Guptill: 'It wasn't a fluent knock'

"It wasn't as fluent as I would have liked. But at the end of the day, I'll take 72 any day of the week. It was tough," said Martin Guptill of his knock of 72 against India in the Ranchi ODI.

martin guptill

Martin Guptill's offence at the start provided the necessary thrust for New Zealand to reach a formidable total.   -  PTI

His strokeful 72 helped New Zealand notch up a series-levelling 19-run win over India but opener Martin Guptill said it wasn't a fluent knock as it was tough to bat once the ball got old at JSCA International Stadium Complex here.

"It wasn't as fluent as I would have liked. But at the end of the day, I'll take 72 any day of the week. It was tough," he said.

"Early on, the ball came on bit more and you were able to hit through the line bit better. But once the ball became a bit softer, the scoring became a lot tougher and you had to work for your runs. You had to grind it out a wee bit. I was happy to get through that little period."

"It's just the way I've played my one-day cricket in the last one year to 18 months. I enjoy hitting the ball over the top when I can. So I just tried to make use of the hard ball and got away with it today," he said.

"As an opener you're going to get a ball, you're going to nick off early on and things like that happen. But you know you just got to fight through that because you're going to come out the other side, you can score some runs," he said.

"The last game in Mohali I started to get some old touch back and today while I wasn't as fluent as I would have liked you know I was able to bat for a period of time."

The pressure is now back on host Iahead of the final one-dayer in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

"Going forward to Vizag hopefully I can spend a bit more time in the middle and then create a few partnerships with the guys I'm batting with. Hopefully we can score some big runs.

"Everyone fought right to the end. The bowlers did a fantastic job today up front getting rid of Rohit (Sharma) early and then they (India) had a partnership together and Ish (Sodhi) came on and broke that,"

"I think the way Ish and Mitch Santner bowled today was top draw and absolutely world class bowling to arguably the best players of spin in the world.

"The wickets suited them and the boys bowled really well and fielded extremely well as well."

Kane Williamson won the toss for the first time in the tour and elected to bat first.

"I think in the end it was the right decision. I think we saw how the pitch played. It was a lot easier to score when the ball was a bit newer. The ball getting a bit older and bit softer, scoring became a bit tougher."

Lower down the order, Axar Patel (38) and Amit Mishra (14) revived India's hope but the latter was run out.

"It got a little bit close but at the end of the day we were still a little bit ahead. Having 10 and 11 to score 50 to win a game is a big ask and I think the way our guys bowled and the way we were able to restrict them when we needed to and get that run rate up and as I said we were always ahead of the game. So it was a fine performance from our bowlers."