Another Tim Southee-like bowling performance is required as New Zealand's cricketers awake today with a faint sniff of a rare test victory in India.
A week after their Hyderabad horror show, it's some turnaround, but it could have been so much better.
Thanks to Southee's remarkable 7-64 - the best test figures by a New Zealand bowler in India and the sixth-best of all-time - the tourists claimed a 12-run first innings lead in Bangalore.
Just when the situation cried out for a New Zealand batsman to take charge, the familiar second innings jitters returned. At stumps after three absorbing days at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, New Zealand were 232-9, a lead of 244. Anything over 300 is a challenging final innings chase, but the nagging feeling remains that New Zealand needed 350-plus.
There were promising starts in New Zealand's second innings but no one passed 50; their hard-fought advantage slipping with every soft dismissal on a pitch still good for batting.
India's fastest bowler, Umesh Yadav, claimed both openers to complete a forgettable series for Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum.
Guptill played all around a full toss, his second poor dismissal of the match, then McCullum was nicked out, pushing forward. McCullum's return to opener wasn't a happy one in India - his top score 42.
Kane Williamson departed to spin for the fourth time in as many innings, then it fell to skipper Ross Taylor to replicate his counter-attacking first innings century. His strike rate was more measured this time, 35 off 66, but his dismissal was identical, lbw sweeping the left-arm spin of Pragyan Ojha.
Fellow spinner Ravi Ashwin, the 12-wicket hero of Hyderabad, then took charge with 5-69.
It is advantage India, but New Zealand's pace attack at least know they can expose the home top-six with opener Gautam Gambhir out of nick and the great Sachin Tendulkar on the wane. They'll hope for an overcast morning where the ball swings.
Southee was outstanding, with pace, swing and aggression his weapons as India were dismissed for 353. The previous best figures by a New Zealand bowler in India were Dion Nash's 6-27 at Mohali in 1999.
Southee's timing was impeccable, a selection triumph for new coach Mike Hesson and captain Taylor who promoted him at the expense of veteran Chris Martin. It leaves Martin under immense pressure to reclaim his spot. Formerly unchallenged as the leader of the pace attack, the 37-year-old with 230 wickets from 70 tests may have unwittingly handed over the baton in Bangalore, with Trent Boult also taking his chances.
It's easy to forget Southee is only 23, and his previous best figures of 5-55 were against England on debut as an 18-year-old.
He broke India's 122-run sixth-wicket stand by trapping century-maker Virat Kohli in front, padding up, as he snared four wickets in 16 balls to rock India to 320-9.
New Zealand second innings
B. McCullum c Dhoni b Yadav 23
M. Guptill b Yadav 7
K. Williamson c Sehwag b Ashwin 13
R. Taylor lbw b Ojha 35
D. Flynn c Sehwag b Ashwin 31
J. Franklin st Dhoni b Ashwin 41
K. van Wyk lbw b Ashwin 31
D. Bracewell lbw b Ojha 22
T. Southee b Ashwin 2
J. Patel not out 10
T. Boult not out 0
Extras (b-4, lb-12, w-1) 17
Total (nine wickets; 69 overs) 232
Fall of wickets: 1-30 2-31 3-69 4-111 5-140 6-195 7-2168-222 9-222
Bowling (to date): Zaheer 12-2-37-0, Yadav 14-0-62-2 (1w),Ojha 20-6-48-2, Ashwin 22-1-69-5, Raina 1-1-0-0
India first innings (overnight 283-5)
G. Gambhir b Southee 2
V. Sehwag c Flynn b Bracewell 43 C. Pujara c Boult b Southee 9
S. Tendulkar b Bracewell 17
V. Kohli lbw b Southee 103
S. Raina c Van Wyk b Southee 55
MS Dhoni lbw b Southee 62
R. Ashwin not out 32
Z. Khan c Van Wyk b Southee 7
P. Ojha c Van Wyk b Southee 0
U. Yadav b Boult 4
Extras: (b-11, lb-2, w-1, nb-5) 19
Total: (all out; 96.5 overs) 353
Fall of wickets: 1-5 2-27 3-67 4-80 5-179 6-301 7-312 8-3209-320.
Bowling: Boult 23.5-2-90-1 (2nb), Southee 24-6-64-7 (1nb,1w), Bracewell 20-4-91-2, Franklin 10-4-17-0 (1nb), Patel19-5-78-0 (1nb)
- © Fairfax NZ News
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