'I think that completely shifted the momentum': Shreyas Iyer pinpoints one over that changed the game in New Zealand's favour
Vice-captain Tom Latham (145 not out off 104 balls) and captain Kane Williamson (94 not out off 98 balls) made a mockery of India's bowling attack and rolled out New Zealand's path to a historic seven-wicket victory in the first ODI in Auckland on November 25 (Friday). Latham put on a masterclass of stroke-making and toyed with Indian bowlers as he registered his seventh century in ODI cricket. Williamson played second fiddle to his deputy and oozed immense class and composure in a tricky run chase. Chasing a monumental target of 307 runs, the Black Caps completed the job with 17 balls to spare.
"The situation we were in and from there to reach 307 is a commendable total. Definitely, some things didn't go our way today but it's a learning curve, we can introspect, comeback with new ideas in the next game," he said in the post-match press conference.
The right-handed batter said India can't afford to get bogged down by the defeat and approach the next two matches with a positive frame of mind.
"It's not easy to directly come from India and play here. Wickets keep on changing in every place and this is a challenge which you need to face. You have to be mentally strong, just have to adapt to the situations," Iyer said.
He lauded the fearless approach of Tom Latham and skipper Kane Williamson, which made a big difference as hosts New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series with a comfortable seven-wicket win in the high-scoring first match here on Friday.
“Both of them (Latham and Williamson) played fantastic knocks. They knew which bowlers to target at a specific time. I believe their partnership completely changed the scenario of the game and that was a crucial phase for us to get wickets,” he continued
"If we would have got one wicket we would have been under their skin and the situation could have been completely different. But kudos to them that they found the strength to convert those loose balls into boundaries and sixes. They were fearless in their approach and I feel that's what helped them," Iyer opined.
Chasing a required run rate of over eight, Latham hammered Shardul Thakur for 25 runs in the 40th over that included a six and four boundaries that shifted the momentum of the match.
"The way Latham took over that over (40th), I think that completely shifted the momentum towards them. He wanted to come in and he wanted to build that partnerships. Since they have been playing together for so many years so they know their strengths and weaknesses pretty closely,'" Iyer said.
On personal front, Iyer said that he is always in his own zone and hardly pays heed to the talk in the outside world.
“Approach is always optimistic. I don't like to think much about the future, whatever is in my hands I do and try to live in the present. Players will come and go but consistency is what is going to matter. Ups and downs are in everyone's career, there is nothing called stable. When people are talking outside, I just like to be in my zone and that's what helps me,” Iyer observed
For him, the biggest learning is how Latham started his innings.
"The learning from this match is that when we got a wicket we could have created more pressure. If we could have curbed Latham's start definitely we would have been on top of them," he added.
The second ODI will be played in Hamilton on Sunday.
(With PTI inputs)