Auckland: After New Zealand’s 40-run win over India, captain Brendon McCullum admitted that he was a relieved man.
“We thought we have a big total and if we bowl well, that would be enough runs. We know the quality of their batsmen and how they are capable of putting together big scores and big partnerships. At one stage, they were sitting at 220 for 2 and it took something special to get us out of that. We respect the Indian team a lot for what they have done and where they sit in the world rankings and that’s what makes this victory so special.”
McCullum also said that he did not regret the decision to not enforce the follow-on.
New Zealand players celebrate after winning the first Test against India at Auckland’s Eden Park yesterday. PIC/Getty Images
“After we decided not to enforce the follow on, we hoped to get a little more than 100 in our second innings. But that’s what we got and I still thought 400 was a very good target. There are only three teams in the history of the game that have chased over 400.”
McCullum also heaped praise on bowler Neil Wagner. “Wagner epitomises everything we want to be known for as a team, how aggressive he is, how hostile he is when he has got the ball in hand and how big his heart is as well. He bowled 10 overs into the wind late on Day Four which is no easy feat and it allowed Tim (Southee) and Trent (Boult) to have some decent downtime leading into that new ball.”
Despite the Kiwis dominating the series so far, McCullum said his team was not getting carried away.
“We expected India to come hard at us in every game and they certainly haven’t disappointed. They keep putting us under pressure and thankfully we are answering those pressure situations. But we know India are a very proud team and well led by Dhoni. We know he will make sure that they rally together and hit us hard in Wellington” McCullum added.