New Zealand v England - 2nd Test: Day 3

England coach Brendon McCullum revealed that the dressing room was composed despite a stiff contest on day five of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington. McCullum revealed that the players were upbeat despite the loss.

England fell short by one run on day five of the second Test at the Basin Reserve as they failed to chase down 258. The winning moment came in the 75th over of the innings as Neil Wagner dismissed James Anderson to help New Zealand level the series.

Speaking to BT Sport after the narrow loss, McCullum reflected that England have achieved what they wanted despite the result not going their way.

“It was actually quite calm. We have played so well right throughout the Test match and we know what we’re here for. I know we are judged on whether we win or lose. But all we want is to play a style of cricket to try and entertain people all around the world. When it got tensed as it did, we kind of left it in the hands of god.”

The former keeper-batter said it was disappointing to lose, but the English players weren’t upset as they have entertained the fans.

“It wasn’t to be for us, but the guys are really calm. They all enjoyed it even after we lost, walking into the dressing room still smiles on their faces because we have achieved a small part of what we wanted to, which is to make Test cricket exciting. Still disappointed to lose obviously.”

McCullum acknowledged that it would’ve been nice to win the Test, but credited New Zealand for defending the target clinically.

“It would have been nice to win the Test match and the series. Right at the start of the campaign, we want to try and entertain and bring fans into the game, bringing relevance to Test cricket. I think even on the wrong side today, we certainly achieved that. Credit to New Zealand as they were epic in defending their total, but I certainly thought we played our part. It was a great game to be a part of.”

The one-run loss also meant that England became the fourth side to lose after enforcing the follow-on. The tourists had picked up a 226-run lead after bowling the home side out for 209.

“One of those Tests where there was never a twist too far away” – Brendon McCullum

Neil Wagner took four wickets. (Credits: Getty)
Neil Wagner took four wickets. (Credits: Getty)

When asked about the topsy-turvy nature of the Test, McCullum stated that both sides have done well to get on top of each other consistently.

“I think this Test match has been right throughout that way. If you look at New Zealand’s second innings, we brought ourselves back into the game after a sustained partnership as well. It was one of those Tests where there was never a twist too far away.”

The 41-year-old claimed that England can be highly proud of what they have achieved in the last few months, both home and away. McCullum added:

“We were going pretty well at one stage, but it took a really good spell of bowling from Wagner to bring them back into it. It looked like we were miles out of the game and we were able to give ourselves a good chance with Foakes and Leach. It wasn’t to be but I’m really proud of the boys. Amazing right throughout the summer and the away tours as well. We’ll walk away from the last 8-9 months very proud of what we achieved and looking through to our next challenge.”

Kane Williamson received the Player of the Match award for his masterly 132 in the second innings. The 1-1 series deadlock means that New Zealand remain unbeaten in home series since 2017.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay


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