Jhye Richardson has refused to blame the two-week quarantine for Australia’s disastrous 53-run loss to New Zealand in the opening Twenty20 yesterday.
Australia’s new-look Twenty20 outfit conceded a good start, with New Zealand teetering early at 3-19, to record their biggest defeat in 10 meetings with the Black Caps after being bowled out for 131 in their chase of 5-184.
Richardson, who was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 2-31 from his four overs, would not be drawn into speculation that their stint in a hotel was to blame for the performance.
“Absolutely no excuses in regards to the quarantine,” Richardson told SEN.
“We were able to get out and train a few hours a day and we were really confident with the way we went about our preparation.
“I think everyone was really confident going into the first game knowing that they’ve honed in on our skills and practised enough and got what they needed to feel right.
“We just didn’t get it right last night and we know that T20 is such a fickle game that if you’re off by a few per cent, things can go very poorly for you.”
Despite ex-South African Devon Conway blasting an unbeaten 99 to save the Black Caps’ innings , Richardson said the Australians were always confident of chasing down the total.
“We knew the ball was going to swing regardless, it probably just swung for a little bit longer than expected,” he said.
“From a bowling point of view I actually thought the wicket got a little bit better, so we we’re confident in chasing 180-odd.
“We thought with the ground dimensions and a bit of dew coming in, making the wicket sort of skid on a little bit more and the outfield being unbelievably quick, we probably thought 180 was par.
“We didn’t get off to the start we would’ve liked, but going into the batting innings we were definitely confident.”
Richardson said the Australians needed to put that performance behind them now and look towards the next of the five-game series.
“Teams are allowed to play well, batters are allowed to bat well,” he said.
“I think the takings out of last night, we’ve still got four games to go and whilst last night wasn’t our greatest performance, we all know that, everyone knows that.
“We’ve got to move forward pretty quickly and concentrate on the next game. Credit to New Zealand, they played fantastically, we didn’t have a great day, but the beauty of that is there’s more games to go and we can bounce back.”
Australia face New Zealand next on Thursday at Dunedin.