New Zealand assistant coach Bob Carter says that a 'wonderful' partnership between Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling has given the home side hope going into day four of the second Test against India.
The pair put on 158 together to steer New Zealand to stumps on day three at 252 for five and a lead of six runs at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
New Zealand lead the series 1-0 and their defiance with the bat has kept their chances of taking a series win alive, much to the delight of Carter.
"After the first hour or so, perhaps the mood wasn't so good, as you alluded to, but with the wonderful partnership between BJ (Watling) and the captain, Brendon McCullum, I think it's given us a lot of heart to take into tomorrow," he said.
After scoring a double-century in Auckland to set up a 40-run win, McCullum scored his ninth Test century, with Carter paying tribute to the improvement the New Zealand captain has made to his game.
"I think he's now combined a lot of his game of defence, of using his defence, I mean, today as I say, was a very tough day of test cricket.
"They (India) didn't give us anything. You know, they bowled well since they bowled in that second innings in Auckland (in the first Test), they've bowled very well in this game and I think Brendon has really shown his defensive game has come forward.
"And, as well as he likes to attack - I mean, going from 94 to a hundred with a six, certainly caught me by surprise, you know I was sitting down thinking about the ball that had just beaten him and all of a sudden he was hitting it for six. So I think he's growing in stature as a test player and I'd like to see him play a lot more."
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