Auckland: Martin Crowe does not want to step out of Auckland anymore.
After recovering from cancer, the Kiwi great is just happy to stay at home.
New Zealand’s most successful Test batsman had been suffering from lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, and announced his recovery from the disease in June, last year.
“Like Yuvraj Singh, I went through tough, dark time. But, you look for a change, so that you can bounce back and that is what I have done. I have removed a lot of stuff that I had kept inside me, the negative, resentful things. I came out with a real appreciation for life, my family around me and to be basically be myself,” he tells MAIL TODAY on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon.
But Crowe still loves his cricket. He is happy to see Black Caps soar to new heights after beating world champions India 4-0 in the recently concluded ODI series. But, at the same time, he is baffled by Team India’s tame surrender.
Kiwis complete India’s rout
ODI rout fires up New Zealand for India Tests
Test series will test our team's true character: Dhoni
“I think they have got a lot of work to do. I think this series has shown that they need to make some changes in their attitude.”
“Dhoni got into a defensive frame of mind and felt perhaps that it didn’t matter to take wickets. That they will chase down scores anyway. But he was wrong,” he said.
The 51-year-old Crowe added that Dhoni’s boys need to work hard to make a strong come back. “I thought that New Zealand will romp home easily in Tests but India will play good in the ODI series, given that pitches would probably suit them. So, I was little surprised like everyone that New Zealand have played so well and India haven't been able to respond,” he said.
“Of course, it makes the Test series coming up very interesting. India will have to work hard to get their confidence back if they have to play well in the Test series. But, they have got Pujara and Zaheer coming back. So, they are a side which has a lot of experience and I am sure that they will bounce back.”
Crowe said the failure of the Indian batting order was a major reason of India’s debacle in the ODI series.
“Firstly, New Zealand did everything right. In the very first game, they posted a 300-plus score and India had to chase it down. But they weren’t able to do that. I think openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan didn’t show enough confidence or belief to attack the New Zealand bowlers,” he said.
“They were a little bit tentative, and when you are tentative, you will tend to knick out a bit, which they did. They put a lot of pressure on Kohli who responded it initially and middle order was exposed with Raina, Rahane and Rayudu were just showing that they were not in top form.”
He also criticised the Indian bowlers. “You rely on Ishant Sharma a lot. I suppose because he is the only one who’s been to New Zealand before in the ODI line up. But he just seems to be struggling right now and he just didn’t deliver,” he said.
“They had to make a room for Aaron to come in. But, he is young and will take a couple of tours to get settled. Same with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami, who are on their first tours of New Zealand.”
Crowe expects New Zealand to carry their form in the Test series.
“If New Zealand produce wickets with a little of zest in them, then I think that this side will be quite handful. So, India have a lot of work to do in the week leading up to the Test match, to try getting their players more mentally fresh and more positive,” he said. (CYCSPL)
ALSO SEE—New Zealand vs India: The ODIs in Numbers