New Zealand vs India: Patience will be key for MS Dhoni's batsmen on Day 4, says Sunil Gavaskar
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar said time is in India's favour and at least a couple of century stands are needed to chase down a remarkable target of 407 set by New Zealand in the Auckland Test.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who epitomized technique and temperament during his batting days, has advised the Team India to be patient in their approach against New Zealand on Day 4 of the Auckland Test. The visitors, who were bundled out for 202 in their first innings, were 87 for one at stumps in their second innings in their chase of a formidable 407-run target on a flat Eden Park track. The hosts were bowled out for 105 in their second innings. India require a further 320 runs for victory in the remaining two days with nine wickets in hand. Shikhar Dhawan (unbeaten 49) and Cheteshwar Pujara (unbeaten 22) are well set with an unfinished 51-run stand.
"Time is in India's favour as they have two full days to finish off the match. Indian batsmen will have to be patient in their approach and take each ball as it comes," Sunil Gavaskar told NDTV in an exclusive chat from Auckland on Saturday. (Scorecard | Match report | Highlights | Day 3 in pics)
The odds favour New Zealand, though India, with no time pressure, would hold out hope of pulling off a remarkable victory after having trailed by 301 runs on first innings. Only two teams in Test history have successfully chased more than 400 in a fourth innings - the West Indies' 418-7 against Australia in 2003 and South Africa's 414-4 against Australia in 2008. (Click here for latest on India's tour of New Zealand)
If India do manage to a sensational win, it will be their first test win overseas after 2 and a half years. Dhoni's men won their last Test away from home at Kingston, when they beat the West Indies by 63 runs in June 2011. After that tour of the Caribbean, they went on to lose eight straight overseas Tests against England and Australia before avoiding a ninth consecutive defeat in the stunningly-drawn game in Johannesburg on the South Africa tour in December. (Also read: Zaheer heaps praise on Shami)
Gavaskar, 64, said at least a couple of century partnerships are needed for India to pull off a phenomenal win. "One of the top order batsmen will have to score a double hundred and India also require at least a couple of hundred-run partnerships to pull off a miracle," Gavaskar said. (Related: New Zealand still have the upper hand, says Wagner)