Against all odds, New Zealand has remained focussed in the first Test. Nothing, not even the sight of a snake close to their dressing room on Friday, has diminished their resolve.

In his first Test in 14 months, Jesse Ryder came up with a hundred and crossed the 1,000-run mark in his emerging Test career.

Brendon McCullum said on Saturday: “Jesse (Ryder) has shown that he wants to move on from the off-field things that he had been involved in. With his innings today he showed how huge a player he is. He has incredible talent. We saw the confidence in his batting when he walked out to play. We have to make sure now that he continues to focus the same way throughout the series.”

On debutant Kane Williamson, McCullum said: “He is just 20 years old, and from New Zealand's point of view, guys develop after being much older than his age. He's a special talent for us. He made a one-day hundred in Bangladesh a couple of weeks ago and he played very well today against a very good Indian bowling line-up.

“To be able to negotiate tough periods and being calm at the crease are good signs for any batsman. I really hope he goes on tomorrow to score his maiden Test hundred.”

On opening in a Test match, McCullum said: “I am going through a challenging period. I am trying to come as a Test opener and that's quite different from my previous 50 Tests. I have really enjoyed the role of the opener so far in this game.”

India paceman Sreesanth said India would have been in a better position had the catch Jesse Ryder been held.

“The pitch is flat. It is not easy to get wickets on this wicket. But we are still hopeful. If we get a lead of about 100 runs, we could still put a lot of pressure on New Zealand in the last innings with Harbhajan and Ojha bowling,” he said.

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