New Zealand captain Kane Williamson kept his sense of humour after his side went down in yet another Super Over, but said that upon looking back, they should have closed the game out in their regular batting innings. New Zealand needed two off four balls in the last over with their most experienced batsmen in Williamson and Ross Taylor at the crease, before Mohammed Shami dismissed both of them and forced a Super Over.
“My opinion we shouldn’t have them…No!” Williamson said in jest about the Super Over. “It is what it is. It’s good fun, isnt’ it? It’s a full house at midnight or whatever time it is. That’s pretty cool. It’s good entertainment. I’m probably not the best person to ask because we came second in the Super Over tonight like a few other times. So yeah, not ideal. But I guess if people enjoyed that to decide the match, then that’s fun.
“Super Overs certainly haven’t been our friend, but I think if we’re being brutally honest we would’ve liked to have perhaps got across the line before requiring a win in the Super Over. But I guess if we reflect on the match altogether, it was a brilliant game.”
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New Zealand produced a vastly improved performance compared to the second T20I, with a bowling show that made Williamson particularly proud after he had decided to bowl for a change. India flew to 89 in the first nine overs, but made only 90 in the last 11. Having applied the brakes in that manner, Williamson said it was disappointing to end up on the result. It was a reflection of India’s experience as a team in this format, he said.
“I think India had a very good first-innings total on that surface and we knew they’d bowl well on it as well because it was taking a bit of turn as well. The guys fought back nicely after the start India got with the bat and then we were able to build partnerships and take the game deep. Yeah, pretty disappointing to be on the wrong side of the result after doing a lot of hard work to get so close but certainly a much improved effort from the first two games.
“We’ve seen in the last two as well, even the second one in Auckland, it certainly wasn’t our best performance but it was a tough surface and the T20 format is a game of small margins as we’ve seen this evening. But even throughout the other couple of games as well, the experience that India have, I think, saw them come through in some crunch moments in this game. But it is a game of small margins and we do need to learn from this and use this experience to be a better side.”
Williamson also said that New Zealand stitching together partnerships was the biggest positive to come out of the game on a pitch he said was difficult to start on, although he himself knocked off more than half the target. In partnerships of 36, 49, and 41 for the third, fourth, and fifth wickets respectively, Williamson was the dominant scorer. The next highest scorer in the innings was Martin Guptill at the top of the order with 31. But the team was largely non-fussed and happy with the improvement, he said, and the focus was already on Wellington for the fourth T20I on Friday. Provided that the high of this match subsided.
“It’s always very tough to get to sleep after such late games, adrenaline’s sort of going regardless of the result,” he said. “But you move on to another game. Yes it was close, and an emotional roller coaster perhaps, certainly as we got so close to the end, but we have to keep moving our focus forward and that’s to Wellington. We know the quality of the Indian side but for us it’s just to keep improving as a group and we did that today and we need to keep demanding that of ourselves moving forward as well.”