Ross Taylor has said New Zealand's capitulation to R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the Hyderabad Test was more to do with a mental block against spin than technical shortcomings. New Zealand lost 18 of their 20 wickets to Ashwin and Ojha to begin their tour with an innings defeat, in stark contrast to their previous visit here when they had put India under pressure in the drawn Ahmedabad Test.
"A little bit of technique but I think most of it is probably in the mind," said Taylor, who made 2 and 7 in the game and fell both times to Ashwin. "[It's about] trusting your defence and trusting your attacking shots. When you get bogged down, it puts a lot of pressure on you and there was a lot of pressure going out there. It's about rotating the strike, finding your single options. We are not big players of using our feet, so we need to create lengths in different ways."
Taylor pointed to New Zealand's highest partnership of the game - Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum added 72 for the second wicket in the second innings - as an example of showing an ability to survive against spin. "I guess any time you are bowled out for 160 [159 and 164] both times, you have got to be disappointed. We have three-four days to rectify that. Obviously spin is an area we need to work on and come back harder and stronger for Bangalore [in the second Test]. I thought Kane and Brendon applied themselves really well for a long period of time and showed that it can be done."
McCullum and Williamson had batted through the truncated morning session on the fourth day, but the former was given out leg-before when on 42 soon after lunch by umpire Steve Davis off Umesh Yadav. Replays indicated the ball had hit the bat and pad simultaneously even as a furious McCullum stormed off swishing his bat.
Taylor was asked about the absence of the Decision Review System. "Obviously [there is] no DRS. The umpires are human and make mistakes. It's a part and parcel of cricket. Different parts of the world have different rules in different sports. It's part and parcel coming to this part of the world."
New Zealand crumbled after McCullum's dismissal, losing their last nine wickets for 66 runs, and their last seven for 26. Taylor said India had put a lot of pressure on the New Zealand batsmen and praised the efforts of Ashwin and Ojha. "Not only Ashwin, Ojha bowled very well and they bowled well in tandem. They put a lot of pressure on us, bowled in very good areas. They are both very good spinners in turning conditions. When the ball does turn and bounce a lot - when it does turn, it is a lot easier to play but when it bounces [as it did in this game], it's a different ball game.
"I guess when you enforce a follow-on and have got a big total, you can have a lot of men around the bat and [MS] Dhoni did that. Come Bangalore, we need to be as positive as possible, clear the mind, trust our defence, but also find a way of scoring runs."
Ashwin felt Bangalore won't be as easy for India as Hyderabad was, and was pleased with the winning start. "Last time when New Zealand were here, they batted really well and almost drew the series. But this is a good start. We knew this was not a venue where we had won the last time, so came here with a lot of apprehension but at the end of the day, I thought we did really well as a unit and won the Test in four days.
"I think there will be a much stiffer contest in Bangalore, the [New Zealand] batsmen will come out with better plans. So we will also have to be up for it. The team had a tough year [in 2011] but it happens with every team. We have to put that behind and we are starting on a good note. Hopefully we can continue and have a great season."