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India racing against time

A perfect fight back. By Harbhajan Singh when the chips were down for India. By New Zealand after being mauled by India on the first day.

Much was expected from Sachin Tendulkar, but the Little Master flattered to deceive, as did the rest of the batsmen. But Harbhajan belied all expectation and brushed through his highest test score to place India to a respectable 487 after much flirting for a 500 plus score. Harbhajan's 69 came from the most unexpected corners, after Sachin (40), Laxman, Raina and Dhoni failed to live up to their expectations. The challenging first innings score put enough pressure on the visitors, but Brian McCullum and Ross Taylor put to death any aspirations that India could have in the latter part of the day. Especially when India sent two Kiwi batsmen packing within 27 runs.

A perfect fight back. By Harbhajan Singh when the chips were down for India. By New Zealand after being mauled by India on the first day.

Much was expected from Sachin Tendulkar, but the Little Master flattered to deceive, as did the rest of the batsmen. But Harbhajan belied all expectation and brushed through his highest test score to place India to a respectable 487 after much flirting for a 500 plus score. Harbhajan's 69 came from the most unexpected corners, after Sachin (40), Laxman, Raina and Dhoni failed to live up to their expectations. The challenging first innings score put enough pressure on the visitors, but Brian McCullum and Ross Taylor put to death any aspirations that India could have in the latter part of the day. Especially when India sent two Kiwi batsmen packing within 27 runs.

India is racing against time to win this Test match. NZ still needs 219 more runs to make India bat again, while the Kiwis rest their survival on their two biggest bettors - McCullum and Taylor. The Motera wicket hasn't been particularly favouring the bowlers, which makes the task that much more difficult for the Indian bowlers. But the pressure of 287 might be the most telling on the Kiwis. Whether McCullum and Taylor withstand the pressure and kill the time remains to be seen, but as the story unfolds, it looks like these pair is holding the key to Kiwis' survival in this Test match.

Advantage India surely as Dravid waits for 2 more catches to become the first fielder (besides the wicket-keeper) to take 200 catches in Test matches and Sachin waits for his 50th Test ton. Who gets to the landmark first would be an interesting race, but for Dhoni the first target is to break the unbeaten Kiwi pair.

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