Ishant and Mayank were among the few positives that India could draw from their 10-wicket loss in Wellington in the first Test. While Mayank showed resilience up the order and showed promise in negating the swing and bounce the Basin Reserve track had offered, Ishant, on the other hand, finished with his 11th five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Ishant stands just three wickets away from becoming the sixth Indian bowler to amass 300 Test wickets, and third pacer overall. He will join Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan if he manages to bag the honour in Christchurch.
Ishant so far has 297 wickets in 97 matches. Hence, those three wickets will also make him the slowest player ever to reach the milestone, surpassing former New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori who had taken 94 matches to achieve the feat. Meanwhile, the milestone would imply, India would now have two bowlers in their lineup - one with the fastest to 300 wickets, which is Ravichandran Ashwin, and the other is slowest to the feat. Ashwin had overhauled Australian pace bowling great Dennis Lillee's record, but reaching the milestone in his 54th Test.
Mayank, meanwhile, will aim to reach the milestone of 1000 Test runs. With 964 runs in 15 innings across 10 Tests, Mayank needs 36 runs in his next two innings to achieve the feat. And he if ghe does so in Christchurch, he will become the second fastest to 1000 runs after Vinod Kambli (14 innings), and joint-fastest Indian in terms of Test matches played.