Team India coped a 3-0 clean sweep at the hands of New Zealand after losing the final ODI by five wickets in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday (February 11).
Sent into bat, India posted 296/7 in 50 overs on the back of KL Rahul’s third ODI century (112 off 113 balls) and Shreyas Iyer’s measured 63-ball 62.
In reply, New Zealand rode on Henry Nicholls’ 103-ball 88 and significant contributions from Martin Guptill (66 off 46 balls), Colin de Grandhomme (58* off 28 balls) and Tom Latham (32* off 34 balls) to cross the finishing line with 17 balls to spare.
Addressing the post-match press conference, India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal played down the rare series whitewash the Black Caps inflicted on them.
“Overall, if you see it is just the fourth or fifth series loss in the last 4-5 years. The other team is also here to play. You cannot win every match. We have won one series, lost the other, so it is not something too serious to ponder over,” Chahal told reporters.
He said the youngsters will learn a lot from the experience of playing in New Zealand.
“Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal came into the side, so youngsters got to play outside India. It is not easy to play in New Zealand. But overall if we see, it is just an ODI series. We did win the T20 series 5-0, first time, that’s a positive for us as well,” the leggie added.
Chahal also appreciated the efforts of Rahul and Iyer with the willow.
“You can see the confidence in them. They are 25-26 years old and batting with maturity. They understand the situation well. It is not easy to bat in the middle overs especially when the spinners are bowling. Rahul has also batted up the order at times. So, it shows the maturity that he knows what the team needs,” he said.
Chahal was all praise for the hosts and acknowledged that India’s fielding was below-par throughout the series.
“They have played quite extraordinarily in this series. So we need to appreciate that. Poor fielding happens at times. Once in 10 series it happens, we have time until the next ODI series. We have seen what are the shortcomings and we have enough time to work on it before the next series,” he remarked.
Asked why he and Kuldeep Yadav have not played together since the 2019 World Cup, Chahal said, “Ravindra Jadeja is playing extraordinarily well, whether it is batting or bowling or fielding. So, I play half the matches and Kuldeep plays half the matches.”
“Main motive is to do what is best for the team. In Asia Cup all three of us have played together as well. If wickets allow that, maybe all of us will play together again.”
(With PTI inputs)