Hamilton: New Zealand have focused on denying wickets to the Indian spinners to wear out the rest of their attack and that has paid rich dividends, revealed Ross Taylor.
The Black Caps have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series after comfortably winning the fourth ODI here. It would be an icing on the cake if they can make it 4-0 by winning the fifth and final ODI on Friday, at the Westpac Stadium, in Wellington.
The highlight of their effort in the series has been the way Taylor and Kane Williamson have combined to counter the Indian bowling in the middle-overs to repeatedly lay down the platform for tall scores.
The one time they batted second, on Tuesday, the Taylor-Williamson combination once again proved to be the game-changer.
“Yesterday was pretty tough against the spinners. Against (Ravindra) Jadeja, I don’t think we laid a bat on ball in those first couple of overs. He bowled very well, on another day, he could have got a couple of wickets and stifled our momentum,” said Taylor.
“In the past, I have played a few years in India and in New Zealand, it doesn’t really turn as much and you just lunge on the front foot. But now our strategy has been to play off the back foot as much as possible and play into the gaps.
“Kane is a very good player of spin and we knew then that if we could negate them, we would give ourselves the chance to put pressure on their fifth and sixth bowler and that’s what we did,” he added.
Taylor said he aspires to be a consistent batsman. “I have been trying to get into a mindset and a routine, and just play ball by ball,” Taylor said, after his match-winning knock.
“I have played enough international cricket to know my strengths and weaknesses, and just to give myself the best chance to be as consistent as possible. In the past, I have probably been consistent in a couple of games and been quite inconsistent for a few, so I want to try and be as consistent as possible.”
“The captain has said that my job is to try and bat through the middle overs, and give our power-hitters as much chance to try and express themselves in the last 15 overs. The way Kane (Williamson) has been batting has helped me along the way as well,” Taylor added.
Taylor has worked hard on his technique, cutting out the slog-sweep and tightening up his game on the off-side to play a crucial role at No. 4.
Match starts: Friday, 6.30 am (IST)