When India slumped to 18 for 4 in the fifth and final One-Day International on Friday (February 3) skipper Rohit Sharma revealed that he felt like the ghost of the previous encounter might again come back to haunt the team. In the only match that they lost in the five-match series, India were bowled out for mere 92 runs.
However, such was not the case in the fifth ODI as Ambati Rayudu (90), Vijay Shankar (45), Vijay Shankar (34) and Hardik Pandya (45) pushed India to a total of 252 in Wellington. Bowlers then took over the charge and dismissed the home side for 217 in 44.2 overs.
"The kind of cricket New Zealand have played in the last two years, it was never going to be easy for us but our guys really performed well," Rohit told Yuzvendra Chahal in the new episode of Chahal TV.
"Today we lost four wickets for 18 runs and I thought it would be a replica of the fourth ODI, but how good Rayudu and Vijay Shankar played. We want our batsmen to step up in these kinds of situations and the way Rayudu batted was good for his and team's confidence. Their partnership was really important for us. And then the way Hardik and Kedar finished it for us, or else we wouldn't have managed this 250-run score."
It was 10 years ago in 2009 when India won the five-match ODI series 3-1 in New Zealand, comparing this victory to a historic triumph, Rohit said: "We had a different team in 2009 and this is a different team. But defeating New Zealand in their own backyard is not easy. When we won in 2009, New Zealand had a very strong team and they usually play well in home conditions."
In the match that India lost in this series, Chahal top-scored with 18 runs and Rohit said he will talk to the head coach Ravi Shastri regarding promoting the leg-spinner to the No. 3 spot in the forthcoming T20I series.
"You were our top scorer in the last match that we lost but I want you to be our top scorer in the game that we win. I will talk to Ravi bhai if we can send you at No. 3 in T20Is but prepare yourself for Lockie Ferguson," he joked.
* Chahal earlier wanted MS Dhoni to appear in his show but the former Indian skipper was having none of it and ran away to the dressing room, leaving everyone in splits.
pic.twitter.com/msk6z3ynaX— Dhoni Fan (@WastingBalls) February 3, 2019