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'It will be a bigger test of character for India in Tests'

Last updated on: January 31, 2014 16:08 IST

'It will be a bigger test of character for India in Tests'

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni, visibly dejected after India was crushed 0-4 in the ODI series by New Zealand, said his team failed to adapt and improvise quickly enough against a side that was consistency personified.

- Scorecard

India lost the fifth and final ODI by 87 runs in Wellington to go down 0-4 in the five-match series, the third of which ended in a tie.

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"Throughout this series, they (New Zealand) have played very good cricket. Their new ball pair has been very good, but where they've taken the game away is in the middle overs' batting, which set up their charge late in the innings, picking up 80-90 runs consistently," said Dhoni, after Friday's drubbing.


Image: MS Dhoni
Photographs: Getty Images

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'The execution was lacking'

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Asked about his team's performance, a visibly drained Dhoni replied, "It is important to improvise and adapt quickly, which we have failed to do.

"From the talent point of view, these are the players who have done very well in the past, winning the Champions Trophy. But they have to back themselves to play their strokes, and the execution was lacking," he added. 

He said the upcoming two-match Test series, which starts on February 6, will be a tougher challenge for his players. 

"It'll be a bigger test of character in the Test series and it will be good for our younger players. I am looking forward to it," he added.


Image: MS Dhoni
Photographs: Getty Images
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'It's probably the best series win since I have started playing'

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Dhoni's opposite number Brendon McCullum said it was easily the biggest triumph for the Kiwis in a long time. 

"It's probably the best series win since I have started playing for New Zealand. The boys worked very very hard to pull this off, especially against a tough one-day side like India. 

"We saw (debutant pacer) Matt Henry come in and take to it outstandingly; there was Hamish Bennett and Jimmy Neesham, and the emergence of Corey Anderson as well. It's been pretty pleasing to see Kane (Williamson) and Ross (Taylor) score all those runs.

"In all the time I've seen him play, Ross hasn't been as good as he's looked in this series. For a guy who's young, Kane's become one of our experienced lads and has been moving from strength to strength," he said.


Image: Brendon McCullum
Photographs: Getty Images

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'India will come back hard in the Tests'

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Man of the match Ross Taylor, who struck his second successive hundred on Friday's match, chose to credit Williamson for his performance.

"The way Williamson batted, five fifties in a row, he has done a wonderful job for us. We play different games. I scored a little quicker and then he caught up later... and 300 was always going to be difficult to score," he said, reflecting on the game. 

"It's a good sign that the new players come in and do well. Henry has a good future after this performance.

"India will come back hard in the Tests and we'll be ready for them; but we will enjoy this victory tonight," he stated.


Image: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and MS Dhoni
Photographs: Getty Images

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