India won the third ODI against New Zealand by 7 wickets on January 28 and took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the ongoing series.
Mohammed Shami was adjudged the player of the match for his brilliant spell of 9-0-41-3.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to rest Virat Kohli for the last two ODIs and the T20I series in the ongoing New Zealand tour.
Now that India have won the ODI series, Kohli can go into his much-needed break happily. Meanwhile, during the post-match interview, Kohli indirectly hinted at the batsman who could come in as his replacement for the final two ODIs.
Talking about the team’s current combination, Kohli said, “Three clinical games for us. Couldn’t have asked for a better performance after the first two clinical games. The relentlessness of the side is something that really pleases me. We really enjoy ourselves and even at the end when Rayudu and Karthik were batting, we were sitting in the change room and cheering for every run.
That’s how the environment in the dressing room is. 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, he’s actually hungry to score runs and the opposition feels a bit nervous because he’s gonna fire at some stage. So, that’s the kind of confidence we carry in the team right now; in the batting department as well as the bowling department.”
Speaking about the youngsters in the squad, Kohli said, “I think there are some outstanding talents. We saw Prithvi Shaw grab the opportunity with both hands. Shubman (Gill) is a very exciting talent and I saw him bat in the nets and I was like wow I was not even ten percent of that when I was 19.
So, that’s the confidence that they carry and it’s great for Indian cricket, the standard keeps going up and the guys coming in can make those impact performances straightaway. And, we are more than happy to give them chances and provide them the space to grow,” Kohli hinted that Shubman might make his India debut on Thursday (January 31).
The final two ODIs will be played on Thursday and Sunday (February 3) in Auckland and Hamilton respectively.