Missed stumping costly but Ronchi keeps it real
Thinking negatively hasn't got Luke Ronchi to where he is in the New Zealand team, so Saturday's missed stumping of Ravi Ashwin wasn't something he wanted to dwell on.
But the wicketkeeper is a realist and not prone to glossing over things either, so he was happy to raise his hand for potentially letting the side down in the thrilling tie in Auckland, off Nathan McCullum's spin. He said it was only human to dwell on what went wrong, even if was counter-productive.
"You always think that way. A missed stumping when Ashwin was on 50-odd, he made an extra 10 runs and that makes a difference, a wide here and there, and with the batting towards the end we lost a clump of wickets and almost didn't bat out our 50 overs. There's so many little things you can pick at but if you look at that you go more towards the negative mind frame," he said.
There were a few dropped catches and missed run outs, too. It meant the dreaded c-word, choke, got an airing yesterday as Ronchi gave his usual impressive display in front of the microphones.
Against the West Indies, New Zealand couldn't finish the job in Hamilton and drew 2-2, and Saturday's late jitters raised the prospect of pressure getting to the hosts as they require one more win for a series victory over the world No 2 and World Cup holders.
"That's cricket, things like that happen. What we've done quite well against the West Indies and this series we haven't had too many of those times. Everyone gets excited and under pressure you fumble and miss chances and think of the outcome rather than the process. If we keep going with the same mindset we've had for a while in the next game we shouldn't make as many mistakes and stay positive."
Staying positive has Ronchi, Dannevirke-born and Perth-raised, comfortable in his own skin with the black uniform on. It wasn't always that way as he struggled as an opener in England mid-year, then felt some heat during the West Indies series when he holed out cheaply then trod on his stumps in Hamilton.
Two power hitting efforts in the West Indies T20 victories were followed by 30 off 18 balls in Napier, 18 off 10 in Hamilton last week and 38 off 20 on Saturday as he simply follows Corey Anderson's lead and plays his natural game.
"It's just a mind frame that's pretty relaxed. I'm feeling pretty good and confident with the way things are going. The end of the West Indies series kicked things into gear and made me feel more comfortable at this level. The more clear a frame of mind I have the better I perform."