A stunning comeback against Australia in the last ODI series at home. A brilliant start against New Zealand on the start of the T20 series on away soil. Team India is not only fulfilling the expectations, they are also conquering the hurdles in between. A 3 match ODI series, followed by flying to another country within three days- and snatching an amazing chasing victory, it has all been a major leap forward for Virat Kohli and the team.
Previously what felt like a hectic schedule for Virat Kohli, turned into savoury for the team, as the skipper himself said himself after today’s win in Auckland: “We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic… This sets up for the whole tour for us.”
As the hosts put up a total of 203 in the first innings, it was the stormy duo of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, along with Kohli’s own blasts that got the Men in Blues winning the match with 5 wickets remaining.
Kohli mentioned that the atmosphere at the Eden Park Stadium was perceived as home crowd, which turned out to be a big factor for chasing down a hefty target. The 31 year old continued: “Felt like 80 percent support was for us and the crowd was right behind us. You need that sort of push chasing 200 plus. We never spoke of the jet lag in the team. We didn’t want any excuse.”
While missing his half century by just 5 runs, Kohli is now the highest Indian run scorer against The Black Caps. Along with the captain’s 45-off-32, KL Rahul opened up with a stormy 56 runs from 27 balls, along with Shreyas who kept his strike till the end at a 29-ball-58. The latter was named the Man of the Match.
However, Kohli mentioned the contribution of India’s bowling squad for keeping a star stunned Kiwi batting order near 200, while Colin Munro, Ross Taylor the skipper Kane Williamson all putting up scores past 50s.
“You can’t be harsh on anyone on this kind of pitch. I think we did well in the middle overs, to restrict them under 210 was a good effort,” he added.
The second T20 match is on Sunday at Eden Park.