'We have to play a lot better' - Taylor
Ross Taylor, who captained New Zealand in the absence of Daniel Vettori, has said the way his team batted in the middle overs was "disappointing" and one of the main reasons for their 40-run defeat in the first ODI at Guwahati. New Zealand lost five wickets for 38 runs at one stage, and it took a 67-run ninth-wicket stand between Kyle Mills and Nathan McCullum to give India a few anxious moments.
"The wickets of Scott Styris and Grant Elliot for us were the turning points of the match. Probably we could have pulled it off if we had wickets in hand."
Taylor said he hoped the team was getting its quota of losses out of the way early. "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 today."
Brendon McCullum and regular captain Vettori both missed the game because of back problems, and Taylor said they are being monitored on a day-to-day basis. "We are here to try a few different combinations, and I'm sure they will work out. Vettori makes a big difference on any track he plays on."
He was also full of praise for centurion Virat Kohli, who is his team-mate with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. "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.
"The way he has 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.
Taylor defended his decision to bowl first, saying credit must be given to India's batsmen for the way they played. "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."
As for his own form, Taylor, who top scored for New Zealand with 66, said he should have pushed on to get a hundred. "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. Today was okay, I needed to get into the three figures. It was disappointing. Hopefully I can get better."