Black Caps coach Gary Stead has laid all the blame on his batsmen for the side's latest Twenty20 loss to Australia.
After the team's second comprehensive loss to the tourists in a row, Stead said his top order had played negatively and failed to adapt to the conditions at Sky Stadium.
Earlier, the Black Caps bowlers had seemed to put the side in a winning position after restricting Australia to a seemingly below-average score of 156, albeit on a pitch that looked tricky to handle.
However, whatever demons Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson and Devon Conway sensed during the first innings came out in force to haunt them when they put on their gloves; as caution appeared to overrule all other strategies until a rearguard 30 from 18 balls from Kyle Jamieson.
"It's that intent to hit boundaries, get on the front foot and even running between wickets," Stead identified.
"I think in those situations when it is tough - and that was a very good score they had - then you have to try and get ahead of the game and ahead of the run-rate if you can.
"That provides a bit more of an opportunity for the middle order to figure out how to play it.
"The disappointing thing for me is, I don't think we really fired a shot at them and when Kyle came in and played the way he did it was too late, the game was already gone," he said. "We need to think about how we do that earlier."
Stead went on to imply that his batsmen needed to work harder when it came to preparing strategies to face each of the Australian bowlers on a pitch in Wellington that may be a harbinger for conditions at the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.
"We just need to get clear on the options we are going to play and how we are going to play each of their bowlers," Stead said. "You have to imagine spin will play a major part but in the big picture of things, it's good we get exposed to this now as we've got a World Cup further down the track.
"We are going to play on some wickets that are challenging and tough to play on - we have to get really clear on the way we are going to play."
The Black Caps will be back on the same ground, though this time in front of fans, for the series decider, which has been brought forward to midday, with the White Ferns' dead rubber against England following at 4pm.
Stead says he will be focused on the practical steps the side can take to plan accordingly for an improved performance.
"I thought we took a step backwards from where we had been in this series and there are some controllable things we can do better and I know we'll do better."