India captain Rohit Sharma on Sunday said that the side was looking to challenge themselves after a tough game in Hamilton where they were bowled out for 92. The men in blue pulled off a 35-run win in Wellington in the 5th ODI on Sunday, to take a 4-1 series win, their biggest ever in New Zealand. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Sharma said: “After the Hamilton loss, the way we lost was big. We need to get together as a team. After we lost four wickets, all we needed was somebody to show application. The partnership between Rayudu and Vijay Shankar turned the game for us.”
Sharma added that his side would have chased if the series was alive. “I knew there was some moisture on the pitch. If the series was alive, we would have chased. We wanted to test ourselves today. I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.
Speaking on the bowling efforts from India, Sharma said that the bowlers applied themselves when the wicket went flat. “The wicket got flat at the end, but at one point it looked an easy chase, but the bowling unit came together. Lot of people put their hands up and got us through,” he said.
He further added: “I couldn’t ask for more. The partnership from Rayudu and Shankar was crucial. When you want to win games, you need a right balance, especially when Bumrah is not here. Coming here and beating NZ at home is never easy and they are a good travelling team as well. 4-1 is a great achievement.”
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said that his side kept losing wickets at regular intervals which, in turn, hurt their chances. “First of all a different surface. They got to a par total, maybe a few more. We knew it would be tricky, but we did not take it further. We just lost wickets at the wrong time. They did it very well,” he said.
He further credited India for keeping their nerves together in tense situations. “Rayudu played well with 90 and did not score for a long time. Then they put the pressure back on us – it’s a lesson for us. Their accuracy was great. Tommy Latham and me could have taken it further. Credit to India, they showed us a lesson and they deserve the series win. I suppose as batsmen we need to soak that pressure up and take those decisions. Thoughout the series, they got us under more pressure. We were able to revert the pressure but not long enough and often enough,” he said.