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Mitchell Santner hopes New Zealand batsmen step up in dead rubber

by Saurabh Sharma Jan 30, 2019 • 20:23 PM

Hamilton, Jan 30 (CRICKETNMORE):  On the eve of the dead rubber against India here on Thursday, New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner said the failure of the Kiwi top order has helped the Indian spin twins of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to dominate in the three One-day Internationals so far.

A dominant India took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI rubber, and most of the credit for their all-round performance goes to the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep and Chahal, who have combined to take 14 wickets in the rubber.

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"They are bowling very well at the moment. The slower pace that they bowl is tending to get a little bit more out of the wicket than guys like myself and Ish (Sodhi) who bowl a little bit quicker," he said in the pre-match presser here on Wednesday.

"But that pressure is also being built off the back of the starts we have had (with the bat) - we have always been two down after 10 (overs) allowing them to settle into their work," he added.

Conceding that his team has been thoroughly outplayed in the first three outings, Santner praised the efforts of the men-in-blue for adjusting to the alien conditions comfortably.

"We have been outplayed in all three games. It's been a little bit disappointing to lose three games in a row but we are playing a very good side," he said.

"India has shown just how good they are in all conditions. We have not been good enough but there are signs there that we are getting better.

"I think the plans have been pretty solid - maybe the execution's been off at times. I guess the key for us is to keep taking wickets through the middle, keep being aggressive," he added.

Commenting on the positives that his side has derived from the opening three matches, Santner wanted the other batsmen to emulate former Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor's defiant 93 in the third game at the Bay Oval.

"We saw a great partnership in the previous game and I thought we were much better with the ball. It just needs to be a continuation of what we have been doing."

"We have got two pretty important games coming up -- hopefully, we can win this one here and move onto Wellington with some momentum," he added.