It is never easy to chase down a target (fourth innings) batting last, be it a big or small score. The team batting last in a Test match always finds itself in a tricky situation going after a score with deteriorating pitch and tired bodies.
India in the first Test against New Zealand at Auckland with two-and-a-half day need 407 runs to win. Will they do it to find a place in the record books? There have been four instances when teams have overhauled big targets of 400-plus with India doing it once in 1976 against West Indies in Trinidad when they successfully chased a big target of 406.
However, West Indies hold the record of highest fourth innings chase of 418 runs against Australia in May 2003 at Antigua. Their chase started on day three and the Antigua pitch had hardly changed but Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan scored centuries to take West Indies home. Not to forget the moral-boosting half-century by Brian Lara and the ugly spat between Glenn McGrath and Sarwan.
The second-best chase of 414 runs didn't happen long ago when South Africa chased down Australia's total in Dec 2008 at the fast and bouncy pitch of Perth.
But the fourth-best chase of 404 runs happened way back in July 1948 when Australia defeated England by 7 wickets in Leeds. Again India's best-ever chase was of 387 runs happened in Dec 2008 against England in Chennai. Virender Sehwag set the tune early with a quick-fire and then Sachin Tendulkar with an unbeaten century took India home.
While on New Zealand soil, the highest score in the fourth innings was chased in 1969 in Auckland when West Indies made 348 for 5 against the hosts.
10-best highest fourth innings chases in Test cricket:
WI beat Aus in May 2003 chasing 418
SA beat Aus in Dec 2008 chasing 414
Ind beat WI in Apr 1976 chasing 406
Aus beat Eng in Jul 1948 chasing 404
Ind beat Eng in Dec 2008 chasing 387
Aus beat Pak in Nov 1999 chasing 369
Aus beat WI in Mar 1978 chasing 362
SL beat SA in Aug 2006 chasing 352
WI beat NZ in Feb 1969 chasing 348
WI beat Eng in Jun 1984 chasing 344