'It's always nice to win after a clean sweep in the T20s. Obviously, new personnel came in and the loss was not a hang up for them.'
Ross Taylor says New Zealand’s ODI side can deal with pressure situations a lot better than the Twenty20 one and that was precisely why they could knock down a big target in the series-opener against India, in Hamilton, on Wednesday.
Taylor scored his 21st hundred as New Zealand eked out a four-wicket win for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
"It's always nice to win after a clean sweep in the T20s. Obviously, new personnel came in and the loss was not a hang up for them. I am sure it must have played on their minds a little bit; you are human, and towards the end we lost a couple of wickets," Taylor said at the post match press conference.
"But, at the same time, the last game was our World Cup final and a lot of the guys have played in pressure situations. They are a lot more experienced than the T20 side. So that showed; but it is only one game and lots to go in this series. It is nice to get that monkey off the back," he said.
India put up 347 for 4, courtesy Shreyas Iyer's maiden hundred and K L Rahul's blitzkrieg, but Taylor's partnership with Tom Latham set the Kiwis on course for victory.
Taylor said the dimensions of the ground helped out, but the New Zealand batsmen all contributed to the successful chase.
"That's the tough thing about playing on some of these grounds in New Zealand, not knowing what a par total is at any time. Whether at the MCG, or here or anywhere else, you always give yourself a chance. At the same time, if you lose two early wickets it is going to be a tough chase.
"I think there were some great contributions throughout the whole order. Even the bowling line-up did well as India looked like they could get 360-370 at one stage. So we just managed to keep it under 350 and it was a psychological mark, I guess. The team has to bat well to get that and we did that today.
"I had a lot of help out there. Henry Nicholls and (Martin) Guptill… the way they started; Tom Latham coming at five and starting that way wasn't easy. What made that chase easier for us was the left-right combination. We knew there was one short boundary and we could use that to our advantage."
Taylor and Latham set a hectic pace, taking advantage of India's lack of penetration in the middle overs. The duo attacked and put pressure on the fielding as well as the bowling, and the run-rate climbed.
Taylor said he was determined to finish the game after the tie at the same venue in the T20I series.
"It's not about going there and smacking every single ball but playing good shots. Trying to have those big overs every now and then, soaking up when they did bowl well. They put us under a lot of pressure and, obviously, when you have world-class line-up like (Jasprit) Bumrah and Kuldeep (Yadav), you respect that and take into consideration when attacking different bowlers. Some days it comes off, like today, and some days it doesn't," he said.
"Today (Mohammed) Shami bowled exactly the same ball and I inside-edged down to fine leg or the keeper. Small margins; it could have been two different results, but that is cricket. I guess that's why we love the game. Just little things -- it went our way today and didn't in the T20s."