Opening session on day-5 will be crucial: McIntosh

Hyderabad: The opening session on the fifth and final day of the second Test will be crucial to New Zealand’s fortunes, according to Kiwi opener Tim McIntosh.

“We have to give ourselves a chance to set up a good target. But in trying to do that, I hope we don’t lose too many wickets.

“I hope we get there but we need to play with a positive intent,” McIntosh said after his team gained a lead of 115 runs by close on the penultimate day of the Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here on Monday.

“The wicket is pretty good, there is not enough turn but there is bounce,” the opener, who was involved in an important 125-run partnership for the first wicket with centurion Brendon McCullum, added.

Asked about his understanding with his dashing opening partner McIntosh, who himself crafted a patient century in his team’s first innings, said “we stay positive and complement each other very well and that is a key factor. If this partnership flourish it will be good for us.”

The gritty opener followed his century in the first innings with a 49 in the second essay.

The batsman was twice dismissed by Zaheer Khan in the first Test at Motera, where he recorded a pair, but McIntosh’s knocks in the ongoing Test are indications that the batsman has addressed his problems against the canny India spearhead.

“I have worked very hard in the nets to nullify Zaheer’s wicket-taking deliveries,” McIntosh said.

Zaheer was absent from the field for 136 minutes – he sat out the entire session between lunch and tea due to abdominal strain, and asked about that, McIntosh admitted that the seamer’s absence did help New Zealand.