McCullum said his innings of 224 here would rank as the finest knock of his career if NZ went on to win the Test.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has a liking for Indian bowling. He has 913 runs in 16 Test innings against India at a whopping 60.86.

“Sometimes it happens, you score more against a particular opposition,” McCullum said after his game-changing 224 here on Friday.

He conceded that there were times during the first day, after the Kiwis lost three quick wickets, that he would have been happier with a total much less than 503.

“There were times when I thought 200 would have been a fighting total. We had suffered early setbacks and the ball was doing quite a bit,” he said.

McCullum added, “But as we started rolling along and began to build partnerships, our targets became higher. The key was that we kept getting those partnerships.”

McCullum said his innings of 224 here would rank as the finest knock of his career if NZ went on to win the Test.

“It was nice to contribute when the situation was demanding. If we keep creating the opportunities and win the Test, this would be my best Test innings. This team has a bit of fight in it,” he said.

The surface here, he said, has something in it for the pacemen. “The way we bowled today showed that.”

McCullum also said the new ball was stopping a tad. “When the seam’s harder it starts to stop a bit. Short catches, in front of the wicket, will be crucial as the match progresses. And when the seam becomes softer, it is beginning to skid a bit.”

Fantastic start

The New Zealand captain said picking two wickets in the first over of the Indian innings was fantastic. “It was outstanding, particularly since it included Pujara as well.”

McCullum was appreciative of Ishant Sharma’s effort with the ball. “He actually bowled very well, and bowled for long periods. He deserved the rewards.”

McCullum was confident, though, about the outcome of the Test. “We know we have the bowling to take 20 wickets here.”

Indian opener Murali Vijay was dismissed off a peach of a delivery from left-arm seamer Neil Wagner. “When you get out to a ball like that, you just have to take it out of your mind,” he said.

The pitch, he felt, was good for batting. “If you look at both the sides, they have made inroads with the new ball.”

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