New Zealand began their 268 chase with an opening stand of 49 in nine overs in the third ODI on Sunday. They were well placed at 106 for 3 in the 25th over before Kane Williamson was run out and James Neesham and Glenn Phillips holed out against the Australian quicks to slip to 224 for 7 and eventually fall short.
“I can assure you it was a pretty frustrated dressing room last night,” Stead said on a Zoom press conference on Monday. “The guys are disappointed and frustrated after having opportunities in all three matches and not getting over the line. I think it’s easy when you lose that you can go soul searching a little bit, but we try not to do that. We try to be clear in our processes and what we’re trying to do and try to get better each day. Unfortunately Australia put enough pressure on us and we couldn’t quite get over the line last night again.”
“Trent’s made his decision around that and we respect that as well,” Stead said. “He’s been a fine bowler and still is a fine bowler for New Zealand and that showed through this series as well. If Trent is there then we look like a stronger team, but we have to make some decisions around what that looks like for us going forward as well because we do have to keep developing our depth underneath as well.”
Stead praised Allen’s innings but said New Zealand’s bowling needed some work in the end overs and that these pitches were good preparation for them looking ahead to the ODI World Cup next year in India.
“I thought last night the pitch was slightly better than the first two that we played on,” Stead said. “We started very very well with the ball, I thought the opening bowling was very good; we’ve done that well all series. I guess the areas that we can keep looking at to improve will be more of the latter end of the bowling innings and we also improved the top of the [batting] innings as well. Devon [Conway] and Finn got away to a nice start and they applied pressure back on Australia but we kept losing wickets and when it felt like we were getting on top, those wickets kept hurting us and put us in a position that ultimately made it too tough.
“I thought Finn looked really good. He was disappointed again, he’d gotten a start, the opening partnership was important for us, given right throughout the whole six innings – generally the five before that – the teams really struggled to get away. But I thought he looked composed out there, he didn’t overawed at all, I guess that is perhaps one of the advantages of going to the IPL for a couple of years as you get to learn and live alongside some of these players as well. Certainly didn’t look out of place.
“First thing to note is the pitches we played on weren’t typical Australian pitches either, they were definitely on the slower side. Playing on these pitches was good exposure for us because you go to a World Cup in India, you play on some very different wickets. Having the experience and needing to adapt are things that are important. There’s certainly no excuses around the pitch at all, we have to adapt to what’s in front of us.”