India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 4th day September 3, 2012

Taylor pleased with fighting spirit


New Zealand came into this series after a miserable time in the Caribbean and were expected to be pummelled by an Indian side that has built up an enviable home record over the past decade. The feeble capitulation in Hyderabad seemed to confirm the fears about a one-sided series, though every New Zealand player routinely talked about scrapping hard and showing fight. It seemed idle talk a week ago but at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, New Zealand pushed India all the way before going down by five wickets.

Even after Ross Taylor's power-packed century on the first day, the expectation was that New Zealand's challenge would fade away. However, Tim Southee's career-best effort gained them a first-innings lead and right till the final session of the Test, New Zealand were in with a chance of a first Test win in India since 1988.

"If we're brutally honest, we would have liked to score a few more runs in that first innings to put pressure on India," Ross Taylor said, when asked where the match was lost. "We'd like to have restricted them to a few less. I wouldn't put it down to just one little moment. It was just, we lost the Test match over time."

With India five down, and nearly 100 away from victory, New Zealand had a real chance but Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, two batsmen renowned for their ability in one-day chases, successful shepherded India's pursuit. "The bowlers tried their heart out," Taylor said. "They bowled a lot of overs in a short period of time. You have to give credit to Kohli and Dhoni, they batted very well."

The result means New Zealand have lost four successive Tests over the past six weeks, two of them after being ahead halfway through the game. "The last match was a heavy loss. In Jamaica they had to score a record chase to win, so I wouldn't say that wasn't a hard win. We had a good sniff - we just lost it in one session in Jamaica and Antigua. And here, India had to get, I think, their fourth or fifth highest run chase ever. We tried our best, it still hurts but hopefully we can improve from this."

Despite the 2-0 series defeat, New Zealand had several things to be happy about, with the performance of their young trio of quick bowlers in the unfamiliar conditions of the subcontinent top of the list. Trent Boult belied his boyish looks by bowling with pace and hostility without getting the reward for his efforts, Southee hasn't played more than four Tests at a stretch since his debut in 2008 but made his case for a permanent place in Bangalore, while Doug Bracewell showed his ability to bowl the outswinger and contribute with the bat in the lower order. All of them are in their early 20s, and could form a potent attack over the years.

"It's exciting for new Zealand cricket," Taylor said. "We've got a young bowler in Adam Milne who is turning up as well. We play half our games away - they won't be as bouncy. But on bouncier wickets back home, I'm sure they'll thrive."

With other fast bowlers like Neil Wagner and Mark Gillespie also queuing up for a Test place, the future of 37-year-old Chris Martin, who led the attack for several years, looks bleak. "Who's that at No.11, we want Chris Martin," read a poster at the Chinnaswamy Stadium after he was left out for the Bangalore Test, though Taylor stressed that it wasn't the end of the road for Martin.

"I think with young fast bowlers, they need someone to learn off. There's going to be times in the next few months that Chris will play and there'll be times when he might not play at all," he said. "We have a tour to Sri Lanka coming up but also a tour to South Africa and in New Zealand where we could go in with four quicks. So he's still got a part to play with New Zealand cricket."

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jon on September 4, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    New Zeland, England and until recently the West Indies are all struggling with an individual within their ranks. New Zeland need to find a way to retain the services of Jesse Ryder. It seems to me that the loss of Kevin Pietersen, Jesse Ryder and Chris Gayle to their respective international teams is symbolic of the changing nature of player power. With the introduction of various domestic T20 leagues, offering lucrative salaries the national boards are getting less and less influence over their players. Teams like New Zeland have always had a small talent pool to choose from but have relied upon getting the very best of the players available. If they are suddenly going to lose their talented players they simply stand no chance of competing. I fear if they do not address the schedules of players and manage their players better then they will become worse than Bangaldesh. 10 years ago Ryder, Gayle and KP would have had no other choices than to play for their national side.

  • michael on September 4, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    NZ's bowling looks great but the batting is sub standard. McCullum can only bat at 7 providing his keeping is still good enough. Flynn and Franklin have to go as they are not up to standard.

  • Satish on September 4, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    @premnauth : Atleast they will be tigers in HOME!

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Indians will be put to harder test when they face australians and english. it will be too hot to handle for dhoni with batsmen like raina and master need to find his timing when these teams visit India otherwise we look still brittle though we have virat and pujara. Perhaps some one like bhadri/manoj tiwari/rohot sharma need to have a look at before we look to more younger under19 captain. Ideally they should have tried one of them against new zealanders.

    In bowling perhaps irfan and harbhajan should be considered a chance.

  • Beau on September 4, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Yep, the Kiwis looked a different side this week. Had just one or two pieces of luck gone their way, we could well be looking at 1-1 right now. Bracewell's dismissal in the 1st innings, Patel's in the 2nd, Baz out to 2 calls that could easily have gone his way (though, in fairness, he looked out on replays), 7 NZers vs only 2 Indians given out LBW, Kruger's injury (cost them a stumping, and perhaps an unlikely catch down leg - we've seen Kruger pluck similar ones before), the list goes on. Still should have made a lot more runs on this road (take out Southee's heroics, and there's only 6 or 8 wickets to seamers, including 1 off a full toss!). But the fact the batsmen *almost* got enough, and the bowlers *almost* pulled it out of the bag with the meagre totals provided, is encouraging. Imagine what might have happened with a practice game, or with Ryder or Vettori in the side!

  • moginraj on September 4, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster... ur point is well taken about DRS... there were a few mistakes by the umpires, but it evens out... zaheer had mcullum out on 0 i believe.... and given the evidence from the recently concluded SA series, there were still a few bad decisions.... also, this hotspot thingy is becoming increasingly unreliable with it not showing obvious nicks that snicko and everybody else on earth picks up, and the supporters dnt even have a reason for it.... i would rather umpires make a few rare wrong decisions than spend a lot of money for the same amount of bad decisions!!! and btw BCCI is completely against DRS, just some part of it.... hotspot is not reliable, and ball tracking greatly relies on what the original decision was (apart from not considering pitch conditions)....

  • Satish on September 4, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster : I guess there will be very much bad blood in Ind vs Eng series. The talks of DRS will hold the maximum hits in that. No other go. ICC will not come up with an option which is accepted by all(Incl BCCI) and a cost effective solution. BCCI will not accept to continue with what is available(the existing flawed one). Same with the fans too. Lets get geared up for it :-)

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    That's the problem with the team and us fans! We're always satisfied with the fight and don't strive for the win! Nothing less than a win should ever satisfy us! All this is ridiculous!

  • michael on September 4, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    The match was won and lost in NZ second innings. All those players getting starts but nobody going on to a big score. India would have struggled to chase 320+ I think. India look shaky, New Zealand just look like they don't know how to win.

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    Bowling is in fine hands already, and add Vettori, u have a potent mix, Just start thinking as winners. I am a amazed why and how players like Crowe, Turner, Hadlee , Fleming, Nash, Cairns, Parore and Astle can see theie nation slide down so badly

    Wright I guess is too polite and goody goody. They need an as coach Any Flower too

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