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Kiwis aim to leave with heads held high

New Zealand have got over their stagefright and aim to leave Australia with their heads held high after the historic day-night third Test this week, skipper Brendon McCullum said on Thursday. 

McCullum admitted the Black Caps were struck by nerves as they went down by 208 runs in the Brisbane series opener, but he said they were back on track after forcing a high-scoring draw in Perth. The Kiwis get their chance to draw the three-match series if they beat the Australians in the pink-ball Adelaide Test, starting Friday.  McCullum said his team could leave with plenty of respect if they chalked up a win in the first-ever day-night Test, which has caught the imagination of Australian and international cricket fans.

“We were a bit nervous at the start of this series to be honest,” he said.  “We don’t often get the opportunity to play in such a big series and test ourselves against the best over a long period of time. “We walked into this Test series as well prepared as we thought we could be but just a little bit nervous and I think that affected the way we were able to execute our skills.

“Credit to Australia. They put us under a lot of pressure early on. It was a combination of us not being quite at our best and Australia playing really well.”  McCullum said the pendulum has swung since the second day in Perth, when Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson scored big centuries in a massive first innings total of 624. 
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