Blackcaps vs India: Kane Williamson praises 'fantastic' series win

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson isn't reading too much into the T20 series win over India, especially with a one-day Cricket World Cup fast approaching.

After a dismal ODI series, which India won 4-1, Williamson's men responded with two clinical performances in the game's shortest format to take the three-match series 2-1.

On Sunday, New Zealand set India 213 to win the decider in Hamilton, but the visitors fell four runs short in their chase, ending their run of 10 T20 series without defeat.

Williamson praised the "fantastic" team effort that will give his side plenty of confidence heading into the Bangladesh ODI series, starting Wednesday.

"We were sitting down and looking at what can we get at the end out of the series," said Williamson. "It's just about each game as it comes - we are looking at this series as an isolated series.

"We just don't want to sit down and ask ourselves what we want to see in terms of end point. We just wanted to gel as a group, play the sort of cricket we wanted to play and I think we did see that.

"It was a fantastic effort and a great series, where both teams were playing well, so to come down to the decider and see a game what we saw tonight was brilliant.

"It was great for us as a unit to go through all these experiences and come out on top in a tight match."

Williamson singled out opening batsmen Colin Munro and Tim Seifert for their efforts in the T20 decider, as their 80-run opening partnership set the platform for New Zealand's 212/4 off their allocated overs.

Munro, whose form has copped plenty of criticism during the India series, top-scored for the hosts with 72 off 40 balls, while Seifert chipped in with 43 off 25 deliveries.

As a result, Munro was named Man of the Match, while Seifert was Man of the Series.

Tim Seifert and Colin Munro.
Tim Seifert and Colin Munro. Photo credit: Photosport

"Colin is one of those guys that goes out and plays with the freedom, and looks to take the game away.

"We've always seen Tim as having a huge amount of talent and we've seen it in the domestic T20 comp.

"To go out with that free licence to take the game away, which is when he's at his best, and to come off with a couple of fantastic performances was great for his confidence and good for our team collectively.

"Everyone is trying to play their role and I thought both our opening batsmen throughout the series were outstanding."

Williamson added it wasn't easy to get the better of India, who threw everything they had at the Blackcaps, as they chased their first-ever T20 series win in New Zealand.

India needed 16 from the final over, but experienced paceman Tim Southee restricted them to just four from the first five balls to all-but seal the win.

"You need to take wickets against this Indian side, because we know how much power they have and how deep their batting line-up is.

"I thought our guys held their nerve in the second half, when it was difficult. They [India] weren't going to die wondering, that's for sure.

"India do enjoy chasing and it's always a threat."

The Blackcaps next play India in a Cricket World Cup warm-up fixture on May 25 and they'll then meet during the tournament on June 13 at Trent Bridge.

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