New Zealand face the biggest test of endurance and patience on Monday as India look to close out a victory in the first Test in Kanpur. The Kiwis do not look like having a chance of stealing a win on the final day of this engrossing Test match, but if they manage to stave off the R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja charge, it will feel as good as any victory.
India gave New Zealand a target of 434 to chase in a day and a half, and at the end of Day 4, the visitors are on 93/4 in 37 overs. Their top four batsmen are back in the hut, thanks largely to Ashwin's brilliance.
The India off-spinner has taken three of the four wickets that have fallen so far – the fourth was a run out, thanks to Ross Taylor's carelessness – and while the wicket is still far from unplayable, facing Ashwin on a Day 5 pitch could prove to be difficult, and then some.
Confidence and belief will be flowing through Ashwin's veins after the 30-year-old became the second fastest of all-time to 200 Test wickets, and having achieved that commendable feat, Ashwin will want to get motoring towards 300 by taking the bulk of the wickets on Day 5.
Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner are at the crease at the moment, batting on 38 and 8 respectively, or rather, more relevantly, having faced 58 and 50 balls respectively. While Santner has showed he has oodles of patience when it comes to defence, Ronchi is not someone who likes to be tied down too much.
That might end up working in New Zealand's favour or going the other way, depending on how successful the ODI wicketkeeper is when he does go on the attack.
If it comes off, the pressure will go right back on the bowlers and with that pressure could come more loose deliveries and a drop in confidence. However, if that batting attack goes awry, like it nearly did early in his innings, when Murali Vijay failed to latch onto a catch running back, New Zealand could end up losing wickets in a hurry and hand victory to India with plenty of the final day still remaining.
So, it is a fine balance that Ronchi needs to find, but as he showed in the first innings, and continued to in the second as well, he is a pretty competent player of spin and he and the excellent Santner will back themselves to ward off the challenge posed by Ashwin and Jadeja.
Where to Watch Live
India vs New Zealand 1st Tst, Day 3 is scheduled for a 9.15am IST (3.45pm NZT, 4.45am BST, 11.45pm ET) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Star Sports 1/HD1 and Star Sports 3/HD3. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 3. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 2. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
US and Canada: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
Middle East: TV: OSN Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Live.