Pacer Tim Southee said wriggling out of a tough situation to eventually take a lead was a commendable effort by New Zealand and the action in the first session on Wednesday would determine the fate of the ICC World Test Championship final.

India were leading by 32 runs with eight wickets in hand, going into the final day of the title clash.

New Zealand were in a spot of bother at 162/6 but eventually posted a total of 249 to take a 32-run first innings lead, thanks to valuable knocks by their lower-order batsmen, including Southee who scored 30.

“We would have liked to get a few more (runs), get a lead of over 50, but I think the Indian side were outstanding with the ball and put us under pressure at the start of the day. So for us to sneak past and get a 30-odd run lead was nice in the end,” Southee said at the post-day media interaction.

“But you always want more. It is shaping up for an intriguing day tomorrow. That is a quality Indian batting line-up with two of their best (batters) at the crease at the moment. So we have to be on top of our game tomorrow and that first hour or two are going to be crucial to each side, it will set up the day,” the right-arm pacer added.

New Zealand had bundled out India for 217 in their first essay. Southee reckons that all three results are still possible on Wednesday.

“We will assess in the morning and come up with our plan, but we know, we have got a tough day ahead of us, like I said it is exciting to have all three results still possible,” he said.


Inputs from PTI