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India vs New Zealand: Kohli Praises India's 'Relentlessness' After Sealing Series

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was pleased with the 'relentlessness' shown by his side in the New Zealand series after the visitors claimed a dominating seven-wicket victory over the Blackcaps at Mount Maunganui on Monday and clinched the five-match ODI series after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Cricketnext Staff |January 30, 2019, 9:29 AM IST
India vs New Zealand: Kohli Praises India's 'Relentlessness' After Sealing Series

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was pleased with the 'relentlessness' shown by his side in the New Zealand series after the visitors claimed a dominating seven-wicket victory over the Blackcaps at Mount Maunganui on Monday and clinched the five-match ODI series after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead.

“Three clinical games for us. I couldn't have asked for a better performance after the first two clinical games," said the skipper at the post-match presentation.

“The relentlessness of the side is something that really pleases me. We really enjoy ourselves and the guys believe in their skills and they are showing it on the field. When a guy doesn't get runs in a couple of games, the opposition still feels that he's going to fire."

Kohli said that his team has hit the "auto mode" going into the 2019 World Cup and there aren't too many areas of concern for him at the moment. India are runaway favourites for the 50-over global tournament after dominating series wins in Australia and New Zealand.

"If you look at the last five games (two in Australia and three here), I have said that No 4 is a position that we are looking to solidify but when (Ambati) Rayudu starts playing like that, you start feeling more confident about the batting line-up," Kohli said at the post-match press conference.

"Dinesh (Karthik) is in great form as well, he can step in at any time if we need to shuffle the middle order, MS is hitting the ball really well, so I don't think after looking at the first three games, we have a lot to worry about," the skipper exuded confidence.

Speaking about his break from the remainder of the tour, the 30-year-old said that he’s looking forward to it.

“I haven't had a break for a long time. It's been a very hectic Australian tour and now I go on a break very happy after sealing the series. I can relax and enjoy my break.”

While he is delighted to have dominated the series so far, the skipper said that the performance in this series won't be an indicator as to how they will fare against the Kiwis when they face each other during the World Cup.

"Look New Zealand is a strong ODI side. When you play like this against them, it gives you a lot of confidence and when you play them next, it will give us a lot of confidence. That's usually how international cricket works."

However, it will depend on how the two teams will be placed before their face-off during the mega event.

"You might have an upper hand when you play them again but you never know what kind of confidence a team is carrying when it goes into the World Cup.

"If you play them in the first game of World Cup, then these things (series win) matters but if they have had a great tournament before they play us, the series is not a guarantee that we will have an upper hand against them in the World Cup," he said.

When quizzed about Shubman Gill, who is a part of India’s squad and could now get a look-in thanks to Kohli's departure from the squad, the skipper was all praise for the youngster.

“Shubman is a very exciting talent. When I saw him bat in the nets, I was like ‘wow’. I was not even 10 percent of that when I was 19!"

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami, who was awarded the player-of-the-match for his spell of 3-41, believed that sticking to their plans was the key for the bowlers’ performance on the night.

“It's really difficult to bowl against the wind. One comes with the wind and the other is against it. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) at the other end was also a great help. Sticking to areas where we want to bowl was the key.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said there was a lot his side could learn from the opposition.

“They are a very good side and they are teaching us a lesson. There are improvements today and we want to appreciate some of the lessons we have learnt from their side."

“The consistency about their plans and the way they forced some mistakes; we’ve got to be better than that. The margins are large in white-ball cricket but it does require a lot of improvement. I think everybody is wanting to contribute more.”

The fourth ODI takes place on Thursday (January 31).

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