A delighted Indian skipper Virat Kohli said they always look to find ways to win and it was pleasing to see that come off as the men in blue scripted a 5-0 whitewash over New Zealand after winning the fifth T20I here on Sunday.
“All of us are really proud of the way we’ve played this series. I think the conversation we had was to always look to find ways to win. When it comes out, it feels nice,” Kohli said after the match.
Indian pacers led by Jasprit Bumrah fired in unison to help India script an unprecedented 5-0 series whitewash with a seven-run victory against New Zealand in the fifth and final T20I here on Sunday.
With the series already in the bag after they won the first four matches of the five-match series, Kohli decided to rest in the final game with deputy Rohit Sharma leading the charge.
India, electing to bat first, rode Rohit’s fifty to post 163/3 in 20 overs.
Rohit had to retire hurt on 60 off 41 deliveries (3×3, 3×3) after he suffered from cramps and initially decided to continue, only to soon realise he can no longer run. He did not come out to field with K.L. Rahul taking over the captaincy role.
Chasing 164 for victory, New Zealand could manage 156/9 in 20 overs despite hitting Shivam Dube for 34 runs in one over.
Indian pace trio of Bumrah, who returned magical figures of 3/12, Navdeep Saini (2/23) and Shardul Thakur (2/38) restricted the hosts and finally took India over the line.
“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,” said Kohli.
Asked what is his conversation with the team, he said: “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. That has been a massive change for us in the last two-three years.
“We have seen the results; we obviously won’t win everything and these victories give a lot more pleasure than the one-sided victories.”
India will now train their focus on the three-match ODI series starting from February 5 in Hamilton.