Cricket

NZ vs IND T20I: We need everyone to be the best version of themselves, says Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the fifth T20I against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on February 2, 2020.

Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the fifth T20I against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on February 2, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

India notched up a rare 5-0 whitewash over New Zealand with a seven-run win in the fifth and final T20I in Mount Maunganui.

India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday said he wants his players to be the “best version of themselves” in order to dominate world cricket in the coming years.

India notched up a rare 5-0 whitewash over New Zealand with a seven-run win in the fifth and final T20 International in Mount Maunganui.

 

“We need everyone to be the best versions of themselves. It is all about laying the vision in front of the boys, the way you think, prepare. The guys are taking notice of it and they realise that the team needs 120 percent from them every time,” Kohli said.

“Because only then you will find ways to win. That has been a massive change for us in the last two-three years. We have seen the results; we obviously won’t win everything and these victories give a lot more pleasure than the one-sided victories.”

With Kohli resting himself from the inconsequential final game, Rohit Sharma was the stand-in skipper, but the opener suffered a calf injury while batting and had to retire hurt.

In his absence, K L Rahul led the side to victory.

Heaping praise on the team at the presentation ceremony, Kohli said: “All of us are really proud of how we played. It’s about finding ways to win. Today, all these young guys were on the field after Rohit’s unfortunate injury and them coming together and handling the pressure.

“That gives me a lot of pleasure watching from the outside and they will take this momentum going forward for many years.”

Kohli also backed under-fire New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, saying he is the right man to lead the Black Caps despite the 0-5 drubbing.

“Kane and me have similar mindsets, similar philosophies. It is amazing that despite being from different parts of the world, we have similar thinkings and we speak the same language,” he said.

“Despite what the scoreline suggests, I feel that New Zealand cricket is in the best hands and he is the right guy to lead this team. He is the perfect, perfect man to lead them. I wish him the best of luck and power to lead this side in the future. They are a side everyone loves to watch and play against.”

It was the first time that New Zealand lost three or more matches in a bilateral T20I series at home. The hosts had gone down 0-2 to England back in February 2008.

New Zealand stand-in skipper Tim Southee said there wasn’t much difference between the two sides.

“It’s another close one, unfortunately on the wrong side again. If you give them a sniff, they take it with both hands. I don’t think it is a massive gap, the scoreline does suggest that, but we only need to do the smaller things better,” he said.

The two teams will next play a three-match ODI series beginning on February 5 and Southee hoped that the hosts will put up a better show with new players coming into the side.

“The ODIs are a different format, new personnel come in and it is a format where we have done well,” he said.

India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his three-wickets haul, said he always had the belief that a couple of good overs can change the complexion of the game.

“Feeling very good. The match got close at one point but we had belief that if we can squeeze in one or two good overs, the match can get close,” he said.

“It was windy, I was trying to use the wind and the longer side of the boundary. Very happy with the learnings, different ground dimensions, first time in New Zealand, great result.”

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 1:58:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-tour-of-new-zealand-new-zealand-vs-india-t20i-series-captain-virat-kohli-press-conference-after-5-0-win/article30719445.ece

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