Aus v NZ ODIs, 2022

New Zealand are “disappointed and disappointed” after their 3-0 ODI series sweep by Australia in Cairns, especially after they “had chances in all three matches and didn’t get over the line”, according to their coach Gary Stead . New Zealand put the hosts under pressure with early wickets in all three games but lost two of them by narrow margins: the first by two wickets and the third by 25 runs.

New Zealand started their 268 chase with an opening stand of 49 in nine overs in the third ODI on Sunday. They were in a good position at 106 for 3 in the 25th over before Kane Williamson was run out and James Neesham and Glenn Phillips outscored the Aussies to slump to 224 for 7 and eventually run out.

“I can assure you it was a pretty disappointed dressing room last night,” Stead said in a Zoom press conference on Monday. “The guys are frustrated and disappointed after having chances in all three matches and not getting over the line. I think it’s easy when you’re losing to look for a while, but we’re trying not to do that. We’re trying to be clear in our processes and what we’re trying to do we do and we try to get better every day. Unfortunately Australia put a lot of pressure on us and we couldn’t get over the line again last night.”

Stead admitted they were on the receiving end of Australia’s counter-attacking strategy through the series. While defending 232 in the first game of the series, a fiery first spell from Trent Boult reduced the hosts to 44 for 5, before Alex Carey and Cameron Green helped them seal a thrilling win. Batting first in the second ODI, Australia were 54 for 5, but Steven Smith and the tail managed to put on 195 which they defended by bowling out New Zealand for just 82. In the third game, on a pitch much better for scoring, the century Smith’s over took Australia to their highest score of the series and New Zealand’s middle order fought back but couldn’t get it over the line.
When asked if New Zealand had a mental block of never winning a series in Australia before, Stead said: “I don’t know, a lot of teams come to Australia and struggle to beat them, and we’re no different. They’re a very, very good side, they compete all the time, it’s something we talk about within the team, how we keep throwing punches at them and they seem to still have answers for them at the moment. we’re a good side as well and we’ve got to learn how we can compete and put that killer punch at times to make sure we can get past them.”
Boult was New Zealand’s leading performer in the series with his new-ball exploits giving him a total of 10 wickets at an economy rate of just 3.43 – his most frugal ODI series – and eight maidens, the second most he has played in bilaterals series. . But after recently giving up his contract with New Zealand, it is clear that he will not be available for them as often in the future.

“Trent made his decision around that and we respect that as well,” Stedt said. “He’s been a good bowler and he’s still a good bowler for New Zealand and that’s shown in this series. If Trent is there then we look like a stronger team but we have to make some decisions about how that looks. for us we are also moving forward because we have to continue to develop our depth as well.”

The pitches at Cazaly’s Stadium in the series were quite slow, which made the batters struggle for quick runs, especially in the first 30 overs of the innings. It was only in the last game that Smith scored the only century of the series – the slowest of his ODI career, the middle and lower scored quick runs at the end and New Zealand started quickly with Finn Allen, who came in for Martin Guptill, scoring 35 off 38.

Stead praised Allen’s innings but said New Zealand’s bowling needed some work in the final overs and those pitches were good preparation for them ahead of next year’s ODI World Cup in India.

“I thought last night the pitch was slightly better than the first two we played,” Stead said. “We started really well with the ball, I thought the opening bowling was really good. We did so well in all the series. I guess the areas we can continue to look to improve on will be more than the last end of the innings bowling and we also improved its top [batting] participations as well. Devon [Conway] and Finn started well and put pressure back on Australia, but we kept losing wickets and when we felt we were on top, those wickets kept hurting us and put us in a position that ultimately made it very difficult.

“I thought Finn looked really good. He was disappointed again, he had started, the opening partnership was important for us, given that in all six innings – generally the five before that – teams really struggled to get away. But I thought he looked composed out there, he didn’t feel over the top at all, I guess that’s probably one of the advantages of going to the IPL for a few years as you learn and live alongside some of these players as well It certainly didn’t look out of place.

“The first thing to note is that the pitches we played on weren’t typical Australian pitches either, they were definitely on slower pitches. Playing on those pitches was good exposure for us because you go to a World Cup in India, you play in some very different gates. Having the experience and the need to adapt are things that are important. There are certainly no excuses on the pitch, we have to adapt to what is in front of us.”

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