Cricket: Chance for NZ to show scrapping abilities

New Zealand's Mitchell Santner bats on the fourth day of their first cricket test match against India at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, India, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/ Tsering Topgyal)
New Zealand's Mitchell Santner bats on the fourth day of their first cricket test match against India at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, India, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/ Tsering Topgyal)

There's one simple answer to New Zealand's predicament when the first test against India wraps up at Kanpur's Green Park today - but it will be immensely difficult to pull off.

They start the final day at 93 for four, with the victory target of 434 out of the question, and a day of defiance lying ahead.

New Zealand will begin the day with two batsmen, Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner, settled at the crease, but now having to restart, with Ronchi impressive on 38 after 68 minutes, and Santner on eight after 50 minutes in the middle.

'We just got to keep fighting," New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said. ''That's the way we play cricket.

''That's our goal, to have a good start and to fight as long as we can.''

The pitch is wearing hard and posing massive challenges for the batsmen.

''Some turn, some don't, some jump," Jurgensen said.

''It's a matter of not being under too much pressure, accepting the challenge. These are conditions India are very familiar with."

Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin has taken three for 68 and poses the single biggest threat to New Zealand's resolve.

He has now taken 200 test wickets faster than any other bowler in history, apart from Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett in the 1920s and 30s, 37 tests.

New Zealand's chase for what would be their third test victory in India in 32 tests will have to wait for another day. Instead they have a chance to show their scrapping abilities and take something positive into the second test starting at Kolkata on Friday.

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