Guwahati: New Zealand’s stand-in skipper Ross Taylor was disappointed after the Black Caps crashed to their seventh consecutive ODI defeats here on Sunday, but hoped to get their act together before the forthcoming World Cup in February.
New Zealand missed the services of regular skipper Daniel Vettori and dashing opener Brendon McCullum due to back problems, prompting the team management to hand over the captaincy to Taylor, who saw his side lose by 40 runs in the first of five-match ODI series against India.
“Hopefully we are getting all the losses now. Like Twenty20, one-day cricket is all about momentum. It would have been nice to start off on a winning note. Now we know that we have to play a lot better than we did on Sunday,” Taylor said at the post-match briefing.
New Zealand suffered two defeats in the triangular series in Sri Lanka and were then walloped 0-4 by Bangladesh, and on Sunday’s defeat was their seventh in a row.
“We were looking at various stages of the game and I think losing wickets in the middle overs is one of the factors. It was a disappointing result. The way we batted through the middle was obviously disappointing,” Taylor said.
“Hopefully Dan (Vettori) and Brendon (McCullum) are back for the next match. We are monitoring them on a day-to-day basis. We are here to try a few different combination and I’m sure they will work out. Vettori makes a big difference on any track he plays on,” he added.
Taylor also praised man of the match Virat Kohli’s century and said the Delhi youngster is going great guns.
“He batted very well. It was a chanceless innings, especially the way he paced it. He also got good support from Yuvraj Singh. It was a very well-made hundred by a young cricketer. It would have been good to get him out but he deserved this hundred.”
Taylor, who is Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate, further said: “I’ve followed his career with great interest, having played with him in Bangalore (in IPL). He is a special player.”
“The way he played for India in the last 12-18 months has been outstanding. I’m sure if continues to do this way Test cricket won’t be far. It’s good to see him scoring a hundred but a little disappointing as he scored against us. Hopefully we can stop him in the next game.”
The stand-in skipper defended his decision to bowl first after winning the toss.
“I’m still happy with my decision to bowl. You got to give credit to the Indian batters, especially Virat, the way he batted.”
Taylor said the pitch was batting-friendly and played a lot better than expected.
“The outfield was a little bit bumpy but there was nothing to complain about it. Both the teams played on the same outfield. The pitch also played pretty well. Probably it was a 250-wicket. The pitch played a lot better than we expected.”
Asked when did he come to know that he would be leading the side, Taylor said, “There were whispers that he (Vettori) might be rested for the first game. But yesterday there was an official confirmation and we knew that he was not going to captain the side.”
Taylor, who top scored for the visitors with a knock of 66, said he was happy with his form but disappointed for not having won the match.
“It was disappointing with the way I played in the Test series. I still batted okay, I was just disappointed with the way I got out. On Sunday was okay, I needed to get into the three figures. It was disappointing. Hopefully I can get better.”
Taylor said the wickets of Scott Styris and Grant Elliot swung the match in India’s favour.
“Probably we could have pulled it off if we had wickets in hand.”