NZ skipper looks at bright side of ‘frustrating’ loss
A narrow loss in the series decider against India will be hard to swallow but New Zealand captain Kane Williamson chose to look at the positives out of the closely-fought threematch series against India.
“There were lessons throughout the series, there always are when you play the best in the world. To perform the way we did in first game (in Mumbai) was our best performance of the tour so far. The one could have been the best but it was not to be on the day,” said Williamson after the six-run loss in the high-scoring series decider here on Sunday night.
“However, there were a lot of good signs. Our middleorder with the bat was something of a highlight throughout this series. Particularly Tom Latham, from opening the batting to coming into the middle-order, taking that role, adopting it like he has and batting so beautifully, it was a great sign for us,” he said.
Williamson said his side’s bowlers also did well as they were able to trouble the Indian batsmen.
“I thought the bowlers stuck at it really well. They were able to restrict a lot of the time and put a little bit of pressure despite the very good batting unit that India have,” he said.
Last year too, New Zealand faltered when it mattered the most, losing the five-match series in India 2-3 after being blown away in the decider.
But on Sunday, the Black Caps were almost there before nerves got the better of them in the final five overs, ending with 331/7 in response to India’s 337/6.
Williamson admitted that it was a case of missed opportunity. “Naturally, you look back at a game, to lose by six runs, having come so close in a big run chase, is frustrating, disappointing. But if you sit back and look at the work that was put in that batting innings to get so close, it is a really promising thing for this batting unit.
“Yes, it is hard to swallow, another decider here in India. I think we put in some good performances, but you have got to be at your best when you play this Indian team, especially at home,” he said.
Williamson said the decision to bowl first on a batting beauty was the right call.
“The way the ball swung early, you are never far away from taking some early wickets, but India are a very good batting unit and they played very well,” he said.