New Zealand fielding coach Luke Ronchi on Sunday said that the record target set by India to win the first Test here was attainable. He further added that to make the win effortless, the Kiwi batters have to take a leaf out of the hosts’ batting approach.
At one point in time, India was at 51/5, looking down the barrel. However, the lower-order came to the party and bailed the Ajinkya Rahane-led team to take the team to 234/7 declared. Target set for New Zealand was 284 on the final day.
At stumps on day 4, New Zealand (4/1) needed 280 more runs to win. They lost opener Will Young to Ravichandran Ashwin.
“If we bat with some good intent there and sort of make the most of opportunities to score them, then we certainly believe we can chase it down,” Ronchi, also the New Zealand wicket-keeping coach, said at the press conference after the fourth day’s play.
No touring team has chased more than 276 runs in the fourth innings in Tests in India and the world Test champions have their task cut out.
“We’ve to stay positive and take a leaf out of the Indian batters and the way they played, and applied themselves,” said the former Kiwi wicketkeeper-batter.
“There was positivity in their footwork and scoring options. That’s what we need to do as well and bring that momentum in our favour and then hopefully through the game the more you do it, the low the total becomes.”
Shreyas Iyer became the first Indian batter in Test history to score a century and a fifty on debut when he again top-scored with a 65 in the second innings.
Braving a stiff neck, wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha struck a stunning 61 not out, while there were significant contributions from Ravichandran Ashwin (32) and Axar Patel (28 not out) to put India in the driver’s seat.
“Obviously, it was quite difficult for us to take wickets and put a bit of pressure on their batters but then leading into tomorrow, I think all three results are possible,” Ronchi said.
Regarding the Green Park pitch, Ronchi said tackling the variable bounce will be the key for his batters.
“There’s not a whole lot of turn on the surface and I think many people expected the surface to play. There is a little bit of variable bounce. So that’s going to be the main thing.”