We're just too good for New Zealand says Gambhir | cricket | Hindustan Times
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We're just too good for New Zealand says Gambhir

cricket Updated: Apr 05, 2009 13:32 IST

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India would likely continue to bat into the fourth day of the third and final test against New Zealand, despite believing they would win it and the series comfortably, opener Gautam Gambhir said on Sunday.

Gambhir scored 167 in India's 349 for five at the close of play on the third day at the Basin Reserve, giving the visitors a 531-run lead while holding a 1-0 advantage in the series after winning the first match in Hamilton by 10 wickets.

India have not won a series in New Zealand since 1968.

"If we can set New Zealand over 600 runs then they will be out of this test match," the left-handed batsman told reporters.

"They will only be playing to survive rather than winning.

"And we want to get them in that mindset of rather than chasing runs they will be concentrating on surviving."

Gambhir said his personal feeling, even then, was that they would not need two full days to dismiss the New Zealanders, who collapsed for 197 in under a day in the first innings

"If we can't get them out (in two days) then we don't deserve to win this test match," he added.

"I don't think New Zealand will survive five sessions... any team will find it difficult to bat five sessions with the attack we have.

"We are a very good side and we have shown this in the past. We have dominated this series.

"We won in Hamilton and we played for seven sessions in Napier (to save the second test). We are a much better side, so if we can win this series 2-0 then it will be a very big achievement -- especially after 41 years."

Huge Challenge

New Zealand coach Andy Moles said his side was well aware of the challenge that now faced them and when they did begin batting, they would try to build partnerships.

"History would suggest that there's not too many sides win from this situation," Moles said.

The highest successful fourth innings run chase in test cricket is the 418 for seven West Indies achieved to beat Australia in Antigua in 2003.

New Zealand scored 451, chasing 550 against England in 2002, while their highest successful run chase was the 324 for five against Pakistan in 1994.

Only one team has scored more than 600 runs in a fourth innings. England made 654 for five against South Africa in the "timeless test", which lasted 10 days, in Durban in 1939. The match ended as a draw.

"Certainly this one is shaping up into being a battle to save the test match," Moles added.

"Should we get into a position where we can get into the last day with six or seven wickets left in a position to chase down a large score then we'll do it, but it's all about getting into that last day with lots of wickets in hand.

"I don't think we should set about trying to chase down 550, 600 or whatever it may be, the first thing we need to do is set a platform.

"They have a good bowling attack but the wicket has no demons. We need to get out there and show some application."