New Zealand opener Henry Nicholls lavished praise on experienced campaigner Ross Taylor for his masterly hundred in the first ODI that helped the hosts beat India, saying his presence at the crease and the conversations helped him.
Riding Taylor's 21st ton, the Kiwis gunned down India's mammoth 347/6 to win by four wickets with 11 balls to spare in Hamilton on Wednesday. This was New Zealand's highest-ever run chase The second ODI will be played in Auckland on Saturday.
"Having someone like that at number four, especially with Kane Williamson not being there as well, the experience he brings is immense. It is not just about the runs, because batting with him in the middle, you keep having those conversations that help your batting too," Nicholls said here on Thursday.
Taylor smashed an unbeaten 109, with Tom Latham scoring 69 off 48 balls and Nicholls scoring 78.
"The dimensions of the ground helped us and he certainly likes batting there. It was a great partnership and great knock from him. Ross being there till the end to be not out and win the game was immense for us," he said.
On Lathham's knock, he said: "Tom and I have played together for a long time, so I have certainly seen him play like that before. He is very versatile and adaptive to the game scenario and conditions. The way he started, well it was slow, 2 off 10 balls or something.
"But he managed to put the pressure back on Kuldeep (Yadav) and their other spinners. Being captain he led from the front and that partnership changed the game for us," said Nicholls.
Nicholls said their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of India in the T20I series did not have any bearing going into the one dayers.
"We didn't feel it as part of the group coming in. So I wasn't feeling any pressure and there is no need to prove anything. It was a small ground and a big chase, so it was nice we were able to do that," Nicholls said.
"It was great, our biggest chase ever in ODI cricket and it was good to be able to contribute in it. In the past, playing India in India, we have had a couple of chases around the 300-mark and others we got close to. It was nice to do that again at home, and to actually win the game, it was great," he added.