Who said what: Cricketing world reacts as India win a thriller to clinch the ODI series against New Zealand
Courtesy a brilliant 230-run stand between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India held their nerves to defeat New Zealand by six runs in Kanpur to seal the three-match ODI series 2-1. After being invited to bat first by Kane Williamson, Kohli slammed his 32nd ODI century (113), but not before his opener had completed a ton of his own. India, ultimately, set a target of 338 for New Zeland to chase.
Colin Munro then gave the visitors a swift start and added 75 runs and was involved in a 109-run partnership with skipper Williamson. Their stand was broken by a spirited Yuzvendra Chahal, who got them both in quick succession. Black Caps' hero from the first match, Tom Latham then built two crucial partnerships with Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls respectively before getting run-out. Subsequently, some wonderful death bowling from the duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar ensured India come out with a win.
Here's how the cricketing world reacted to the decider:
Virat Kohli (Man of the Series)
"Credit to NZ. They challenged us in all three games, and forced us to play our best in every game. Credit to the skill and character they possess. Congratulations to them for playing that way. I decided that I let the bowler do what he wants to do, and that's why I was calm. There was dew too, just glad the boys pulled through. To be fair to the bowlers: the wicket eased out nicely. The ball was coming onto the bat beautifully. Our last 15 overs, the bowling slowed down, so we were probably 25 runs short. It was difficult to get our shots away. But glad the bowlers came out on top: it was like a knock out game for us, and the boys showed their character. My aim is for the team to win the game and the series, and if I personally do well then it's an added bonus. (On the records) These things are hard to ignore since we keep hearing these, but the aim is to always make the team win from any situation."
"Fantastic series, some great cricket played and in good series. Credit to Kohli and team, they were the better team, although by just a little bit. Lots of promising signs from our end. Losing from this close is frustrating, but good signs. The surface was good throughout, and the team that played better on that day won the games in this series. But against these guys, you HAVE to be at your best to cross the line. Our middle order stood out: Tom Latham batted with such clarity, adapted and did the role so well. Henry Nicholls too, Ross batted well. Our seamers did well under difficult conditions. India played better cricket, and they deserve the win. Santner's a pretty good spinner, so it's a tough decision taking two specialist spinners."
Rohit Sharma (Man of the Match)
"Feels good when the team wins, and you contribute. Happy how we played through this series. NZ were very competitive, and it wasn't easy to come and win. We had to be at our best to win. I was watching the pre-match analysis where they said my head was falling off, so I worked slightly on it. That helped.
"My head was falling a bit, and wasn't coming into the line of the ball. The quickly you rectify, the better it is. I enjoyed playing today in Kanpur, have good memories personally, but not for the team. Good to change that. (On his 100 celebration) Every hundred is special, but what I was working on came off well, and that's why I was happy. Sanjay Bangar (batting coach) helped my work on some of these things, and that's when results are more pleasing."
Jasprit Bumrah 10-47-3
"I tried to stay calm. If you try to complicate, then lot of things happened. Stayed calm, and job was to execute. I should have probably gone to the stumps and broken it (on the Latham wicket), but decided to throw it down anyway. I don't think about these things (people's pressure ahead of the final over). I was just focusing on ball-by-ball and kept expectations of people away. I try to look at the batsman till the end, but decide what delivery to bowl just before the release. It was difficult to bowl because batting got easier thanks to the due. Bhuvi was fantastic last match, it's okay he had his off days. He contributed at the end. It's okay, it happens: cricket is a great leveller. Chahal was brilliant through this series, and even in the previous one."
Yuzvendra Chahal 10-47-2
"Whenever I bowled slow, it spun, so my intention was to vary my pace. I just wanted to make the left-handers drive. The dew factor made it very difficult to bowl. On this wicket, you need to flight the ball, so my job was to toss it up."
Tom Latham 65(52)
"The change of role was great. It's been a great series, played in great spirits. Coming over here is tough but for us it was to stay in the game as deep as possible. But again, they have quality seamers and it wasn't meant to be today. The score India posted was really good, and the fact that we got really close was good. The openers played well, and we probably left a little too much for the end. Great to be part of this series."