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Martin Crowe - Pitch for bare truth

The visitors will be relieved but cannot take this game for granted, writes Crowe

Sunday, March 29, 2022
Sharp reminder for Indians

There has been a lot of reaction to what I had said in my take on the Virender Sehwag dismissal. But really the reaction should be all about the way he got out, not about what I have got to say.

As I have clearly stated in previous I have nothing but admiration for Sehwag’s batting. He just isn’t a skipper in my book. People shouldn’t react to what I say but react more on what the players do. My job is to give a bare truth viewpoint. 

Thankfully, he will be a relieved man tonight because the quality in his side came to the fore today and through Gautam Gambhir in particular. He is a man who hasn't played in these situations too often, but he showed that he has chalked up another little notch in his CV. To bat for 400 minutes for a hundred under a lot of pressure, knowing fully well that one mistake could open the door for New Zealand, was great.

Gambhir would have got a lot of support. encouragement and guidance from Rahul Dravid who has been in this situation a number of times in his career It was sad therefore to see Dravid go because you felt he thoroughly deserved a hundred as well. But that's the luck of the draw I guess. Not often do you also see him demonstrate that kind of disappointment.

Sachin Tendulkar has just continued to show his great form. Isn't it wonderful to see him just putting on these batting clinics for all the young people all around the world. And also he scored at a good rate as well because it has enabled India to move towards knocking off the deficit.

There is always that concern that if you don't go too quickly enough then you know a little late sort of stroke of luck mean one or two wickets and you have to start all over again. But Tendulkar's taken India really into safer waters.

The game's not over, New Zealand will come back on Day 5 and they will throw everything at the Indians in the first session. And even though it might take them four hours, there is still a chance that they might not have to chase too many in the last session. That's what they have got to believe.

The odds are looking like it is most likely to end in a draw given that the conditions are just magnificent still. That will be a relief for Indian management who would have got a sharp reminder that you cannot take this game for granted.

New Zealand bowled well, only thing probably missing from Daniel Vettori was a bit more turn. But he is more of a flight bowler these days with his change of action in recent times to protect his back. He is not twisting and pivoting off his front foot as he used to when he was younger. But the Kiwis never gave it away and they all bowled very efficiently. There was always good pressure but at the end of the day as New Zealand showed when they batted, India too showed the right attitude and the right combination out to make sure at the end of Day 4 they haven't throw away the lead that they will probably take now into Wellington.