New Zealand failed to win a bilateral series in India yet again after losing the deciding clash in Kanpur by 6 runs while chasing 338 and Kiwi coach Mike Hesson said that Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were exceptional in the final overs of the match.
“A year ago we were playing the decider and got bowled out for 67  chasing 260 , so to put that into context, to be chasing a formidable total like that and to put in a performance (like that) shows how the team is evolving,” head coach Mike Hesson saying as quoted by Cricbuzz on Sunday.
“[Jasprit] Bumrah was exceptional in the end. It was always going to be difficult. We got it down to 25 off two overs. When you’ve got a score like 338, you want to see yourself up to have a small chase like that but you know that with Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, who are probably two of the three best yorker bowlers in the world, so was always going to challenging. We got them to miss a couple of times and were able to take advantage of that but not quite at the end. It was one hell of a chase; disappointing to fall short,” said Hesson.
Opener Colin Munro scored 75 off 62 deliveries before getting out and coach Hesson insisted that he was certainly pleased with the way Munro batted. The head coach also hailed Tom Latham’s performance both with the bat and behind the stumps throughout the series.
“Certainly pleased with Colin Munro, also his bowling. We needed an option like that at the top and he provided those useful overs here and there. Certainly provided the impetus (with the bat). Latham was exceptional throughout the series. Not only the runs, even his keeping…to take on both those roles, he was exceptional and in rare touch at the moment. Henry Nicholls with the bat… it’s a tough role, the finishing one. You always come out under pressure when batting first or chasing, certainly he played some quality innings for us,” he said.
“We tried to get ourselves to a Twenty20 situation really,” said Hesson. “We thought if we could reduce the chase to 170 off the last 20 then with wickets in hand, we’re in with a good chance. In the end, we needed about 163 off the last 20 through some exceptional batting from a number of players. Munro certainly gave us the impetus at the top and got us ahead of the run rate early which made it easy for the guys coming in,” he added.
Spinner Mitchell Santner bagged two wickets and completed his allotted 10 overs with a good economy rate of 5.80 in a high-scoring encounter. Coach Mike Hesson applauded Santner’s abilities and performance and said that he played a crucial role in backing up the quicker bowlers.
“They certainly respect Mitch over here. They know he’s a quality bowler so don’t take too many risks against him. So he’s got to earn his wickets, but he created pressure for us and backed up the quicks who I thought were very good over here. Not great surfaces, not ones that we’re used to but Trent Boult’s spell in Mumbai, Tim [Southee] was very good today, Adam [Milne] in Pune was getting close to his best, so there’s some very good signs.
“We were looking at anything between 350 and 370 at one stage, so to bring them back was a good effort. We knew it was a good surface and was a very fast outfield compared to the other ones we’ve played on, so was always going to be a high-scoring ground. We just haven’t been able to chase those targets in the past so was always a little bit daunting, but certainly we broke it down,” he added.