls it away. The ball gos all the way over the mid-wicket region for a biggie. The catch is put down in the crowd by a youngster. Even the Indian fielders failed to grab his catches.
09:15 (IST) FACTOID: Five Kiwi batsmen have score 250+ in Tests, none scored a 300. martin Crowe has the Kiwi record for 299 - vs Sri Lanka at the same venue, Basin Reserve, Wellington.
09:07 (IST) Left-hander James Neesham gets into the act. After having being beaten by Zaheer, he on-drives him between mid-wicket and mid-on for four. Start of next over, he hits Shami cleanly through mid-on for another four. NZ 480/6, lead by 234.
08:58 (IST) Zaheer bowls a maiden to McCullum, one of the balls surprised the batsman by rising awkwardly and hitting McCullum on the arm. NZ 464/6, lead by 218.
08:51 (IST) Since Watling got out, McCullum has gone back to aggressive mode, going after anything in his half and with a couple of plays and misses, Team India sense a chance against him with the third new ball.
08:43 (IST) FINALLY A WICKET! Watling falls for 124 off 367 balls. Gone this time, the record partnership is finally broken! Shami bowls a length delivery on the off stump line, the ball swings in sharply and stays a touch low. Watling tries to play that one but misses it once again and gets hit on the pads. Huge appeal for a leg before wicket once again and the umpire gives it out this time. Huge relief for Indian players. Watling departs after scoring an excellent 124 off 367 balls. Fantastic knock under circumstances, given his team's position when he came out to bat. He gets a standing ovation. Well played, BJ!
08:38 (IST) WORLD RECORD 6th WICKET STAND! McCullum and Watling register the best 6th wicket partnership in Tests - 352.
08:35 (IST) Dhoni gives away 5 in his first over. The 350-run partnership is up between McCullum and Watling.
08:31 (IST) MS Dhoni to ball after tea.
08:16 (IST) To sum up the session - McCullum and Watling just kept batting. Their partnership is now of 346 runs and New Zealand have a lead of 194 runs. Nothing went in India's favour. Dhoni tried bowling with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli but that didn't succeed either. Join us in a while for the final session to find out how these two batsmen go further or India come back picking wickets.
08:13 (IST) That's tea on Day 4, NZ are 440/5 with a 194-run lead. Brendon McCullum batting on a career-best 228* and BJ Watling on his best score of 119*. These two batsmen have batted for more than three full sessions now.
08:06 (IST) Sunil Gavaskar during commentary: "India will have to be careful. Fielding for long hours mean tired bodies, which may result in poor footwork. There could come a situation where India might be looking to save the game when they bat."
08:02 (IST) McCullum now batting on his highest Test score as he slices Kohli through point to take two and reach 226*. NZ 435/5, lead by 189.
07:54 (IST) The batsmen look tired. McCullum is down on the ground getting a back massage from his physio. McCullum puts another tape on his bat's grip. NZ 428/5, lead by 182.
07:42 (IST) After Rohit Sharma, it's time for Virat Kohli to roll his arm over. NZ 420/5, lead by 174.
07:35 (IST) Rohit Sharma employed by Dhoni but a lovely shot from Watling. Flighted outside off, Watling drives superbly through the cover region. Zaheer Khan gives up the chase and the ball crosses the boundary rope.
07:29 (IST) SIX! McCullum goes for the uppercut off Ishant over the slips and it lands beyond the third-man boundary. NZ 409/5, lead by 163.
07:18 (IST) FOUR! Double century for B Mac! On the pads, McCullum flicks it through the mid-wicket region. The ball goes to the boundary rope. That brings up his wonderful double century. There's the happy New Zealand dressing room applauding their captain for his excellent efforts so far. Back to back double tons!
07:14 (IST) Another hour of batting after lunch has been won by this pair. It's time for drinks, also needed by MS Dhoni and his men.
07:11 (IST) 300-run partnership now! Fine shot from McCullum! Length ball around off, McCullum drives it superbly through the cover region and finds the gap. The ball races away to the boundary rope. He moves to 199 now. NZ 394/5, lead by 148.
07:05 (IST) It's now been 104 overs, since India took a wicket. A reminder, Corey Anderson was the last wicket to fall when Kiwis were 94/5 after lunch on Day 3. NZ 390/5, lead by 144.
06:53 (IST) Third Test ton for BJ Watling! There you go! On middle, Watling flicks it sweetly through the mid-wicket region. The ball races away to the boundary rope. That brings up his magnificent ton. What a way to bring up the three-digit mark. He gets a standing ovation from the crowd and a huge round of applause from his dressing room. Excellent knock so far under circumstances.
06:48 (IST) Watling dabs one past fine-leg for four off Jadeja to reach 99*. NZ 379/5, lead by 133.
06:41 (IST) Another record for the partnership - the best ever for New Zealand against India - 275 runs. NZ 369/5, lead by 123.
06:31 (IST) Brendon McCullum latches on to that one from Jadeja, just a bit short and he cuts it hard behind point for four. NZ 365/5, lead by 119.
06:26 (IST) McCullum, Watling now have the 6th best Kiwi partnership of all-time in Test cricket - 265 runs. NZ 359/5, lead by 113.
06:16 (IST) Three runs from the first over after lunch. NZ bring up 350, lead by 104.
06:11 (IST) Indian players take their places and McCullum, Watling come out more determined.
05:33 (IST) That's Lunch on Day 4 - NZ 347/5.Â Another dominating session for the Kiwis! They've stretched their lead to 101 runs now. They didn't lose any wicket in this session and scored 95 runs as the epic partnership between McCullum and Watling continues. The match is heading to an interesting phase as a few more runs and the game will be wide open. McCullum is eyeing back to back tons whereas Watling is nearing to his ton. Will the Indian bowlers come back in the second session?
05:29 (IST) BJ Watling enters the 90s with a leg glance off Ishant for four past fine-leg. 250-plus stand also up between Watling and McCullum. NZ 346/5, lead by 100.
05:16 (IST) Watling won't waste much time now! On the pads from Jadeja, easy pickings, Watling sweeps it nicely through the fine leg region for a boundary. NZ 335/5, lead by 89.
05:12 (IST) FOUR! Chance! Good length delivery around off, McCullum tries to push and gets an outside edge towards slip. There is only one slip fielder and Dhawan at wide first slip dives full strength to his right and tries to reach to the ball. It's just wide and the ball races to the boundary rope. NZ 331/5, lead by 85.
05:10 (IST) First runs in nearly five overs as Watling tickles one fine towards fine-leg off Ravindra Jadeja for four.
05:03 (IST) This is the most number of balls Brendon McCullum has faced in a Test innings - (157 off 313 balls). He had previously faced 307, 308 deliveries in the two double hundreds he scored vs India. NZ 321/5, lead by 75.
04:56 (IST) This time McCullum hits Zaheer over backward point and the bowler stands with his hands on the hips. NZ 321/5, lead by 75.
04:52 (IST) McCullum gets to 150! Brendon McCullum thrashes Zaheer Khan through extra cover for four to bring up his 3rd score of 150 or more in Tests.
04:48 (IST) One run off Jadeja's 1st over today fetches 1 run for the Kiwis. NZ 313/5, lead by 67.
04:44 ((IST) Spin for the first time as Ravindra Jadeja comes in to bowl.
04:33 (IST) The Kiwis win the first hour of play - 56 runs in 13 overs, 0 wickets. Lead has risen from 6 to 62. NZ 308/5 (112 overs).
04:29 (IST) Zaheer bowls it outside off and McCullum creates just enough room to cut it late past gully for four.
04:21 (IST) The 200-run partnership is up between Watling and McCullum, the latter smashes Ishant through point to get the milestone. NZ 297/5, lead by 51.
04:17 (IST) Watling gets another four as he square drives Shami, gets the outside half of the bat and it runs away past gully for four. NZ 291/5, lead by 45.
04:09 (IST) Shami bowls one on the pads to Watling, who flicks it hard through square leg for four. NZ 285, lead by 39.
04:03 (IST) Indians have been unable to break through in the first half hour and the kiwis have gone in at almost run-a-minute by adding 26 runs on Day 4. NZ 278/5, lead by 32.
03:56 (IST) On the pads, McCullum flicks it to fine leg where Zaheer Khan runs slowly towards the ball and the batsmen pick up three runs. NZ 274/5, lead by 28.
03:51 (IST) Knuckle ball not working for Zaheer! First, McCullum almost fell for it but got enough bat on it to take three runs through covers. Two balls later, another knuckle ball, at 120 kmph just sits up as a slow full toss for Watling to trash it for four. NZ 271/5, lead by 25.
03:43 (IST) First four of the day, Brendon McCullum drives Ishant on the up and gets it past the wide mid-off for a boundary. NZ 264/5, lead by 20.
03:38 (IST) First runs of the day courtesy BJ Watling who drives Zaheer Khan through the extra cover to pick up three runs. NZ 256/5, lead by 10.
03:34 (IST) Ishant starts off well with a maiden to Brendon McCullum. Zaheer Khan to bowl the second over of the day.
03:30 (IST) Players make their way out in the middle for the start of Day 4. Ishant Sharma to bowl to Brendon McCullum.
Brendon McCullum leads Kiwi resistance
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.
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 252/6 with two full day's play left. 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). (Read more) (Day 3 Report | Day 3 highlights | Day 3 Pics)
Cheteshwar Pujara defends bowlers on tough day
After two days of domination at the Basin Reserve, the visitors had a tough day in the field as the pitch flattened out and the hosts rallied to 252/5 in their second innings to wipe off the first innings deficit.
While wickets didn't come in the last session, a couple of close chances went down in the field, particularly off centurion Brendon McCullum who benefited on both occasions. It was, in fact, the difference between the match finishing today and going into a fourth day.
"If you look at both the Test matches we have taken so many good catches. 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," said Pujara, defending his mates, after the third day's play here. (Read more)
India can still defend World Cup 2015: Sunil Gavaskar
India's poor form in the ongoing tour of New Zealand will count for nothing when the team comes here to defend the World Cup title as the current exposure to conditions would work to its advantage during the mega-event next year, feels former captain Sunil Gavaskar. India were thrashed 0-4 in the ODI series here but Gavaskar feels it should not be taken as a final statement on how the team would cope with conditions when the World Cup is jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia next year. (Read more)