New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum put the needs of his team above everything else during his unbeaten hundred on day three at the Basin Reserve.

Asked about his rather defensive approach during the first phase of his innings, McCullum replied, “That is what the team required. As captain that is what you got to try and achieve. You are not always going to, but you have to try and work your game to the situation.”

A relief

New Zealand’s fight-back on Sunday came as a relief to McCullum. “If we had been rolled over in the Test that would have slightly disappointing after how successful the summer has been.”

The day’s second half was fruitless for India but Chesteshwar Pujara defended the Indian bowlers.

“I think they did their job. They restricted scoring and pitched the ball in the right areas. But there was not much in the wicket for them. McCullum and Watling batted very well,” he said after the third day’s play. Pujara added, “We are still in a very good position. We are very confident.”

He did not want India chasing a tricky fourth innings target. “We would like to keep the target as low as possible.” Despite the dropped catches, Pujara maintained this was a good fielding side. “I think we have been fantastic overall in the last few Tests. We were bound to drop a couple here. It happens.”

On his own performance on this tour, Pujara said, “I am only disappointed with the shot I played in the first innings in Auckland. It was a poor stroke. But in the second innings there and the first innings here, I got good deliveries. It’s a little different batting here. I am learning.”

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