New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on Wednesday said that his side struggled against a really strong Indian side in the first ODI against New Zealand. The hosts suffered an 8-wicket loss against the Virat Kohli-led side after they were bowled out for 157 in the first innings. Speaking to reporters after the match in Napier, the Kiwi captain said: “It is not our best performance and I think you need to look at it in small bits. It is not about jumping … or any knee jerk reactions to our performance.”
The 28-year-old further added that his side needs to identify some areas. “It is about identifying some areas we need to get better at and when we get it together we can beat anybody but we are against a very strong team in India.”
With still four matches in the series to go, the skipper said his side will learn from playing against the World No. 1 team. “It is not a great start for us to the series but I guess any experience you have, against the world no 1 team there is great opportunity to get better,” he said.
The right-handed batsman, who scored 64 runs before he was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav, praised Indian spinners for their performance. “Their whole bowling unit did not give anything away, it was hard to gain any sort of momentum and the spinners bowled really nicely. The middle period… with the spinners on, the way their wrist spinners bowled with pace and the length it was classy. We knew they are good, we have played them a number of times and they certainly were very good,” he said.
Speaking on Mohammed Shami’s performance, who bagged the man of the match award for his figures of 19/3 in 6 overs, Williamson said: “He (Shami) was hitting nice areas, he was very demanding and bowled with good pace. I guess you throw those combinations and you get early wickets,” he said.
The batsman further said that the pitch was not a difficult one, but his side could have played better. “The surface wasn’t bad but different to what we were expecting. From our perspective, we should have played a little bit more smartly on that surface. They perhaps exposed us in some areas. The length that they bowled in that wicket was outstanding and did make scoring hard to achieve, so a lot of learning to come,” he said.
“It was one of those surfaces where it is hard to get momentum and they showed us that it wasn’t a competitive total to chase. It was not as free-flowing as we were expecting but it is important we move on to the next game, the surface will again be different and we have to be a little bit better,” he added.
Williamson said that his side needs to make better decisions in the following matches. “I mentioned about the batting but there were some positives with the bowling but collectively we need to adjust a little bit better and often it can come down to make a couple of better decisions,” he said.
India are currently leading 1-0 in the 5-match series. The two teams will meet for the second ODI on Saturday.