Mount Maunganui: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was all praise for his side who sealed a 3-0 series whitewash over India on Tuesday.
The Kiwis beat India by five wickets in the third ODI at Mount Maunganui and condemned India to their first bilateral ODI series whitewash in 31 years.
”An outstanding performance. Very clinical – India put us under pressure, but the way the guys fought back with the ball and kept them to a par total,” said Williamson in the post-match presentation ceremony.
India were seemingly racing towards a score close to 350 with Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul going big guns. But New Zealand put the breaks on the Indian innings in the last four overs.
Openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls’ 106-run partnership provided a foundation on which the batsmen after them built the successful run chase.
”The cricket smarts in the second half was outstanding to see,” said Williamson.
”We know how good they are at all formats, but for us the clarity about the roles the guys had was the most important thing. The ODI side will be taking this momentum into the Australia series. Outstanding effort against a brilliant India side.”
Meanwhile Indian skipper Virat Kohli blamed the team’s lack of composure while bowling and fielding for defeat.
”The games were not as bad as the scoreline suggests. Batsmen coming back from tough situations was a positive sign for us, but the way we fielded and bowled, the composure wasn’t enough to win games. We didn’t deserve to be on the winning side at all in this series,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
”We haven’t played so badly, but we didn’t grab opportunities. It was a good experience for the new guys who came in. They are still finding their feet,” he added talking about the opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal who played in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan who are out injured.
Kohli conceded that the hosts were the better team and deserved to win 3-0. He also said India are now looking forward to the two-match Test series starting February 21 in Wellington.
”They (New Zealand) played with lot more intensity than we did. They deservedly won 3-0. We are excited for the Test series. We now have a balanced team. We feel we can win the series, but we need to step out on the park with the right kind of mindset.”