Ahmedabad: Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha feels that New Zealand batsmen will find a target of 170 difficult to chase on the last day on Monday.
“If we can score 170, we can make a match of it. We have to bat session after session,” said Ojha confidently after taking a career-best four for 107 that bettered his previous best of 4 for 115 at Colombo earlier this year.
At the end of the penultimate day’s play, India, having taken a slender first innings lead of 28 runs after dismissing New Zealand for 459 in reply to their first innings score of 487, were tottering at 82 for 6, an overall lead of 110 with only VVS Laxman (batting 34) left among the front line batsmen.
Ojha said the wicket did not afford as much turn to bowlers like him and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori unless they bowled wide of the off stump.
“When Daniel bowled wide of the off stump, the ball turned sharply but it did not do as much when the ball was pitched within the stumps,” said the Hyderabad-based player.
The young spinner was full of praise for experienced New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin’s display that fetched him five for 25 in 13 overs, including a sensational 4 wickets in 29 balls in the initial nine-over stint.
“It was a great spell by Martin but we have still some batting to come. Bhajji is there (at the crease giving Laxman company). Zak (Zaheer Khan) is there and I’m there,” he said.
Ojha said that though he did not play the previous Test here against Sri Lanka that ended in a draw, he has heard from teammates that wicket was slightly different from the present one.
“This wicket now is giving some assistance to the bowlers,” he said.