Hamilton: Unperturbed by India's remarkable come-from-behind performance in the thrilling tied third ODI, New Zealand wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi on Monday said with a comfortable 2-0 lead, the hosts are well on course to win the five-match ODI series.
The series currently stands at 2-0 in favour of New Zealand after India lost the first two ODIs in Napier (by 24 runs) and Hamilton (by 15 runs), while the third ODI at Auckland finished in a scintillating last-ball tie on Saturday. (Also read: We don't give instructions for pitches, says Kiwi coach Hesson)
New Zealand just need one win our of the two remaining ODI to seal the series, and Ronchi exuded confidence of achieving the target.
"We didn't lose in Auckland. We obviously would have liked to won. I think a tie was pretty fair result since both sides played some good cricket. It was a serious game of cricket to watch and be a part of. I think it was a fair result in the end," he said ahead of the fourth ODI here on Tuesday. (Related read: India need to win both ODIs to reclaim top-rank)
"We are still playing good cricket and still in a good mind frame, we have to keep going that way. We are very much on target to win the series," he said.
The Black Caps had scored 314 runs and India looked set to go down 0-3 in the series, before stunning half-centuries from Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja helped the visitors snatch a sensational tie from the jaws of defeat in the last game. (Related read: Ashwin says he is in a good frame of mind)
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson had rued the chances missed by the Kiwis in the tied third game, and Ronchi impressed upon the need to make them count.
"There are a lot of different things that you can pick on since one run was the difference of winning or losing for both teams. There were opportunities missed in the field with catching and stumping and all of that. With batting, you sort of think you could have picked up a run here or there maybe. There are so many different situations where you can think we could have made one run there. But we need to look forward," Ronchi said.
In Auckland, a predominantly Indian crowd had cheered on the visitors till the last ball, even as the home team seemed a bit flustered.
"Indian fans are everywhere. It was a good atmosphere," said the wicket-keeper batsman who has played international cricket for both Australia and New Zealand.
"The noise that the crowd made when the second-last ball was hit for six was awesome. It was a nice thing to have and that's what you play cricket for -- to play in front of big crowds and the excitement and things like that, it's very good," Ronchi said. (2nd ODI in pics)
A significant feature of this series has been the fact that India have won the toss in all three ODIs so far and opted to field first, finishing up second-best despite very intense run-chases.
Asked about this topic, Ronchi said: "We have to win the toss first for that to be the case. But I am not sure. At the moment, batting first is working well for us. The game plan we have is working out well with guys batting through the middle overs, and then we have got our hitters towards the end.
"If we win the toss, things might change but at the moment that's what we have got and that's the way we have to play. We are comfortable with the way it is working and hoping that it continues."
New Zealand are buoyed by a long batting order with Ronchi himself coming in at number seven and enjoying decent outings.
"We have got a good crew of batsmen who are in form and feeling comfortable with their roles. Obviously at the moment, our top order is doing a good job of batting till the 35th over and giving the rest of us the opportunity to go out and play naturally and try and hit a long way," Ronchi said.
"Obviously Corey Anderson is in some serious touch and that makes a difference as well. Everyone is comfortable in their roles, they know their roles well."
Ronchi said just like the first three ODIs, tomorrow's match well could be an high-scoring affair.
"Every game here has been high-scoring and the short grounds allow for very little margin of error. You have to be very precise with what you are bowling, whether it is a bouncer, a slower ball, a yorker etc. You have to execute it well because given the batsmen from both teams if you miss the ball is going a long way. I am expecting another high-scoring game with the way things are going at the moment," Ronchi signed off.