India will want McCullum 300 - Crowe

Brendon McCullum will start day five of the second test on 281. Photo / Getty Images
Brendon McCullum will start day five of the second test on 281. Photo / Getty Images

Cricketing great Martin Crowe says he's confident Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum will surpass his 299-run record to to become the first New Zealander ever to reach 300 runs in an innings today.

McCullum starts back at the Basin Reserve today 19 runs short of the test score record.

Crowe holds the long-standing record for the highest test score by a New Zealander of 299.

He told Radio New Zealand this morning that opposing side India knew that they had tried their best to win the match and that it was "probably now beyond them''.

"I think they're probably going to want Brendon to get there. When I recall back to [the] Sri Lankan side, they were really disappointed that I didn't get that extra run.

"They almost felt a bit sad that they took my wicket and so I'm sure that the Indian team, while they won't be dishing up full tosses, I think deep down they'll be wanting him to get there.''

Crowe said McCullum and fellow batsman Jimmy Neesham would be looking to keep the runs flowing today.

"They'll have a target in mind as to how they can perhaps bat India out of the series, but also set up the game so they can have a crack at winning the test.

"There is no doubt that as he closes in on 300 that there'll be one or two moments where he'll feel the pressure of that moment, but I've got a feeling he's in such a good mind space, he's in a zone, that he'll cope fine.''

Crowe said when he set the current record, he never contemplated the lauded 300 mark.

"So it came as a bit of a shock to be standing there on 299 with my Everest sort of looking right at me. I took myself out of that moment because I was not in the now or the present and I made a mistake.

"It was costly and it's been 22 long years of contemplating that, but I think Brendon will have learned maybe a little from that example.

"I'm confident that he'll get through...I've said for a while now that it's time New Zealand joined the other test playing nations in the triple-century list.''

- APNZ

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