Christchurch, March 2: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said beating the No 1 ranked side India 2-0 in the Test series was an outstanding achievement and he was chuffed with the fighting spirit the team showed after a modest series against Australia away from home.
Williamson also was happy about the fact that they grabbed 120 points, making good leap in the ICC Test Championship table.
Excerpts from Williamson's post-match press do.
Your thoughts on the series win...
An outstanding performance. I sort of said it recently but I don't think the result reflected how competitive the match was. Perhaps, another 50 more runs from the Indians' perspective would have made it quite a balanced-looking match, but the surface offered throughout the whole game, so if you were able to put the ball in the right areas for a long period of time, as we saw both teams, you create opportunities and get some reward. Both games were a really good balance in terms of the surface between bat and ball and runs were quite tough to come by. You had to have a little bit of fortune go your way and then try and put a bit of pressure on the bowlers first.
The seamers in particular trying to hit a hard length and watch the ball react. A great performance over the last two games from the guys. I guess you look at the surfaces and they both were perhaps seam-bowler friendly. But as a batting unit as well, the contributions that were made to get us to parity in the first innings of this game and in Wellington to get competitive totals on the board on these surfaces were really pleasing to see.
The series win in the context of the summer where NZ faced all top Test teams
A brilliant effort. We all know how strong India are all around the world and there has been a lot of talk about their pace bowling attack and they certainly showed their quality in this series. And it was a very, very competitive but it was nice from our team's perspective to make that adjustment, to step up from that tough series in Australia and put out a couple of strong performances.
The same has varied a lot, that can be the nature of the sport we play, but a lot of learning from all results we've had. So important to build on these. Obviously we don't put on the white for a long period of time, but those conditions are going to be quite different to these. A lot to take from it against the best team in the world at the moment, so a brilliant result.
How do you adjust to alien batting conditions?
It's a real challenge of the international game and an enjoyable challenge as well because conditions are a massive factor. It's trying to adapt quickly and you come over to the conditions in the last two games and even if you do adapt quickly, you may still have a good ball with your name on it.
That's part and parcel of, I suppose, within your own mindset to have that understanding that your positions are good and the mindset's strong. You still have to accept that there're things outside of your control and we saw throughout the number of balls that were reacting off the surface. A little bit in the last game as well that can be quite challenging to negotiate. Trying to adapt as quickly as possible, whether that's from one country to another or throughout the different formats is very very important.
England, Australia, India in back-to-back to series. How do you judge your side?
They're probably the three top Test teams in the world and we've them all in one go which obviously going into, and was, a very, very tough challenge. We talk about the quality of the opposition but obviously the difference in conditions as well, that has a factor. Diappointing showing in Australia but then at the same time, it was important that when we were playing at home, we continued to play the style of cricket that was important to us and playing well and ultimately trying to get results in our conditions ad we saw thatagainst two very, very strong sides. A lot of positives and a lot learnings from that Australian experience as well.
Is the pitch here a blueprint that prepares you for when you travel to Australia and South Africa?
Yeah, the pace in the surface was perhaps more closely aligned to some of the surfaces in Australia, maybe not so much the sideways movement which we saw throughout. But that made a sporting balance between bat and ball. That was something that was a little bit new for us as well. We've seen conditons here in Christchurch, but then Wellington as well where it often does a bit early but then it certainly becomes a batting-friendly type surface and then it becomes guys putting in and bowling long overs and trying to create pressure over long periods of time to get that reward. Whereas in the last two games, the reward was a little bit quicker because the surfaces were slightly different to what we have had in the past but at the same time, it's great when you see Test cricket where there is that balance, whether it is early, in the back-end of the game or perhaps the added pace meant that with the sideways movement, perhaps it had a ball with your name on it.