Auckland:India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni apologised to the fans for the disappointing end to an otherwise successful one-day series against New Zealand, saying the team failed to maintain its high standard on Saturday.
The eight-wicket defeat in the fifth and final ODI could not prevent India from registering their first ever one-day series win in New Zealand but Dhoni had no qualms admitting that the team dished out a poor performance on Saturday.
"I would like to thank my team for playing good cricket through the series over the period of time but at the same time sorry to disappoint you guys in the last match. We could have done better," Dhoni said.
He also took the occasion to remind that the team played quality cricket in most of the matches and seemed optimistic that it can maintain the same standard in the three-match Test series starting March 18.
"We played good cricket and if we can do that in the Test series it will be great," Dhoni said.
His opposite number Daniel Vettori was relieved to have escaped a rout in the series and the Kiwi captain said he was now looking forward to the Test matches.
"We are looking forward to the Test series. Three-match series should be competitive and the guys are fired up," Vettori said.
Thanking the spectators for turning up in big numbers, Vettori said, "Thanks to the crowd for coming in, some of you still support us."
Man of the Match Jesse Ryder, who slammed a belligerent 63 and took three wickets as well, echoed his captain's view and said he was looking forward to extend his purple patch to the Test series against Dhoni's men.
"Things are going all right at the moment. The confidence is high. I am looking forward to play in the Test series and continue the same form," he said.
Ryder was involved in a spat with Indian pacer Ishant Sharma but the bulky left-hander played down the event. "It didn't affect me in any way, was just part of the game," he said.