New Zealand cricket captain Ross Taylor is accentuating the positives - namely his young pace attack and an improving Jeetan Patel - after the defeat to India in the second test last night.
The calm head of India's revered skipper MS Dhoni led home a five-wicket victory late on day four in Bangalore, chasing down 261 to complete a 2-0 test series sweep.
Dhoni and first innings century-maker Virat Kohli added an unbroken 96 for the sixth-wicket to douse a late, spirited New Zealand charge.
Nevertheless, it was a major improvement from the Kiwis after their first test humiliation in Hyderabad, and much of that was down to the bowlers.
Returning in place of veteran Chris Martin, Tim Southee's 7-64 in the first innings was an outstanding effort and together with the impressive left-armer Trent Boult, who can swing the ball at a good clip, and Doug Bracewell, signs on the pace bowling front look good.
''We've got a young bowler in Adam Milne who is turning up, as well, so it's an exciting time for New Zealand cricket,'' said Taylor, who refused to buy into suggestions Chris Martin's time may be up, after close to a decade leading the test attack.
''With young fast bowlers, they need someone to learn off. There are going to be times in the next few months when Chris will play and there will be times when he might not play at all.
''He's obviously a very experienced person and he's willing to give his time. He knows where he stands in the team, he's still got a part to play.''
Taylor said that with a tour to South Africa looming ahead of the home summer, there might be opportunities to use four quick bowlers.
The skipper was also pleased with Patel's progress. The offspinner has never really fulfilled his potential in the international arena but he was a constant wicket-taking threat.
''He's improving as a spinner,'' said Taylor. ''I guess they get better with age and he is certainly showing that.
''I thought he bowled some good balls and if a bit of luck went his way he would've had even better figures.''
Overall, Taylor, who could also be happy with his own return to run-scoring form with 113 in the first innings, was pleased with the turnarnound from Hyderabad but disappointed to have lost another test, their fourth straight.
''There were a lot of moments during the game. If we were brutally honest, we would've liked to score more runs in that first innings to put pressure on India, and we would've liked to restrict them to a few less, but it was a good effort.
''We were disappointed with the way we played in Hyderabad, we wanted to show some fight and courage in this match, and I thought the effort was outstanding, although we're disappointed to lose.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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