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Sidharth Monga in Hamilton
March 20, 2009
Andy Moles, the New Zealand coach, was not a happy man after his team had looked dispirited throughout the third day and faced a strong possibility of going down 1-0 in the series. For the first two days, New Zealand had somehow managed to control India and not allowed them to run away with the game, but on the third they were sloppy in the field, unenergetic with the ball, and Moles expressed that in as many words.
"We find ourselves in a very difficult position," Moles said. "To be honest we have been outplayed for the first three days of the contest. We have to make sure that we come and show some character over the next two days.
We just had a chat about it now. We've underperformed, dropped four catches, there were balls in the outfield that we should have perhaps cut off. It often happens when you're under the pump, and such great players are playing well. But no excuses, we've got a bit of personal pride, and we were poor in performance."
One of the bowlers who has been under the kosh is Kyle Mills, not only in this Test but throughout the tour. Mills bowled 22 overs in India's innings for 98 runs bagged Harbhajan Singh's wicket. He didn't look like getting any more either. "Kyle will admit that as the game went on he perhaps lost a bit of energy," Moles said. "His pace dropped a little bit and that showed in his outcomes. He wasn't quite as accurate as we'd like him to have been. He's honest in his appraisal, and he knows where he needs to get to."
Moles emphasised the basics and the persistence that he thought his team has lacked. "Certainly for a start we've got to save the game," Moles said. "We've just spoken. I've let the guys know that we need to start doing the basics for longer. We haven't bowled well for long enough periods. We haven't batted well in pairs for long enough. In the field we've been sloppy. Not a very good advert for the Test team so far in this game."
Plays of the Day from second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan, in Port Elizabeth
Plays of the Day from the third ODI between India and West Indies, in Kanpur