Despite his team being overwhelmingly crushed by New Zealand during the tour, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni put up a brave front, saying it was “quite a good performance” by his team in the Test matches.
It turned out to be a disastrous tour for India as they remained winless, losing the ODI series 0-4 and the Test series 0-1. The visitors ended the ignominious tour of New Zealand by drawing the second and final Test.
“Overall, quite a good performance. We have been improving right from South Africa. We have shown that we are a side that’s very talented,” said Dhoni at the post match presentation ceremony.
“We did well in the series, in this Test because we fought back pretty well ourselves. We bowled the right areas, which I think is very important on the flat wickets,” he added.
Having bundled out the Black Caps for 192 in the first innings and taken a 246-run lead, India looked like winning the second Test, as they reduced New Zealand to 94 for five in their second innings.
But Brendon McCullum (302) staged a remarkable fightback and together with BJ Watling shared a world record partnership of 352 runs for the sixth wicket to take the hosts to safety.
“In the first Test our second innings was brilliant. And then we came here won the toss and bowled really well in the first innings. In the second innings also we got a good start till Brendon and Watling came in. I don’t think it was bad bowling but it is just that they kept the good deliveries out,” the Indian skipper explained.
“Appreciate what Brendon and Watling did, soak up the pressure when we were bowling well and score freely once the bowlers tired,” he said.
Despite the bowlers failing to wrap up the innings after reducing the New Zealanders to 94 for five, Dhoni chose not to be too critical.
“We had to field for two and a half days and I must appreciate the way the bowlers took the challenge. Even when the third new ball was taken, they ran in hard and looked for wickets. They were willing to go on. I think they did whatever they could. At the end of the day we will accept the result.
“We cannot always put pressure on our batsmen and bowlers, saying that they did badly. It was fantastic to see how our bowlers bowled, especially the fact that when they took the second and the third new ball, they put in a lot of effort,” he insisted.
Dhoni praised his counterpart McCullum for his triple-hundred, saying that his side tried everything to get him out but couldn’t succeed.
“We bowled for two and a half days. We tried continued…