Ranchi, Oct 27: 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 the condition was tough to bat once the ball got old at JSCA International Stadium Complex here.
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Guptill's innings set the platform for New Zealand as they posted 260 and then bowled out India for 241 in 48.4 overs to win the fourth ODI 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," the senior New Zealand opener said in the postmatch news conference.
"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."
Guptill hit 12 boundaries in his 84-ball innings to match his score in the third and final Test in Indore and he said that's his style of play.
"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 when it was hard and I got away with it today," he said.
Guptill said opening the batting was the toughest place to bat.
"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 pressure is now back on hosts India with the series locked 2-2 ahead of the final one-dayer in Visakhapatnam on Saturday and Guptill said a win would boost their confidence.
"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," he said.
"So 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 early and then they had a partnership together and Ish came on and broke that," he said about Kohli's dismissal for 45.
Kohli edged one behind the stumps trying to cut Sodhi way outside the offstump in a sloppy dismissal.