It was a familiar scenario in the series — the Indian skipper speaking to the media after yet another defeat.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after the 4-0 ODI series setback, “The main difference between the two sides was middle-order batting. New Zealand had wickets in hand for the extra 25 to 30 runs.”

He said, “When you chase a big total, you cannot depend on one or two guys to do the job for you. There have to be more contributions. We have learnt that in the series.”

He added, “The New Zealanders bowled very well. But we did not play the kind of cricket we are capable of.”

Playing catch up

Once again Dhoni felt the start was slow for India. “We have been losing wickets at the start and then have been playing catch up with our middle and lower middle order.”

He said India needed to focus on its bowling in the middle overs. “New Zealand scored freely and we were also not able to take wickets in that period.”

Asked about the failure of several young Indian batsmen in the series, Dhoni said, “After the first year, bowlers come up with plans against you. How you overcome that is important.”

On a positive from the series, Dhoni said, “Jadeja’s batting. In this series, he has shown that he can play a bigger role.”

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said, “From an ODI perspective, this is the most satisfying series result for me. When the series began, India was the No. 1 team in the world.”

McCullum said, “The No. 3 and 4 batters played with authority right through the series. Williamson and Taylor played a major role in the triumph.”

Even as he acknowledged Matt Henry’s dream debut, the Kiwi skipper said a lot of work had gone behind the scenes to prepare the young cricketers.

Formidable bowling group

He also had words of praise for the old soldiers. “Kyle Mills is still delivering for us in big games.”

On the Kiwi bowling, McCullum said, “It’s starting to be a pretty formidable bowling group. In this series, the batsmen also gave them enough runs to bowl with.”

Man-of-the-Match Ross Taylor, in roaring form this season, said, “I just stuck to my routine. Kept things as simple as possible. I wanted to be more consistent.”

He said, “We can talk a lot about technique but much of it is in the mind.”

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