Incredibly satisfying to lead 3-0 - McCullum
Brendon McCullum has termed it "incredibly satisfying" to have defeated world champions India 3-0 in Hamilton with a game to go. The decisive win came on a Seddon Park pitch offering turn and bounce to the India spinners and McCullum said that was why it was an even more creditable achievement.
"First and foremost, to beat a very, very good team in India, and today as well in these conditions, I thought it was more favourable to them than what it was for us," McCullum said. "To win as emphatically as we did and continue the blueprint that we have shown with the bat built around Roscoe and Kane's performances in the last four games and to execute that again tonight and get the rewards for it is incredibly satisfying. The boys are very, very happy at the moment."
New Zealand have now beaten South Africa and England away and India at home in one-day series in the last 12 months. McCullum said sealing this one even before the fifth match in Wellington against what was the top one-day side when it came to New Zealand was quite something. "This is a big one for us. We are obviously proud with what we achieved in South Africa and England [in] those one-day series. Just focussing on the one-day game. But this one, the No. 1 ODI team in the world when they arrived here and how dominant their batting line-up is as well. To have tipped them up and be sitting after the fourth game at 3-0 is a pretty good achievement for us.
"We closed out the series which we have been talking about all the way through the summer, so really pleased with the effort tonight and how emphatically we did it as well in really tough conditions. And we still managed to see guys hold their heads and play an innings of true class. Really satisfying win."
After the match, a small group of fans stood outside the ground holding a banner that said "No Thanks" to the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the ECB. As laudable as the result on the field was for New Zealand, it also held a different significance, coming as it did just as the ICC met to consider the proposal to shift monetary and decision-making control to the three big cricket boards. Although McCullum would not comment on that aspect, he did say he was pleased that New Zealand had shown the world they could overcome top opposition.
"That's something we can't comment too much about, way above our head but what we can do is go about playing good cricket and trying to impose ourselves on the world game and show that we are capable of playing against the very best teams in the world and having success. I wouldn't say it was a motivating factor for us but we are just delighted to be able to play against a team of that class, come out on top and show the rest of the world that we are a very good team in our own conditions."
McCullum added it was important New Zealand pushed for making it 4-0 in Wellington, but felt tonight was the time for his men to soak in what they had accomplished. "That's what we want to strive for," he said. "But we won't let this opportunity to really enjoy what we have achieved pass us by either. I think it's a hell of an achievement, what we have done tonight. We will worry about the next couple of days tomorrow morning when we wake up. But we are obviously delighted at the moment."
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo