It would have probably taken a week-long Test to produce a result on the Mohali track!
I'm sure many would feel that things might have been different if we had batted with just a little more urgency on Day 2, but I disagree. Even if we had stepped on the gas, we would have only got an advantage of around 30 more overs. But we needed a lot more than that if we were to lay hands on the Videocon trophy. After all, there were still six wickets left at the end.
But I'm happy with the way the guys came out this morning, eager to press for a win. I have only admiration for Tower [Daryl Tuffy] for coming out so strongly this morning, even though he had spent the better part of the last two days slaving in very trying conditions. If there is one moment that I will carry back with me from this Test series, it would be the way he ran out Anil Kumble this morning. He went on to polish off the tail and make serious inroads into the Indian top order -- testimony to the hunger all of us felt. Sadly, we could not really pull it off in the end, but I take great pride in the way we dominated a side that's considered unassailable at home.
As a team we Black Caps rarely put too much by personal accolades, but seeing Tower hold aloft the Videocon Man of the Match for a Test that boasted of six centurions really made me proud.
We had come here expecting the worst -- dust bowls with plenty of turn -- which is why we were thorough in our preparation. As a result, when the pitches were less spinner-friendly and dusty than on our last tours, we were more than well-equipped to take on the Indians.
In my preview to this Test I had mentioned the hard work put in by our coach Ashley Ross before this tour. We would have liked to win it for him, but I'm sure he is happy with what we have achieved.
We played with a lot of authority and our batsmen earned credibility and respect by adapting wonderfully to different conditions, something the Indians did not quite manage when they toured New Zealand almost a year ago.
While we are pretty happy with the way things shaped up in the Test series, we don't see India's inability to win here as an overall victory in the recent exchanges between the two sides. The result in New Zealand was not part of the baggage we carried with us to this subcontinent. It was irrelevant to us from the moment we landed in India; what was relevant was that we wanted a series win here, and we fell a little short in the end.
If there is any area we scored above the Indians, I guess it is in acclimatizing. We got a better measure of their conditions than they did of ours.
The Test series has helped create fine momentum for us as we enter the TVS Cup tri-series. Our first match is within 72 hours from now, but as a professional cricketer you get used to getting out of the whites and into the blacks double quick. It also helps that we have a nice little break after the Chennai game.