Before the start of India’s T20I series against New Zealand, India captain Virat Kohli had ruled out the prospect of looking at it as a chance to exact revenge for the World Cup semi-final defeat last year.
“Honestly, even if you want to think of revenge, these guys are so nice, you can’t get into that zone,” Kohli had said before elaborating, “They are probably the side that has set the right example for teams to play at the international level and how they should carry themselves.”
What Kohli was essentially talking about was the camaraderie and mutual respect which India and New Zealand teams share for each other, extending beyond the boundary ropes.
In the fifth and final T20I at Bay Oval on Sunday, neither Virat Kohli nor Kane Williamson was playing. While Kohli was rested Williamson missed the game due to a shoulder injury.
However, both the superstars gave the fans a glimpse of themselves on the field and won the hearts of almost each and every cricket fan by sitting together outside the boundary and chatting to each other.
Reflecting on his conversation with the Kiwi skipper, Kohli in the post-match presentation said: “Kane and I have similar mindsets, similar philosophies. It is amazing that despite being from different parts of the world, we have similar thinking and we speak the same language.”
“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.
Meanwhile, riding on Rohit’s Sharma 60 off 41, and Jasprit Bumrah’s clinical 3/12 in four overs, the Men In Blue secured a seven-run victory over New Zealand in the final encounter of the series.
Overwhelmed with the team spirit, Kohli said: “I think the conversation we had was to always look to find ways to win. When it comes out, it feels nice.”
“You don’t want to see what happened to Rohit, but there were all these young guys playing well 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,” the Indian skipper added.
He also mentioned that the team requires more than 100 percent from the entire squad as it helps you find new ways to win, irrespective of the situation.
“Basically 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 realize that the team needs 120% from them every time. Because only then you will find ways to win,” Kohli said.
“That has been a massive change for us in the last two-three years,” he added.
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