India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that his dismissal along with centurion Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja tilted the match in favour of New Zealanders in the first ODI which they lost by 24 runs.
“We were in the game, right till the end, but the wickets of Kohli, Jadeja and myself hurt us. It was important that one of us carried on till the end. We could have targetted the runs at the end but we ran out of overs,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The skipper said that some of the batsmen played well but more important was to finish off the game.
“We had good time to prepare ourselves. I think a few of the batsmen played well today, but it is important that if you get a decent start, you push on to get a big score. It is a little easier in India to do it, but here you have to work for it as new ball is difficult to handle. If one gets out its important that it should be a good ball,” the skipper said.
Dhoni however had words of praise for his bowlers who kept the New Zealand score under 300 despite going for a few runs initially.
“I think overall, it was a good decision to bat first. It had to be backed by good bowling. We didn’t do well in first three or four overs, but then we came back well. It was important for the spinners to bowl with control. I was happy with the spinners as they were bowling at right width not mixing up too much. No point in trying to turn the deliveries,” skipper commented.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum thought that 292 was a par-score against a decent Indian attack.
“I thought we had a par score and the way India bowled they restricted us to just below 300. Virat’s innings was world-class and showed why he is one of the best in the world,” McCullum said.
“Mitch (McClenaghan) did the job for us with the ball, and showed how vital he is to our side. It was good to see some partnerships throughout the batting. Ross and Kane’s stand in particular was important for our side. I was pretty pleased with how Corey (Anderson) went as well. So pleased with the batters.”
McCullum said that he was indeed worried when Dhoni and Kohli were batting.
“It’s a captain’s nightmare when you have those two guys there, but the message was simple, try to find a way to get a wicket. I thought Mitch was outstanding, and I thought Milne was really good tonight, despite the injury.
Our ground fielding was pretty good, and that is what we pride ourselves in.”
Man of the match Corey Anderson was happy that he got a nice platform set by Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
“Yeah it’s nice to set it up at the end there after Ross and Kane built it for us. It was tough at the death but I guess that is something we have to look at next game. We started off well with the ball, and then through the Powerplay stage it got a bit messy, but you expect it in that stage. I am happy to get wickets but there will be days when I would go for runs”.