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Hectic schedule, time away from home taking a toll on Kiwis: McCullum

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Auckland, Nov 22 (IANS) Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has partly blamed the hectic schedule for the Black Caps’ 3-0 T20I series loss to India, saying that while it was frustrating to lose in such a manner, it was more on account of players being away from home for far too long.

New Zealand lost the third and final T20I against the Rohit Sharma-led India in Kolkata on Sunday to add to the defeats they suffered in Jaipur and Ranchi.

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The Black Caps were bowled out for 111 at the Eden Gardens as they were nowhere near India’s 184, with Martin Guptill hitting a half-century and Mitchell Santner taking three wickets.

“The Blackcaps were a bit frustrating, but it’s a tough schedule for them to bounce straight out of a (T20) World Cup Final and then head over to India and take on a team over there, but they’ll be disappointed with their return no doubt,” McCullum told SENZ Breakfast on Monday.

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The New Zealand team, after finishing their T20 World Cup assignment in the UAE where they lost to Australia in the final, flew straight to Jaipur the next morning, and less than two days later they were playing the three-match T20I series against India.

While praising Guptill’s knock, McCullum also said that not many in the team gave him support in the series.

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“Not many guys actually put up their hand to be honest. Probably only (Martin) Guptill, was probably the only one who will walk away from that tour really content that he sort of made a fist of the conditions.”

New Zealand have been away from home for six weeks and, with the two Tests against India coming up in Kanpur and Mumbai, it’ll be two more weeks before they head back.

“It’s not always easy (to be away from home), I understand that. If I look at the Black Caps, I actually think they looked a little fatigued as well and their performances over the last couple of days. Your mind is a bit fried, you’ve been away for a long time, you’re just struggling to deal with the pressures and the time on the road and you haven’t been able to cope accordingly. There’s that aspect or then there’s the aspect of where you’re literally just done, you need to get home, you need to spend some time with your loved ones, but it’s just part of the game,” added McCullum.

–IANS

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