Christchurch:New Zealand coach Andy Moles on Monday warned his bowlers to pull up their socks in the remaining two one-dayers to avoid defeat in the five-match series against India.
"We have practiced and prepared ourselves well. It is just that we haven't bowled in the areas that we have identified. The bowlers need to step and make sure that they are on top of the game," Moles told reporters before leaving for Hamilton for the fourth ODI to be played on Wednesday.
"We have got plans for all the Indian batsmen. But any plan is just worth the paper it is written on, unless you bowl to it. So it is very important that we implement the plans that we have in place," he said.
Moles believes New Zealand have the ability to draw the five-match series, which India lead 2-0.
"They have played on small grounds and good wickets. They are world class players. Everything is in their favour. We feel we are making things a lot easier for the Indians than it should be. We will try to get it right in the rest of the games," he said.
"We have looked at areas we need to bowl. We did a lot of work on (Indian skipper Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and we got the ball in the areas we wanted to and nullified him. But obviously when we get one world class player, another one comes in. We have plans for each of the batsmen," Moles said.
"But unfortunately we haven't bowled well enough. We go to Hamilton which is a place we play good cricket. We have won there before. We feel that we have a winning knowledge of the ground. All we need to do is to get our act together," he said.
The former Warwickshire batsman said New Zealand were playing good cricket, though the results weren't as expected.
"We still got a lot of positives. We are still playing good, except that we are missing on our bowling plans. The 166-run start we had last night and the way Jesse Ryder batted for his first ODI hundred was encouraging. Obviously, from the way Brendon (McCullum) batted upfront, we should have done better. But the Indians bowled well."
Moles made no excuses for the two defeats.
"There are no excuses from our side. We weren't good enough. The way we lost yesterday, some people say 'it was a good game, and though we lost, we did well'. We are under no illusion. We must become a winning side. When we lose, we lose, whether we lose badly or lose well," said Moles.
He backed Tim Southee, who conceded 105 runs from his 10 overs at the AMI stadium.
"When you are playing on small grounds and flat wickets, it is difficult to contain batsmen when they get going. He is a young lad, 20 years of age. Even the best bowlers in the world have had bad days," said Moles.
He was keen that the Blackcaps executed their plans well.
"We need to execute our plans properly, as we are capable of doing. If we could do that, it would be a different game."
Moles said it would be a bitter-sweet situation if Sachin Tendulkar, who made an attacking 163 (retired hurt) yesterday, does not play the fourth ODI.
"It is a bit of sweet thing isn't it? From our point of view, we will be delighted to not to have a bowl at him. But what a great player he is. The public would love to watch him play. It is a bitter-sweet situation," said Moles.
Though Ian Butler has been ruled out of the Sedddon Park bash with injury, Moles was glad Brendon McCullum had recovered quite well. "Butler has a slight problem. He may well be out for the next game. But McCullum has come around well and so has Jacob (Oram).
"Jacob is very close to bowling at his best. He bowled eight overs last night. We would have liked to have brought him back, but we have a long-term plan for him. He bowled quite beautifully last night and took pace off the ball. That shows his experience. By the end of the series he should be fully fit and we can bowl as and when we want," he said.