After a thrilling finish in the super over in the third T20I on Sunday, India captain Virat Kohli revealed he told coach Ravi Shastri that New Zealand probably deserved to win the match for the way Kane Williamson batted. Williamson registered his career-best T20I score of 95 from 48 deliveries but failed to get New Zealand over the finishing line when he lost his wicket to Mohammed Shami in the final over with two runs to win from three balls.
Kohli acknowledged Williamson’s brilliance with the bat but lauded Shami for leading the match into the super over.
“I thought we were gone at one stage. I told our coach that they probably deserved to finish the game off with the way Kane batted and the way he led from the front. We got a wicket at a crucial stage. Shami again, showed his experience and put a couple of balls outside the off-stump.”
“On the last ball, we had a discussion and we came to the conclusion that we had to hit the stumps because otherwise there is a single anyway and we are gonna lose the game. Shami went for it, got the wicket and the game turned on its head. In the super over, New Zealand again put pressure on us,” the 30-year-old said in the post-match press conference.
Speaking about the impact of Rohit Sharma in the super over and his clean-hitting on the last two deliveries.
“But Rohit was outstanding today, in the first half and in the super over. We knew, if he gets one hit, the bowler will be under pressure because he is such a clean striker of the cricket ball. Overall a top day for us and a beautiful game to be a part of.”
“When Shami bowled those two dot balls, I thought we could probably go to the super over, if we get a wicket. In the super over, the discussion was that New Zealand will be feeling the pressure as they let the game slip away. Kane came out and played a couple of brilliant shots against Bumrah who is one of the best death-over bowlers in World Cricket.”
“It was just a see-saw game. We will try to win 5-0. There are a couple of guys who are sitting out like Sundar and Saini, they deserve to get a game. The idea is to win the remaining two games,” Kohli added.
Rohit Sharma was named ‘Man of the Match’ for his 40-ball 65 followed by a 4-ball 15 in the super over. The opener was elated after his match-winning performance after registering two single-digit scores in the first two games of the five-match series.
“Never done that before (batting in Super Over). I didn’t know what to expect, whether to go from the first ball or just take a single, try and put pressure on the last three or four balls of the over. I just wanted to stay still and was waiting for the bowler to make a mistake (on the last two sixes). The pitch was good and I was trying to stay still, see what I could do. Good performance with the bat, little disappointed at having thrown my wicket away though, should have carried on for a while. Wanted to bat normally, I hadn’t got runs in the first two games, wanted to do well today. We knew we would win the series today if we win the match – in important games, the important players need to step up and get counted,” Rohit said.
— ً (@AmanCric19_) January 29, 2020
Kane Williamson was disappointed after New Zealand’s third loss in super over in six months.
“Super overs haven’t been too successful for us so we needed to be a little bit better to win it in regular time. A great game of cricket, India again showed their experience in crunch situations. It is a really important experience for us to take from and move on. We bowled well after they got off to a superb start. There was something in it for the bowlers but both sides maximised shorter side of the boundary towards the scoreboard and made a very good game of cricket. Very disappointing after coming off from an effort like that,” Williamson said.
“It was nice to spend some time in the middle and build some partnerships because starting on this deck wasn’t easy. It was disappointing not to cross the finishing line. It is a game of small margins. It was a much better performance from us. Eden Park was not bad, we spoke about getting 15-20 more and that’s a couple of good decisions away,” Williamson said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines