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Outplayed in Australia, Kiwis look to bounce back against India

January 07, 2020 16:43 IST
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'It's important we learn from this and when we get back together as a red ball team, we face India and we can hopefully play our brand of cricket'.

Ross Taylor passed Stephen Fleming to become New Zealand's most prolific run scorer in Tests when his 22 runs on Monday to take him to 7,174 runs from 99 Tests.

IMAGE: Ross Taylor passed Stephen Fleming to become New Zealand's most prolific run scorer in Tests when his 22 runs on Monday to take him to 7,174 runs from 99 Tests. Photograph: New Zealand Cricket/Twitter

New Zealand could hardly but concede that they had been outplayed in all departments on their tour of Australia but will try to learn from the experience and look to rediscover their form in next month's home series against India.

The Blacks Caps were unbeaten in their six previous series before they flew across the Tasman Sea but will head home with their tails between their legs after losing by 296 runs in Perth, 247 runs in Melbourne and, on Monday, 279 runs in Sydney.

 

There were mitigating circumstances after injury robbed them of their fastest bowler, Lockie Ferguson, in the first Test, and their best bowler, Trent Boult, for the first and third matches.

Captain Kane Williamson and batsman Henry Nicholls were also missing from the Sydney Test after falling victim to a flu bug which ripped through the camp, but the series was already long lost by then.

It would have been hard to put a gloss on a batting performance which saw the team score more than 250 runs only once in six innings, and stand-in skipper Tom Latham did not even try.

"From a batting point of view, we never reached the standard we set ourselves," Latham told reporters.

"There's no one more disappointed than ourselves. We came over here with some high expectations after some of the cricket we've played, but credit has to go to Australia, the way they've played."

Latham said there was no time for recriminations with Virat Kohli's India on their way to New Zealand for Tests in Wellington and Christchurch at the end of next month.

"It's important we don't start pointing the finger or looking at other factors," he added.

"It's important we learn from this and when we get back together as a red ball team, we face India and we can hopefully play our brand of cricket."

One bright footnote to an otherwise forgettable tour was Ross Taylor passing Stephen Fleming to become New Zealand's most prolific run scorer in Tests when his 22 runs on Monday took him to 7,174 from 99 Tests.

Taylor paid a tearful tribute to former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, who died of cancer in 2016, as he spoke of his achievement.

"My goal was to play one Test match," the 35-year-old said.

"I guess it's an emotional time because my mentor Martin Crowe, that was one of the goals he put down for me was to be New Zealand's highest Test run-scorer.

"To be honest I didn't believe him, but I'd have loved for him to be here and help celebrate."

"When I first played for New Zealand I'd had a pretty decent one-day career and only scored three or four first-class hundreds. And T20 was just coming through. I always thought I was good enough to play one-day cricket but Test cricket was something I was never quite sure if I was good enough," he added.

Taylor had become the leading run-scorer for Kiwis on the fourth day of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Taylor was also pleased to complete the run-scoring milestone before his 100th Test, which is set to be the first match against India at Wellington in February.

"I go back to my 200th ODI game. I didn't really enjoy it that much...needing one or two runs that might have been a twitchy game in the 100th. I just want to go out there and enjoy it and India are a fantastic country to play against," Taylor said.

The 35-year-old also said that records are always meant to be broken and he is trying to set a target, that current batsman Kane Williamson can look forward to break.

"Records are meant to be broken and Flem set a very high standard, and for me, I am trying to get as many runs before I do retire to give Kane something to chase. He's got a fantastic record and will go down as one of our greatest cricketers but we need him to have something to strive for," Taylor said.

"Hopefully in however many years, there's a youngster who can chase whatever, nine, ten, eleven thousand runs that Kane gets to," he added.

New Zealand will next take on India in five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests.

The first T20I will take place on January 24 at Eden Park, Auckland. 

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India tour of Australia 2020

India's tour of Australia 2020