New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was immensely satisfied with his team's 2-0 win in the Test series against World No.1 India, and attributed the success to the vital batting contributions as much as his bowlers' execution.
New Zealand had been clean swept in Australia before going down by five games to none in the home T20Is against India. They then bounced back with a 3-0 clean sweep win in ODIs, before outplaying India in each of the two Tests to hand Virat Kohli's men their first losses of the ICC World Test Championship.
“It’s an outstanding feeling," Williamson said after New Zealand wrapped up a seven-wicket win in Christchurch on Monday 2 March. “A fantastic series from outside and the way the guys stuck in. India are a world-class side and to beat them is quite satisfying.
"It was nice from our team's perspective to make that adjustment, that step up from a tough series in Australia and put out a couple of strong performances. The surfaces in both the Tests were quite sporting. Bowlers had to put it in the right areas, but this pitch played well on all the days, even though history suggests it flattens out after doing a bit initially."
Williamson heaped praise on young Kyle Jamieson, who excelled with the ball and provided useful runs with the bat in both games, contributing 44 and 49 in the first and second Tests respectively.
“Jamieson’s a very exciting talent, and contributed incredibly well with both bat and ball in both games," Williamson said of the 25-year-old, who picked nine wickets in the series at 16.33 including a five-for. "He’s tall and gets bounce which is very helpful in these conditions. The runs he scored in the back-end of both games were very valuable. Great progress for him.”
Williamson, the third-ranked batsman in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Batting Rankings, did concede that the surfaces were largely bowler-friendly, and praised his batsmen for making decisive contributions throughout the series. He added that a lead of another 50-runs for India would've made the chase challenging.
"I guess you look at the surfaces and they both were perhaps seam-bowler friendly," he said. "But as a batting unit as well, the contributions that were made to get us to parity in the first innings of this game and in Wellington to get competitive totals on the board on these surfaces were really pleasing to see. I think therein lies the value of the 30-40 run partnerships.
"I sort of said it recently but I don't think the result reflected how competitive the match was. Perhaps another 50 more runs from the India's perspective would have made it quite a balanced-looking match."
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