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‘Jadeja’s knock was awesome’

Auckland: He is disappointed that his team could not seal the series on Saturday, but New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum termed the third ODI against India as a “great game of cricket.”

New Zealand put up a huge 314 on the board and Ravindra Jadeja grabbed a tie for India with his heroic batting along with Ravichandran Ashwin.

“Yes, it is one that got away, but it was a great game of cricket nevertheless. All credit to India, because when they looked out of the game, they flexed their muscle a little bit and got back into it.

“Just when we thought we had it again, obviously they came back and (Ravindra) Jadeja playing that innings at the end was pretty awesome,” said McCullum.

“We had our chances, there is no doubting that. We had a few catches and a few run-out opportunities, but it was a tough one. It was a great game of cricket to be involved with, just disappointing that didn’t get the result in the end but a tie is a tie,” he added.

New Zealand were sailing well in their first innings with Martin Guptill scoring his fifth century and Kane Williamson notching up his third consecutive half-century in this series.

The hosts looked set for a huge total at that stage, but ended up at 314 after losing their way in the middle overs.

“If we wanted the perfect innings, then we would have got 350. It was only because we did so well in the first half of the game that we were in a position to look at 350. But it was always going to be a couple of things that can go wrong when you are batting as well.

“Unfortunately, we compounded that by some poor decisions and some silly cricket at times as well. But I still thought 314 after being asked to bat first was a pretty good effort.

“Martin’s innings obviously was brilliant and Kane again was full of class. We would have definitely taken 314 at halftime but credit to India for the way they played.”

Asked about losing three tosses in a row, and being put in to bat on all three occasions, the Black Caps’ captain replied: “I am not a very good ‘tosser’ at the moment. Today we would have looked to bowl first, because I think the conditions here at Eden Park seem to favour the team chasing.

“In the end, we got 314 which was a great effort and I obviously will look at the next game and see what wicket we get down at Hamilton but it certainly seems an Indian strategy to want to chase. We have just got to make sure we get the runs if we are batting first and keep being able to put them under pressure when they come out to chase.” (PTI)