India captain Virat Kohli once again praised his team for putting in a clinical performance as they registered a comfortable 90-run victory over New Zealand in the second ODI on Saturday.
“We had a par score but bowlers did a great job once again. Back-to-back clinical performances are pleasing for any captain,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation.
“I made a conscious effort to up the scoring after second drinks break. There are still things we have to sort out before the World Cup. Those 15-20 runs could have been crucial but we still reached a good score,” he added.
Kedar Jadhav, who came in down the order and chipped in with 22 off just 10 balls, was pleased that the middle-order got some time in the middle.
"Our top order has been in such good form and doing the bulk of scoring. No.5, 6 and 7 are not getting much time as a result. So the team decided to bat first. Shikhar and Rohit showed their class and then we had enough experience to take to 320-par score," Jadhav told the media after the second ODI.
The Maharashtra batsman highlighted the contribution of MS Dhoni, who remained unbeaten on 33-ball 48. "All our middle-order batsmen are in good touch. Mahi bhai staying till the last ball always helps. All the experience and power that Dhoni has, it helps us to work around him," Jadhav said about batting with Dhoni.
The spin duo of Kuldeep and Chahal also got the plaudits from the skipper,
“They always bowl to pick wickets and aren’t content with figures of 0/40, they would rather take one wicket and concede 60 runs,” said Kohli.
Jadhav was also full of praise for the two wrist spinners, saying, "Kuldeep and Chahal are our key assets in the middle overs. We as a team back them totally. They are two talented wrist spin bowlers. Most of the teams find it difficult to score against them and to score, they have to take risks."
Rohit Sharma was named man-of-the match and he also credited the bowlers for doing an impressive job,
“We thought 324 was about par score on this pitch. Last time when New Zealand and Sri Lanka played, it was a high scoring game. Credit to the bowlers for doing a fine job,” said Rohit.
Talking about batting with Dhawan, the vice-captain said that they enjoy a good camaraderie and know each other's game well which makes the job easier.
Asked if the players had started to think about making the 2019 World Cup squad, Jadhav said, "The best 15 will be selected for the World Cup. It doesn’t matter what I believe. Everyone is trying to put their best foot forward. When your are playing for India there is competition, you have to be at the best of your game."
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson meanwhile expressed his disappointment, saying it’s the way the team has lost which is the problem.
“It’s a little frustrating but credit to India. I felt 324 was a total that could have been chased down here. Our bowlers did well to keep them down to 320-odd but now it is important to focus on the small steps. If we had kept wickets in hand, we could have been in the chase but these are lessons that we need to learn going ahead,” said Williamson.