Auckland: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said the consolation win in the fifth and final one-dayer against India has lifted his team's morale ahead of the three-match Test series starting on March 18.
"It puts us in a good space. If you lose a series outright 4-0 you can get demoralised. The guys will take that confidence into the Test series. It was a lot nicer being in that dressing-room today than in the rest of the series," Vettori said after his team thumped India by eight wickets on Saturday to avoid a 4-0 whitewash in the five-match series.
"It was nice for us to finish on a winning note, but we still understand that we have been outplayed and havent lived up to our own expectations. We can take a bit of momentum into the Test series. It's going to be a massive challenge with (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman coming back into the mix," he added.
Vettori said he was surprised by India's decision to bat first on a slightly damp wicket at the Eden Park.
"I was surprised. I knew the wicket had a little bit in it. It was a little damp. We thought we would be put in to bat. I suppose they arrived with some pretty outstanding momentum so they wanted to continue with that," He added
"We would have bowled first had we won the toss."
Vettori commended his bowlers and said he was pleased with their performance today.
"They bowled really well. The wicket had a little more in it than the previous ones but you still have to bowl well. You saw that a guy like Sehwag can still be explosive, even on a deck like that."
"Really pleased for the guys. Some guys who havent performed in the series stepped up. Jacob Oram was outstanding and Jesse Ryder also did well the ball," he said.
Talking about Man of the Match Jesse Ryder's performance, Vettori said the all-rounder, who scored 63 runs after taking three wickets, did well to curb his aggressive instincts on a tricky wicket while batting.
"It was a big game for him and he did everything that was asked for him. It was probably not usual for Jess to come in and bowl so early. But he hit the right areas and got the ball to do a bit."
"When chasing that smallish total, it gives the batsmen a bit of license to play their game. But I thought Jesse and Martin played good cricket shots throughout, and many of those disappeared out of the park."
"The wicket had enough in it to suggest that the seamers could do a bit. We didn't quite get the start we wanted with (Iain) O'Brien. So we wanted to back Jesse to give him a chance. They way Oram bowled as well allowed us to give guys who don"t normally do the job a chance."
thatsCricket (With Inputs from Agencies)