Auckland, Feb 9: India skipper MS Dhoni had high praise for his bowling attack for bringing them into the game but rued few unlucky dismissals in the second innings as the visitors went down by 40 runs against New Zealand in the first cricket Test, here on Sunday.
"The bowlers bowled fantastically well to get us back. One of the best that I have seen our bowlers bowl especially on a good wicket. They kept it tight and bowled wicket-taking deliveries at the same time. They need to continue doing that. When you go and not look at what you want to achieve at the end, you can slowly graduate into bigger goals," said Dhoni at the post match presentation.
India lost the first match of the two-Test series by 40 runs. Chasing 407 to win, India were bowled out for 366 in their second innings at Eden Park here. "I don't think we batted really well in the first innings. In the second innings, quiet a few of our batmen batted really well. We had few unlucky wickets. Ajinkya's decision was a tough one at a very crucial time," the skipper said.
Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was delighted to see his bowlers come up trumps under pressure situation.
"Definitely, there were nervous times. They put us under immense amount of pressure. Neil Wagner's spell epitomised everything that is going well with the side. It was a great Test to be part of. One that we will remember. We had to overcome tough periods when batting," said McCullum, who was awarded the Man of the Match for his brilliant 224 in the first innings.
"One of my best innings in an New Zealand shirt. I am delighted to make a significant contribution. A lot of credit must go to those who formed partnerships with me. A Test victory over this Indian team is no small achievement," he said.
McCullum had special praise for Wagner, who finished with a eight-wicket haul, for turning the match in Kiwi's favour.
"Neil is brilliant. He never wants an opportunity to pass him by. His role is to bowl a lot of overs, and hostile overs. Gives Tim and Trent opportunity to attack. He has thoroughly deserved his wickets. He has turned this game," he said. He defended his decision to not enforce follow after having a huge first innings lead.
"After not enforcing the follow-on, we didn't play well, but their bowling was exceptional too. We would have loved to have a few more in the bank. Everyone has got their own opinion (on not enforcing follow on). You have to make that decision. You live and die by that decision. Thankfully we are living by it."