We Deny The Spinners, But Hardik Rode Very Well: Taylor > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - We negated the spinners but Hardik bowled very well: Taylor

Taylor handled the spinners well in his 93.

After conceding the ongoing ODI series to India following their seven-wicket thumping in Mount Maunganui, Ross Taylor credited the visitors for their ability to win key moments in the contest.

Since 2013, New Zealand had not lost three successive games at home and the manner in which the home team has conceded the ongoing series comes as a surprise after their dominant show against Sri Lanka across formats in their previous assignment. Taylor said India's ability to sustain pressure on the opposition was the difference.

"It has been a step-up in opposition, and at the same time, India winning the key moments has put us under pressure," Taylor said after the third ODI on Monday (January 28). "We just weren't able to capitalise when we were in a semi-dominant position. But credit to India - when they've batted, we haven't been able to get wickets to put them under pressure. And vice-versa with the bat, with them getting early wickets and putting us under pressure.

Having opted to bat first, New Zealand were reduced to 59 for 3 before Taylor and Tom Latham joined hands for the repair work. And once the 119-run stand was broken, Indian bowlers made regular breakthroughs to not let New Zealand have a shot at recovery. The hosts were eventually bowled out for 243, in 49 overs. India barely broke sweat in the chase with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli scoring half-centuries to drive their team home.

"With bat and ball, we haven't been able to penetrate. We back ourselves to keep wickets with the bat, which we haven't been able to. India have put us under pressure for long periods of time and got wickets at crucial times. And if you're three or four down, with still 25 overs to go, you're still a long way behind the game. We fought hard today, but it just wasn't good enough," Taylor noted.

The only solace for New Zealand, if it could be called that, was that New Zealand played India's wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal significantly better in this game. Kuldeep, particularly, has been the tormentor-in-chief for New Zealand, picking four wickets each in the first-two games. On Monday though, he went wicket-less in his eight overs for 39 runs. Taylor, however, noted that it was the returning Hardik Pandya who stood out and his presence bringing better balance to the Indian team.

"I think you just got to be patient and know they [the spinners] are going to bowl good balls," Taylor said. "You got to take it deep. If you're losing wickets in those first two or three overs, they go and squeeze the new batsman and then it becomes very tough. You have to acknowledge that they're going to bowl good balls and that you can catch up later on, with wickets in hand, and that's what we did today. I thought we did that pretty well today for most of the time, but it still wasn't good enough.

"Hardik brings in a very nice balance to the Indian side. He came in and bowled well, used the change-ups and bumper very well, with the wind as well. We wanted to negate the spinners as much as possible. I thought we were able to do that, but Hardik came in and got some vital wickets and a good catch as well. Just the presence he brings into this Indian side, I think the balance of the side is a lot better when he's in."

Having lost the series already, the two remaining games in Hamilton and Wellington might be dead rubbers on paper but they present New Zealand an opportunity to try more personnel and test different combinations with the World Cup barely months away. James Neesham and Todd Astle have been called up, while the home team is likely to continue using their experienced pacer Tim Southee on rotational basis.

Southee was leading New Zealand's pace attack four years ago at the World Cup in Australia and has been persisted with despite below-par returns in the Sri Lanka series but the hosts haven't shied away from benching the senior pacer to try out different combinations.

"The World Cup is not far away, we've still got our combinations to sort out. I don't know when the team is coming out. There's a couple of new personnel coming in. Hopefully, they can bring in a new edge to the team," Taylor said. "I'm not sure what the team composition is for the next couple of matches, but I'm sure he's [Southee] knocking on the door, he's not far away."

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