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Black Caps hunt elusive Test win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/10/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">Mitchell Santner says the Black Caps will attack in the third Test in Indore as they seek New Zealand's first Test win in India for 28 years.</span> © AP Photo/Saurabh Das Mitchell Santner says the Black Caps will attack in the third Test in Indore as they seek New Zealand's first Test win in India for 28 years. Allrounder Mitchell Santner believes the Black Caps are learning quickly and close to finding the elusive formula needed to win the third Test against India beginning on Saturday in Indore.

Thumped by 197 runs in the first Test, and 178 in second, the Black Caps are still looking to become the first New Zealand team in 28 years to win a Test in the country.

"There's only two New Zealand teams that have actually won a Test over here, so if we can manage to win that third game, that's something special," Santner said.

"We've lost the series, but we're still going come hard this game - it's our nature to fight."

Santner said the Kiwis would need a strong showing with both bat and ball if they wanted to stretch India.

There had been positives from the first two Tests, with the Black Caps' bowling effort particularly noteworthy in dismissing India twice during the second Test in Kolkata.

"To get 20 wickets over here is pretty special, and if we can back that up with the bat as well, hopefully get a good first innings score, we can go from there."

Santner has delivered with both bat and ball at different times, his best efforts coming in the first Test in Kanpur where he collected 5-173 as well as a second innings 71 in a 102-run stand for the fifth wicket with Luke Ronchi.

He said the soaring temperatures and humidity had tested the Black Caps in both Tests, with the mental side of the game as challenging as the physical.

"Adapting to the conditions over here has been the hardest part," Santner said.

"It's a different heat - you've got to switch off if you're batting, then switch on for every ball."

Bowling was equally testing, with patience key in building pressure.

"You've got to be more accurate, more patient. They're good players of spin on turning wickets, so it's not easy.

"You've got to be in that area for a long period of time, and hopefully get wickets that way."

India have suffered a couple of injury blows ahead of the third Test, losing opener Shikhar Dhawan with a broken hand and pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar with a back strain.

Gautam Gambhir, back in the team after a two-year break, is picked to open in Dhawan's place while Kumar - who picked up a first innings 5-48 in the second Test - has been replaced by Shardul Thakur in India's squad.

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