India captain Shikhar Dhawan feels his bowlers failed to execute their plans and bowled too short to an attacking batter like Tom Latham, who cashed in on the opportunity to register his career-best ODI score here on Friday.
Latham hit an attacking unbeaten 145 off 104 balls while skipper Kane Williamson struck an unconquered 94 off 98 deliveries as New Zealand chased down India’s 307-run target with seven wickets in hand and 17 balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second ODI will be played in Hamilton on Sunday.
“We felt good with the total. The ball was seaming in the first 15 overs. This ground is a bit different than other grounds. We bowled a lot on a short of a length, and Latham attacked. We misfielded on a few balls,” a disappointed Dhawan said.
“But as I said, we were quite short to Latham, and that’s where he took the game away. He hit four boundaries in the 40th over, and that’s where the game shifted. Surely lots of learning for the boys.” New Zealand skipper Williamson said Latham played a special knock at the Eden Park, where anything is chaseable because of the dimensions of the square boundaries.
“It was a competitive total. If you build partnerships here at Eden Park, you can chase anything. Incredible innings from Tom Latham.
“On these drop-in pitches, you bowl full and straight, and it can be difficult. It was one of the most special ODI knocks I have seen. You are always in the game with the dimensions,” Williamson said.
“Spin played a big role today. The seamers did an excellent job. There were moments when we put them under pressure. Nice to make a contribution, and with Tommy going the way he was, it was about complementing,” he added.
Man of the Match Latham felt it was one of those days when everything went according to his plans.
“Just one of those days when everything comes off. Having a bit of fun in the end…It was nice to put the ball in the gaps and run hard. I guess the preparation has been nice,” he said.
“Washington Sundar was getting a bit of turn. Small ground, so you can capitalise in the end. Nice partnership with Kane, who played beautifully.”