India captain Virat Kohli termed his team’s 3-0 Test series rout of New Zealand a proper team effort as a number of individuals contributed in one of the most emphatic series victories recorded by India in recent times.
Kohli was also happy that unlike some of the earlier occasions, “when the team failed to show character”, it was different with the bowlers responding beautifully.
“This is a proper team series win. It wasn’t just one individual. You can leave Ash (Man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series Ravichandran Ashwin) aside, he is not to be mentioned in the XI. Jadeja with the bat in the first game, Saha with the bat in the second (Test), Rohit with those crucial knocks,” Kohli said at the post-match media conference.
On a lighter vein, Kohli said that Ashwin seems to have “lost count of his Man of the Series awards but the team is keeping a count of his achievements”.
“We keenly follow his numbers, we discuss his Man of the Series awards after every series. No. 6, No 7. Credit to him I wish him well.”
What has pleased the Indian captain is the fact that every player is able to express himself.
“We made it clear that the bowlers deserve to be in this position and it’s time they express themselves. Don’t hesitate in playing your shots. If you see Pujara hitting a fast bowler back over his head, it is the best example of expressing yourself.”
Ashwin said:”It was a wicket where you had to work hard, be patient. there was a little bit of help outside the off stump, in terms of footmarks. Second innings, they helped us out with their shots. The reason we were slow was because he wanted to get them driving.
“There was not much bounce to get catches at short leg. I knew Boult was coming, and he’d give me footmarks, so I wanted them lunging out. I have to give special metion to Shami, Bhuvi and Umesh, they got us a lot of wickets with reverse swing and Jaddu is a perfect foil.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted that he knew the series was always going to be tough.
“That’s fair, we knew coming in, it was going to be tough. We wanted to show better cricket than we did, but full credit to India. They outplayed us in all areas and we have to weather these wounds,” Williamson says.
“I suppose in this match, we can look at a number of areas we didn’t do too well. India from the start outplayed us, getting such a big total. And we knew it would be a tough task batting on this pitch last. They’re No. 1 in the world, a fantastic effort,” Williamson said.
The Kiwi skipper termed New Zealand as one of the better bowling attacks in the world.
“The beauty of it is that we have a young side, and being exposed against the best bowling attack in the world is that we can learn. It’s a shame we haven’t done so quickly enough. It’s tough to swallow, but the opportunity to learn playing against some of the best bowlers in the world in these conditions is a big thing.”