SOUTHAMPTON: Pacer Tim Southee says wriggling out of a tough situation to eventually take a first-innings lead was a commendable effort by New Zealand and action in the first session on Wednesday would determine the fate of the World Test Championship final.
India are leading by 32 runs with eight wickets in hand, going into the final day of the title clash.
New Zealand were languishing at 162 for six but eventually scored 249 runs to take a 32-run lead, thanks to valuable knocks by the tail-enders, including Southee who scored 30.
“We would have liked to get a few more (runs), get a bit of lead of over 50, but I think the Indian side was outstanding with the ball and put us under pressure at the start of the day. So for us to sneak past and get a 30-odd run lead was nice in the end,” Southee said at the media interaction after stumps on Tuesday.
“But you always want more. It is shaping up for an intriguing day tomorrow.
“That is a quality Indian batting line-up with two of their best (Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara) at the crease at the moment. So we have to be on top of our game tomorrow and that first hour or two are going to be crucial for each side; it will set up the day,” the right-arm pacer added.
New Zealand had bundled out India for 217 in their first essay.
Southee reckons that all three results are still possible on Wednesday.
“We will assess in the morning and come up with our plan, but we know we have got a tough day ahead of us, like I said it is exciting to have all three results still possible,” he said.