India vs New Zealand: Target of 284 gettable, says fielding coach Luke Ronchi

At close on Day Four, New Zealand were 4/1; no touring team has chased more than 276 in India in tests
Last Updated 28 November 2021, 14:32 IST

New Zealand fielding coach Luke Ronchi on Sunday said that the record target set by India to win the first Test here was gettable and asked his players to take a leaf out of the home side's batting approach.

From 51/5, Indian lower-order batters bailed the hosts out in difficult conditions to take them to 234/7 (declared), setting New Zealand a 284-run target on the final day.

"If we bat with some good intent there and sort of make the most of opportunities to score them, then we certainly believe we can chase it down," Ronchi, also the New Zealand wicket-keeping coach, said at a press conference after the fourth day's play.

At close on Day Four, New Zealand were 4/1. No touring team has chased more than 276 runs in the fourth innings in Tests in India and the world test champions have their task cut out.

"There was positivity in their (Indian lower-order batters) footwork and scoring options. That's what we need to do as well and bring that momentum in our favour and then, hopefully, through the game the more you do it, the low the total becomes," he said.

Shreyas Iyer became the first Indian batter in Test history to score a century and a fifty on debut, as he top-scored with a 65 in the second innings.

Braving a stiff neck, wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha struck 61 runs (not out), while there were significant contributions from Ravichandran Ashwin (32) and Axar Patel (28 not out) to put India in the driver's seat.

"Obviously, it was quite difficult for us to take wickets and put a bit of pressure on their batters but then, leading into tomorrow, I think all three results are possible," Ronchi said.

"From the Indian point of view, they'll be full of confidence that they can stop us from doing that. So, I think it's going to be a really exciting final day Test," he said.

Ronchi said that tackling the variable bounce will be the key for his batters. "There's not a whole lot of turn on the surface and I think many people expected the surface to play. There is a little bit of variable bounce. So that's going to be the main thing."

Senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got the crucial breakthrough in the final minutes of Day 4 as he dismissed Will Young for 1 after the batter failed to review in time. The ball seemed to be missing the leg stump but Young and his opening partner Tom Latham took a long time to review the umpire's decision. They reviewed only after the DRS 10-second timer was over and it was denied.

"I haven't spoken to Young about the situation obviously. From our point of view, we were a bit disappointed," Ronchi said.

"But also when we look on the big screen, it was after the time had run out. Obviously, it came at a time we don't want to be losing wickets and it's quite tense. But It's a disappointment in order to understand that he did actually tell it after the timer had finished," Ronchi said.

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(Published 28 November 2021, 14:32 IST)

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