Cricket: Seamers looking to repeat history

By Kris Shannon of APNZ in Bangalore

The last time New Zealand defeated a major test playing nation they received a special performance from their seamers, and assistant coach Bob Carter thinks it could happen again today.

The Black Caps head into the fourth, and likely final, day against India in Bangalore with a 244-run lead and only No 10 Jeetan Patel and No 11 Trent Boult at the crease.

They are seeking to level the two-test series, and restore a portion of their wounded pride, by claiming a test victory in India for the first time in 24 years.

They are also searching for their first test triumph of note since December last year in Hobart. In that match, New Zealand defended a 241-run lead thanks to Doug Bracewell's six wickets and solid supporting roles from Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

While Southee may have already provided the glut of wickets - with his 7-64 curtailing India's first innings and registering as the sixth-best figures by a Kiwi - Carter is backing the young attack to repeat their Hobart heroics.

"We have got is three young bowlers who are itching to get out there,'' he said. "We saw what happened in the first innings with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, of course, and Doug Bracewell.

"I think it's important we go out there with a fresh start, looking to get the ball to swing, and hopefully then we've got an opportunity to win the game.''

That opportunity could have been a whole lot greater had the Black Caps' batsmen backed up Southee's stunning spell on the morning of day three.

With the second new ball, the 23-year-old removed both Virat Kohli (103) and MS Dhoni (62) before running through the Indian tail with ease. Southee picked up four wickets in the space of 15 balls, something Carter said he and everyone else who witnessed it would struggle to forget.

"I thought it was a wonderful performance,'' Carter said. "To get seven-for in India, it's something that not just he'll remember but we'll all remember at this ground.''

But Southee's display was wasted in no time at all by a batting order reverting to type.

The top three were all unable to contribute, completing a largely forgettable series, and when Ross Taylor was dismissed shortly before tea New Zealand's chances of setting a significant target rested on the middle order.

Unfortunately, Daniel Flynn (31), James Franklin (41) and Kruger van Wyk (31) were unable to replicate the influential efforts of their counterparts in the home side, all making starts but none kicking on.

"We wanted our players to go on and get more runs, and for somebody to get a 50 or 60 or 70, but it didn't quite come off,'' Carter said.

Franklin in particular was guilty of being over-aggressive when the situation seemed to call for a steady hand, but Carter thought the allrounder had the right approach.

"We were trying to play positively,'' he said. "Hindsight's a great thing, but I think James was trying to do the right thing in trying to get the runs on the board.''

Whether they ended up with enough remains to be seen, but Carter said the young seam attack wouldn't die wondering.

"Our bowlers are really looking forward to the challenge of bowling to that top order again. Hopefully we can get the ball to swing and that wicket does go a little bit up and down.''

Regardless of the result, this has been a magnificent test match, filled with too many swings to count. That will provide little consolation for New Zealand, though, should the last swing go against them.

- APNZ

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