Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his New Zealand counterpart John Key on Wednesday used cricket terminology to emphasise the cordial relations between the two countries.
Addressing a joint press conference here, Modi referred to the fourth One-Day International, being played in Ranchi in Jharkhand on Wednesday between India and New Zealand, and likened the growing mutual ties to “aggressive batting”.
“In many ways, some of the cricketing terminology reflects the progress in our bilateral linkages. In our ties, we have moved from fielding at ‘long off’ to taking a fresh guard at the batting pitch. Defensive play has given way to aggressive batting,” said Modi.
Key too invoked cricketing ties between the two countries and pointed to former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum who turned out for Indian Premier League team Gujarat Lions from Modi’s home state.
“You were kind enough to talk about the cricket matches being played in India but gracious enough not to talk about the fact that India has been triumphing over New Zealand,” said Key with a chuckle.
“We are, of course, trying to build as warm and as close a relationship with India as we can. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum is now playing for Gujarat. So, we are truly committed to the relationship between New Zealand and India,” added the visiting Prime Minister.