16 Feb 2016

Black Caps were always playing catch up - McCullum

11:18 am on 16 February 2016

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum concedes his side was always on the back foot in their first-Test loss to the Australian cricketers.

Australian bowler Mitchell Marsh celebrates taken the final New Zealand wicket to win the first test.

Australian bowler Mitchell Marsh celebrates taken the final New Zealand wicket to win the first test. Photo: Photosport

New Zealand were thrashed by an innings and 52 runs in the match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

The skipper said Australia were exceptional from the moment they won the toss.

"It's one thing to win the toss on seamer friendly conditions but it's another thing to execute as well as what they did," McCullum said.

"I thought they were outstanding and from lunch time on the first day we were trying to play catch up and we were just never able to do it and in the end we were completely outplayed."

Australia's captain Steve Smith believed the old saying "catches win matches" and that went a long way to Australia's success in the first Test.

The first day was one of the better experiences he'd had on the cricket field, Smith said.

"It was one of those mornings I guess where there wasn't too many play and misses and they nicked most of the balls so it was nice to have one of those mornings but you still have to take your chances and I thought they guys caught really well in this test match."

Meanwhile Ross Taylor and Mitchell Santner have been ruled out of the second Test against Australia in Christchurch beginning on Saturday.

Having suffered a muscular tear in his left side against Pakistan, Taylor's recovery has not reached a point where he'll be fit to play.

Santner's right foot has also not healed to a level which would allow him to participate, after suffering bone bruising during the Chappell-Hadlee series.

Coach Mike Hesson said it was unfortunate for the pair to miss out.

"Everyone wants to play against Australia, so both guys are understandably disappointed to be missing out," said Hesson.

"The players and the medical staff worked hard to be available for the match, but in the end ran out of time.

"Ross is back hitting balls again and is targeting a return in the Island of Origin match before we head away to the ICC World Twenty20.

"Mitch is on track to be fit for the ICC World Twenty20 and we'll continue to monitor both players closely."

Mark Craig and Henry Nicholls will remain in the Black Caps squad for the second test.

Day four match report

New Zealand's tail order provided some entertainment for the spectators after lunch on the fourth day of the test, with an array of sixes and fours from Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

Their flamboyant shot selection didn't last long though, Southee went for 48 trying to slog Nathan Lyon over long-on while Boult was dismissed for 12.

Mark Craig was the last man standing for the Black Caps, unbeaten on 33.

Nathan Lyon did the majority of the damage for Australia with the ball, taking four wickets for 91 runs.

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