Man of the Series Mishra happy with performance

India's leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who conjured a match-winning spell of five for 18 against New Zealand in Hyderabad, has said he was not surprised at the abject surrender by the opposition as it was bowled out for 79 for an emphatic victory by the host.

Amit Mishra finished with 15 wickets in the series, seven more than the next best Umesh Yadav.   -  K. R. Deepak

India’s leg-spinner Amit Mishra has denied being surprised by New Zealand’s dramatic collapse in its chase of 270 in the final One-Day International (ODI) at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy stadium. New Zealand was bowled out for 79 after losing eight wickets for 16 runs.

>Report: India hands 190-run defeat, wins series 3-2

“We knew that once we get couple of wickets early, we can gain control over the proceedings. We just needed to bowl well in the right areas,” said the 33-year-old Mishra, who took five wickets to finish with 15 wickets in the series, the highest for any bowler.

“I am immensely satisfied with my performance. I think this is only the second time that I have played all the five games in the series,” commented Mishra, who was gained the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series awards.

“Anil bhai (Anil Kumble) has been of great help to me, giving some invaluable tips. Essentially, he made me mentally tougher by constantly supporting me,” he said.

“We are expected to do well. And, I never thought about my achievements except trying to give off my best whenever presented with the opportunities. If you start thinking what you should achieve in a match or a series, that will mean pressure,” Mishra pointed out.

“What is more important is that the team won the series and not about me winning these awards. It is always a great feeling when the team wins,” Mishra concluded.

'Tough tour'

The feeling of euphoria was contrasted with disappointment apparent from the opposition camp. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said his team took heart in extending the five-match series to a decider.

“We were getting quite emotional about the prospect of winning our first-ever one-day series win in India. It has been a very tough tour and we take heart from extending the one-day series into the decider,” he remarked.

“The highlight from our perspective has been left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. Not just his bowling but also about his batting and bowling too. He has been outstanding young cricketer on this tour. We all know how many spinners struggled here in India but hats off to Santner for bowling so well here,” said Williamson.

Reflecting on the game today, the Kiwi captain said they had should have restricted India to a lesser total on a tough surface to bat on. “But, India built on a couple of useful partnerships to post a challenging score,” he said.

Asked whether Ross Taylor’s form was one of the critical areas of concern for them on this tour, Williamson said, “For any team generally one or two big batsmen come up major contributions, like for India Virat doing that job. It is unfortunate that both of us were dismissed today when one of us had to go on. Yes, we need to be consistent looking at the likes of Virat (Kohli),” he said.