By: Bryan Waddle | Sunday, September 02, 2012 8:33 AM
It was a hard day on the park for the Black Caps and they couldn't establish the dominance they might have expected after their first day batting.
The early end to the first innings contributed - 365 is acceptable, but 400 plus was a must, to at least stand a chance. The last four wickets added just 37 including the toughest of all decisions for Bracewell after he'd passed his previous best score. A powerful straight drive from the bat of Southee was deflected on the non-strikers stumps and Bracewell was caught short.
The Black Caps could not have wished for a better start with the ball after McCullum had spilt a reasonably easy chance from Gambhir off Boult at third slip. Southee was the recipient as he bowled Gambhir and had Pujara caught in the deep.
It wasn’t long before the prized pair of Sehwag and Tendulkar was back in the pavilion, victims of an irresistible Bracewell spell. Sehwag was brilliantly caught at mid-wicket before Tendulkar played all around a straight one and fell for 17.
But from then, at 80/4 it was all India. Firstly Raina and Kohli added 99 and then when Raina finally went, Dhoni helped Kohli extend the total by a further 104.
Raina should have been out before he reached 50 when he was beautifully stumped by van Wyk, only for the replay to detect Patel had bowled a no ball.
There are a number of reasons why New Zealand doesn't win tests but one could be the ill-discipline at the bowling crease. Surely wickets are hard enough to get without conceding a chance to a no ball.
What are the coaches doing? Do they just dismiss a no ball as ‘one of those things’ then high five the bowler for a good effort?
A no ball amounts to criminal negligence in cricket and those who bowl them should have a fine attached to their contract for such unprofessional conduct.
New Zealand lead by 82 with still five wickets to get and two of those are the dangerous Kohli and Dhoni. And it will all count for nothing if the courageous and confident batting that marked the first innings doesn't deliver a similar result in the second innings.
The spinners will have more encouraging conditions.
Photo: Black Caps captain Ross Taylor (Photosport)