A missed opportunity

We’ve all had 24 hours to reflect on the disappointment of losing that first Test at Lord’s.

It was a day Tim Southee, who became only the second Kiwi on the 10 wickets in a match honour’s board, should cherish but he looked more gutted than words can describe.

For me it was the missed opportunity element that hurt the most. For three and a half Tests against the second best team in the world we had competed.  At times at Lord’s it felt like we were even dictating terms.

Any chase on that wicket was going to be difficult. But in an hour of madness, the opportunity to claim only our second ever victory at the home of cricket was lost – just like that.

It felt like what occurred was out of context. During the series we had often lost two or three wickets quickly but been able to consolidate. Yesterday was like a rollercoaster that we couldn’t get off. It’s not like the players weren’t trying but we were far too timid with the bat and allowed the talented duo of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson to dictate, something we need to remedy before Headingley.

Days like that really test you as a coach. There’s a lot of emotions in the shed and the natural ones are anger and frustration. Now that we've had some time to reflect, it’s crucial we focus on what went well for all but an hour of that match.

Our bowling effort was outstanding, we created a lot of pressure and we also caught exceptionally well behind the wicket. And with Tim’s 10 wicket haul he became the first visiting bowler in 10 years to get on that much sought after honour’s board. His three wicket spell late on Saturday to get us back in the match is what leading the bowling group is all about. Hopefully once the hurt subsides, Tim will reflect positively on that magical moment at Lord’s.

On the batting front, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson looked in good touch in that first innings, but we know we need to be sharper and more decisive as a batting group.

We’re a young Test side that always want to improve, but you can’t take steps forward all the time. Unfortunately there’s the odd one that goes back.

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