The third-innings collapse, which brought alive the last three Test matches played in India before this one and produced results in two of them featuring Australia, didn't happen here.
New Zealand batted on to deny India a chance to push for victory and captain MS Dhoni blamed it on the unresponsive nature of the pitch. He had said that after the first Test too. This time, Dhoni found an unlikely ally in his counterpart. "The pitch had a bit more bounce (as compared to Ahmedabad). It was pretty challenging to bowl. Probably the Indians expected the pitch to deteriorate a bit more. It was difficult to take wickets here," said Daniel Vettori.
"New Zealand batted really well, but there's nothing for the bowlers in the wicket, neither for seamers nor spinners. It's difficult to force a result on this kind of a pitch," said Dhoni. "Maybe, we have to extend the match from five to 10 days if we want a result on such wickets," he added, in a lighter vein.
"When foreign teams come here, they are expected to face a stiff challenge from spinners. But that is not the case anymore. I don't remember getting turning pitches in India apart from in Ahmedabad (against Sri Lanka in 2005) and Kanpur (against South Africa in 2008)," said Dhoni.
Unadkat for Zaheer
In a major blow to India before the third Test, pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of that game. "Zaheer is not fit and not available for selection," said a BCCI release. Saurashtra's young left-arm seamer Jaidev Unadkat replaces Zaheer. Unadkat was drafted into the India squad for the second Test against Australia last month after Ishant Sharma got injured, but didn't play.