Sophie Devine wants New Zealand to have a long hard look at themselves in the mirror

Sophie Devine in action. © Getty Images

New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine feels they have to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror with the way they fared during the 17-run defeat against Australia in the first T20I at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Saturday (September 26).

“We’ll have to take a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror tonight because it wasn’t good enough. We could have won that game,” Devine said at the post-match media interaction. “We probably let the Australians get 20-30 more than they should have then I’d back ourselves to chase that down with a couple of overs to spare, but poor decisions were made with the bat and left too much to do at the end.”

New Zealand reduced the hosts to 93 for 5 at the end of the 16th over, but let them recover to post a competitive total of 138 for 6 with Ashleigh Gardner (61) doing the bulk of the scoring. “In the field, I thought we were poor. we missed a lot of simple ground balls that nine times out of 10 we’d collect those. We can’t use the excuse that we haven’t played in a while,” Devine said.

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“We’ve got them in threatening positions and need to put the foot on the throat, to put it bluntly, but we know how good the Australian side is and depth they’ve got, and so as soon we leave the foot off the throat, they are going to take advantage of that. When we bowled in the good areas, we were able to get cheap wickets. Which is a good sign. Those poor deliveries let the pressure off and Australia took full advantage today.”

“We probably didn’t adapt to the condition well enough. I think we bowled along the wicket. We didn’t challenge the bat enough. I think the way Megan Schutt bowled and the way Australian spinners certainly was the template that we needed to follow. We didn’t do that, it’s frustrating,” she added.

“We built pressure with the ball, then we either let it off by poor balls or our fielding was poor and we let the pressure slip away and we know how dangerous the Australian side is. I think if we can build that pressure and put them under pressure longer periods of time, we are going to see some cracks tends to open up. We got to do better, at the end of the day we didn’t execute well, that’s why we are on the losing side.”

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Coming back from her maternity leave, Amy Satterthwaite became the second New Zealand player to play in 100 T20Is. Devine said it was awesome to have Satterthwaite back and expects her to do better in the coming matches. “It was a special day for Amy, bringing up her 100th T20 international match is obviously something Suzie Bates done before and with Lea Tahuhu in the side as well and their daughter Grace is in the stand watching was pretty special,” Devine said congratulating Satterthwaite on the achievement.

“When we started training, the girls spoke how it was awesome to have Satterthwaite back. We don’t have a great record with milestone games. She has been out of the international scene for close to 18 months and we are starting to get glimpses of what she can do, which is exciting from New Zealand’s point of view.”

During the Australian innings Nicola Carey was given not out on the field after seemingly edging one behind the wicket. Since there is no Decision Reviewing System (DRS) in the series it stayed as not out. Devine refused to blame the lack of DRS or the mistakes made by the umpires as the reason for their defeat.

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“If that technology is available across the series then absolutely. but we know there’s no DRS this series so we’ll just have to live with it, that’s the way it is. We have full trust and faith in the umpires. They are going to make mistakes, just like us players do too,” she said. “That’s part of the beauty of cricket is we are not robots and we can’t get it right all the time. We’ve just got to be better, can’t finger point anywhere but ourselves.”

“But you create your own luck, we didn’t deserve to win today. We can complain as much as you want about the umpires, but at the end of the day we didn’t play well enough and the Australian side was clinical and got the job done.

“We also know there’s an extreme cost that comes with and we all know the current situation that purse strings are probably a little bit tighter and we got to play on with it. We knew the situation going into the series, there is going to be no DRS. We have to play with it. We can’t go up in arms about it. We are certainly, we got to get on with the job. We can’t look at DRS to save our hinds,” added the allrounder.

New Zealand will face the hosts again in the second T20I on Sunday (September 27) and Devine urged the team to regroup faster and expected them to put on a better performance. “We got not a long time to turn it around. Exciting thing is we were only 17 run short and we were nowhere really our best. We are going to have a quick review and get back on before the game tomorrow,” Devine concluded.

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