Updated: February 8, 2020 5:00:45 pm
Virat Kohli-led Indian unit were handed a reality check by the Kiwis as they defeated the visitors twice in the span of three days to clinch the three-match ODI series. After completing their highest run-chase in ODIs in Hamilton on Wednesday, New Zealand sailed to a comfortable 22-run victory against the Men In Blue in Auckland on Saturday.
However, the Indian skipper seems unperturbed with the results as he feels the 50-over format is not much relevant in this calendar year as compared to the other two, Tests and T20Is, a reference to the upcoming T20 World Cup and the engrossing fight for World Test championship.
“These were two pretty good games, great for the fans. I am particularly impressed with how we finished the game. The first half we let things slip away. I think Saini and Jadeja showed great character but as I said one-day cricket in this calendar year is not as relevant like T20Is and Tests,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
The T20 World Cup will be held in Australia from October and the Indian team is not playing many ODIs this year. After India’s tour of New Zealand, the Men In Blue will lock horns with South Africa in a three-match ODI series, which will be the last in this year. The Kohli-led unit is also fighting for the World Test Championship title and they currently stand solid in the pole position.
Reflecting on the series, Kohli said that the team will certainly take positives from this series and also indicated a change in the playing XI is quite possible for the final encounter, which is a dead rubber.
“This was a game where we could have taken chances and capitalised. We didn’t know Saini can be as good with the bat. We want guys to figure out situations themselves. We could definitely consider changes, we have nothing to lose now,” the skipper said.
Meanwhile, debutant and man-of-the-match Kyle Jamieson, who scored crucial 25 runs while batting at number 11 and scalped two wickets, was overwhelmed by the win. “Bit of a high at the moment. Still kind of sinking it. The game kind of ebbed and flowed. It was pretty simple: we were just trying to get it through 50 overs. Just trying and stick with Ross (Taylor),” he said.
“Relief was the feeling to get the first wicket out of the way and not give too many runs. International cricket is quite high intensity, but it was pretty cool.”
New Zealand opener wicket-keeper batsman Tom Latham hailed it as a “great victory.”
“Last game the batters won the game, today the bowlers did the job. I think that total was okay, it was a funny wicket. We managed to take wickets upfront and the bowlers kept taking wickets. We’ve had some close games with India, delighted to get the win,” he said.
“Kyle on debut was fantastic. Delighted for him. It’ll be great to win 3-nil from here. Fingers crossed, and hopefully, we keep learning.”
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