India v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Nagpur November 19, 2010

We'll be judged on performance in decider - Vettori

ESPNcricinfo staff

They said New Zealand will be swept 0-3. They said New Zealand's batsmen don't have the patience to bat out in Indian conditions. They said the bowlers can't push India at home. They were wrong. Contrary to knee-jerk pre-series predictions of a whitewash, New Zealand have not rolled up and surrendered. Daniel Vettori, though, is not satisfied and said that the team will be judged on how it performs in the decider in Nagpur.

"This one is the most important for us. I think the way our team will be viewed will be more on this Test rather than the previous two. We can't be satisfied. The moment you are satisfied in world cricket, it is the start of your downfall. We can never put ourselves in that position because we aren't good enough yet and we are looking to improve all the time. We are happy with what we have done but we are definitely not satisfied. Our expectations are high even though we are the eighth-ranked team in the world."

Chris Martin's five-for nearly pushed them towards a win in the first Test and they were never under much pressure to save the second.

Vettori put the success down to "excellent preparations" before the series and the post-mortem after the debacle in Bangladesh. "We prepared exceptionally well and we got confidence from that preparation," he said. "Fortunately, our performances followed. And when your performances follow, the camp's pretty happy and there is a lot of confidence going around. So, not a lot needs to be said to the players."

There must have been lot to be say, though, after they were comprehensively beaten in the ODI series in Bangladesh. "There was a little bit of hard talk. I think a lot of players know themselves; you don't need to say too much because people understand expectations on them and people have their own personal expectations. Unfortunately, we weren't at our best in Bangladesh and Bangladesh played very well. You have to keep improving, you have to keep adapting and you are always playing good teams. So there is nowhere to hide.

"We knew India are a huge challenge here and our talks were mainly about coming here to try and win a series. As soon as the talk veers to draws and gutsy losses, then that's not a good sign for the team. The team picked itself up pretty quickly. We want to continue all the hard work that we have put in so far. It's important that we don't get ahead of ourselves and just let the Test match play itself out. But we are certainly excited to be in this position and we hope we will continue the good work that we have done."

Vettori said he was not going to get into a debate about favourites and underdogs ahead of the final Test. "That's for you guys [media] to decide. Both MS [Dhoni] and I think about the game reasonably similarly and go into the game preparing and playing as best as you can. That's what we have done in the first Tests and there's no reason for us to change anything. We just have to come back a little harder. We still expect India to be at their best and we know that they have got some amazing players. You still look at them, their team and what they have done over the last little while and realise just how good they are. We are fairly sure we know what to expect."