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Updated: January 25, 2014 19:01 IST

Brendon McCullum: It was a great game

PTI
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“Yes it is one that got away, but it was a great game of cricket nevertheless. All credit to India, because when they looked out of the game, they flexed their muscle a little bit and got back into it,
AP “Yes it is one that got away, but it was a great game of cricket nevertheless. All credit to India, because when they looked out of the game, they flexed their muscle a little bit and got back into it," Brendon McCullum said. File Photo

He is disappointed that his team could not seal the series on Saturday but New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum termed the third ODI against India as a “great game of cricket.”

New Zealand put up 314 on the board and Ravindra Jadeja stole a tie for India with his heroic batting along with R. Ashwin.

“Yes it is one that got away, but it was a great game of cricket nevertheless. All credit to India, because when they looked out of the game, they flexed their muscle a little bit and got back into it. Just when we thought we had it again, obviously they came back and (Ravindra) Jadeja playing that innings at the end was pretty awesome,” said McCullum.

“We had our chances, there is no doubting that. We had a few catches and a few run-out opportunities but it was a tough one. It was a great game of cricket to be involved with, just disappointing that didn’t get the result in the end but a tie is a tie,” he added.

New Zealand were sailing well in their first innings with Martin Guptill scoring his fifth century and Kane Wlliamson notching up his third consecutive half-century in this series.

The hosts looked set for a huge total at that stage, but ended up at 314 after losing their way in the middle overs.

“If we wanted the perfect innings, then we would have got 350. It was only because we did so well in the front half of the game that we were in a position to look at 350. But it was always going to be a couple of things that can go wrong when you are batting as well.

“Unfortunately, we compounded that by some poor decisions and some silly cricket at times as well. But I still thought 314 at halfway after being asked to bat first was a pretty good effort. Martin’s innings obviously was brilliant and Kane again was full of class. We would have definitely taken 314 at halftime but credit to India for the way they played.”

When asked about losing three tosses in a row, and being put in to bat on all three occasions, the Black Caps’ captain replied, “I am not a very good ‘tosser’ at the moment. Today we would have looked to bowl first because I think the conditions here at Eden Park seem to favour the team chasing.”

“In the end, we got 314 which was a great effort and I obviously will look at the next game and see what wicket we get down at Hamilton. But it certainly seems an Indian strategy to want to chase. We have just got to make sure we get the runs if we are batting first and keep being able to put them under pressure when they come out to chase.”

More or less, the New Zealand bowlers got it right as India lost five wickets quickly. Corey Anderson (5—63) picked his best figures in international cricket and he was picked to bowl the 50th and final over, wherein Jadeja stole the tie.

“Our plan was very much to keep the ball out of Jadeja’s arc and we got hit for a couple of sixes straight towards the end there. Corey is a bit upset about the last over at the moment, but that’s how you learn, it’s the nature of such opportunities.

“I had faith in him at the death. It’s not always going to work. He again learnt a lot tonight about bowling and seems to me that he is learning quicker than anyone in international cricket about batting and bowling at the moment. We will keep backing him, he did a great job for us today with the ball and gave us the opportunity to win the game,” said the skipper.

India cannot win this series now but they can still draw this contest by winning the remaining matches.

“Hamilton will again be a huge game for us. It’s a good test for us. We are playing against the best and we have been confronted with some pressure situations and we are learning a lot about ourselves which is good. It should hold us in good stead for 12 months’ time,” McCullum concluded.

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