After the 5-0 drubbing in the T20I series, New Zealand showed immense mental fortitude and character to bounce back and complete a whitewash of their own against India in the ODI series, as the hosts defeated Virat Kohli’s side by five wickets in the final encounter at Mount Maunganui.
Kane Williamson returned to the starting eleven after recovering from a shoulder injury and put India in to bat first. The visitors put up a respectable total of 297 on the board but the Kiwis chased the target easily and completed an emphatic series triumph against the Men in Blue.
Kohli admitted in his post-match press conference that even though the final scoreline wasn’t indicative of how good the games were, his side’s overall performance in the batting, bowling and fielding department didn’t warrant a series victory and that the Black Caps were deserved winners in the end.
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The skipper also bemoaned India's lack of intensity throughout the ODI series and praised New Zealand for the vigour they exhibited in all three games.
“The games were not as bad as the scoreline suggests. Batsmen coming back from tough situations was a positive sign for us, but the way we fielded and bowled, the composure wasn't enough to win games,” Kohli said.
“We didn't deserve to be on the winning side at all this series. Haven't played so badly, but we didn't grab opportunities.
"It was a good experience for the new guys who came in. They are still finding their feet. They (New Zealand) played with lot more intensity than we did. They deservedly won 3-0.”
Kohli stated that the Indian unit is pretty balanced heading into the Test series which begins on 21st February. The 31-year-old believes it is imperative for the Indian camp to approach the Test matches with the right mindset after a humiliating ODI series defeat and also went on to say that there’s plenty of confidence in the squad to emerge victorious.
“We are excited for the Test series. We now have a balanced team. We feel we can win the series, but we need to step out on the park with the right kind of mindset,” Kohli concluded.Published 11 Feb 2020, 15:58 IST