Giles savours NZ success
Ashley Giles can reflect with pride after going one better as an England coach than he managed in his playing days, by winning a one-day international series in New Zealand.
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Limited-overs success eluded Giles here 11 years ago, but as England's new coach in the shorter formats he added a 2-1 ODI victory to the same favourable scoreline in the preceding Twenty20 series.
A five-wicket success at Eden Park on Saturday completed England's comeback, after they had gone 1-0 down in Hamilton but levelled up in Napier.
Giles said: "It's a very proud moment
"I played here in 2002, and we got beaten."
Back-to-back series wins in New Zealand followed a one-day series defeat, albeit by a respectable margin, in India last month at the start of Giles' tenure and he is already encouraged for the future, including this summer's Champions Trophy.
"We always knew India would be a difficult challenge. (Losing) 3-2, you can't say it was a good result, but it's better than (ODI) results of late there.
"There were some positive signs from a side that probably didn't have our most senior players in it.
"Coming here, we knew New Zealand would be very difficult to beat, on their home soil.
"They like to play it up that they're always the underdogs, even here.
"But they play a very tough form of cricket, and have some very good cricketers.
"So to win both series is great for me, and the team have worked very hard as well."
Steven Finn and James Anderson's new-ball bowling has been a telling asset in England's victories.
"To have gone 1-0 down in this series and come back and win it is very impressive," added Giles.
"The performances, particularly with the ball in the last two games, have been outstanding."
Finn and Anderson will surely continue to serve their country well, and Giles senses they will be a major asset when England take on the world at home next summer.
"Steven Finn, in this last match, was fantastic," he said.
"He and Anderson are going to be a handful."
New Zealand will field at least one Test debutant against England in Dunedin after picking an initial 12-man squad including uncapped trio Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham and Bruce Martin.
They will add an extra fast bowler after the conclusion of this week's four-day match between a New Zealand XI and the tourists in Queenstown, where Luke Ronchi will miss out because of a hamstring strain.
BJ Watling will take on Ronchi's wicketkeeping duties, and young batsman Latham will captain the side.