New Zealand v India, 5th ODI, Wellington January 31, 2014

A 'ground-breaking' series for NZ - McCullum


Brendon McCullum has termed the 4-0 win over India the "most satisfying" one-day contest he has been involved in and also called it a "ground-breaking" series for New Zealand. India, the World Cup and Champions Trophy winners, were ranked No. 1 going into the series, and McCullum said few had given New Zealand a chance at that time.

"From an ODI point of view, yes, this series is the most satisfying I have been a part of," McCullum said. "India arrived here as the No. 1 team in the world and not many expected us to compete with them, let alone get a series whitewash. We didn't allow them to play to their potential. But they are a very, very good team and as I have said before, we are very respectful of their standing in the game as the No. 1 team when they arrived on our shores. For us, as the No. 8 team, to put in a performance to topple these guys is something that makes this victory even sweeter. They have proven careers and proven statistics over a period of time and hence their ranking of No. 1 when they came here. Fortunately we have been able to topple them, which has been pleasing.

"We are delighted with the way we played in this series, especially on the back of fine performances from Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson, and also the way the bowlers stepped up for us. So overall a ground-breaking series for us."

MS Dhoni said the difference between the sides was the middle-order batting, and McCullum agreed that Williamson and Taylor's contributions were key to New Zealand's dominance. "We are getting more runs, consistently, and that is on the back of some good form," McCullum said. "Especially the way Ross and Kane have batted through the middle overs. For your Nos. 3 and 4 to stamp their authority on the series the way they have done and the partnerships they have been able to create and get us in those positions to kick on towards the end. And not just kick on, because both of them have also batted very deep, that's allowed us to get big totals and when you get big totals then you are going to be pretty competitive.

"We have backed that up with the ball but I will put the majority of our success in this series down to the way our Nos. 3 and 4 have played."

Apart from the middle order, McCullum was also pleased with the efforts of his bowlers, who came out on top against the India batsmen in close finishes through the series. Kyle Mills had said this New Zealand attack was the deepest he had played in, and McCullum said the hosts were starting to develop a formidable bowling unit.

"Encouraging from a bowling point of view. Today we saw Matt Henry coming in his first game and it is a dream debut really," McCullum said. "His performance was fantastic and one that I am sure he will remember for a long time. It just shows the depth that we are starting to build in the fast bowling area. Kyle Mills also got stuck in today, so that's also a big gain for us from the series. The Southees, McClenaghans, Bennetts, Neesham, Anderson. We are starting to build a pretty formidable group of bowlers we are able to pick from and it is pretty encouraging.

"It's pleasing that new guys are coming into the environment and performing straight away but those guys work really hard behind the scenes as well. They play in domestic cricket to earn the opportunities that they are given, and in terms of role clarity I think we have seen guys mature into their roles and careers. The environment allows these guys to come in and perform and enjoy representing their country because it's the greatest time of their life and they should be able to get those results and when they do, it's pleasing for everyone."

New Zealand had already sealed the series in the fourth ODI in Hamilton but McCullum said there was absolutely no problem in motivating themselves for the fifth and final match. "We have worked very, very hard behind the scenes. We are not good enough to be complacent at this stage. We are not good enough to walk into a game half-hearted and today was a ruthless streak that we have been asking for a long time.

"Again we were led by the batting. It was tough because we desperately wanted to bowl first. To then peel off 300 with the bat was a nice feeling at half-time. Most of this ruthlessness and consistency is down to the way Ross and Kane have been batting."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 2, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    India should have more like a test team for one days as the players like Dravid and Tendulkar were in the past , it is not a bad idea to try Pujara Kohli Vijay Rahane (not all at once but in a rotation) to have stability in the middle order and even opening positions to be more consistent in winning games

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    India biggest weakness to play on out side the india, every body know that indian world class having difficulty on green top wickets, swing and difficult face to pace bowling. it is only works when india should get a good coach to train the raw telent and trying to get fast bowlers from school or club level..they can not trained directly one who got the into the team and change his speed or learn techniques.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    From last 12 ODI [outside India], India won just 1, tie 1 [luckily] & lost 10 of them... So they are definitely Minnows... they should play in the 2nd tier of ODI with China, Namibia, Hongkong or Canada...

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    In 2011 India wet to SA Kallis hit golden form, In 2012 India went to Aus Poting & Clarke hit golden form, India went to SA DeCock hit super form.India went to NZ Taylor & Wlliamson hit golden form.........................Why every opposition batsman hit golden form against India only & that form deflates once series vs India r over ...........Y is that India receives 300+ score in 30 % of their games in all worldwide pitches against all oppositions (World's Worst) whereas SA & Pak receive 300+ only in 5 % matches..................WHY OH WHY......... THE REASON IS INDIAN BOWLING IS WORLD'S WORST

  • aniket on February 1, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    Yeah indeed... India got white-washed in odi. Bt test will be lot more difficult then ehat NZ is hoping for. The likes of vijay pujara nd zaheer are waiting to have a go. Mind i tell u this test team gave SA a run for there money in previous test series in there own backyard. Nd more-over short ball strategy won't be fruit-full as batsmen will be more than happy to leave them as they did against steyn nd co. So all the best NZ. Hope the best team win.

  • Pleasure on February 1, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Indeed ground breaking series for NZ & business as usual for team india, let the "mission humiliation tour" continue......

  • Uzair on February 1, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    If big 3 proposal passes India will never play outside South Aisa maybe India.

    My colleague is from New Zealand, he always used to tell me how India is better than New Zealand in cricket. Well I used to tell him that New Zealand can beat the best team in the world at home. Now he knows that I am right.

  • niaz on February 1, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    NZ has better quicks and decent spinners. Their batting department is not far behind india's. They can or should beat india at a neutral venue.

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    credit went for williamson n taylor but m not happy with selection committee of newzealand thinking y they didnot allow anderson to play in 4th n 5th odis

  • KISH on February 1, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    I hope New Zealand don't get overconfident. This series whitewash very much predictable. India just didn't have it in them. New Zealand had a series win against West Indies. I am sure West Indies gave better performance. But, what New Zealand got understand is, they have only beaten two of the most inconsistent teams in the world. But, I do regard New Zealand as a top class ODI team anyway. I believe it is Australia and New Zealand at the top two positions. A bit hard to differentiate between them. Watching any team batting against India is same story. When I walk past the TV screen, I can see that the opponent is some 100 something for nothing more than 1 fer. So, obviously, there is a problem in the bowling. Then, batting depth is a big problem. They have found Ashwin and Jadeja. But, need to pack the team with Pace bowlers who can bat and field. Aaron seems to bowl fast. That is a positive. But, I don't know if the management will persist with him to make a champion out of him.

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