‘ODIs aren’t too relevant as T20Is and Tests this year’ - Virat Kohli after NZ series defeat
India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday stressed that the ODI format is not too relevant as compared to Tests and T20Is in 2020. Kohli’s remarks came after the Black Caps defeated India by 22 runs in the 2nd ODI at Eden Park in Auckland to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, the Indian skipper said: “ODIs aren’t too relevant this year compared to Tests and T20s, but to find people who can play that way under pressure is a big revelation for us and a big plus. We could consider changes in the final game, since we have nothing to lose now. We’ll play expressive cricket and not worry too much about the result.”
After electing to bowl first, New Zealand got off to a great start, with Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill scoring 93 runs for the first wicket. But the Kiwis middle-order fell apart, and they found themselves reeling at 197/8. Ross Taylor and Kyle Jamieson added 76 runs more to set a more-than competitive total of 274 for India to chase.
In reply, India’s top and middle-order struggled, and by the 28th over, the visitors found themselves at 129/6 with Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur in the middle. Late cameos from Shardul, Navdeep Saini and Jadeja, who hammered a half century, provided hopes to India, but in the end, it was not enough to save the match.
“Two good games, and it’s great for the fans. I’m impressed with how we finished. We let things slip away from 197/8 to 270+ in the first half but came back strongly with the second half of our batting. We were in trouble with the bat, but Saini and Jadeja played really well, as did Shreyas,” Kohli said.
Speaking on Saini and Shardul’s efforts towards the end, Kohli said: “It’s upto the individuals to fight till the end. We didn’t send them any messages, because those aren’t what your instincts are telling you to do. We didn’t know how good Saini could be with the bat, so if the lower order could be that good, then it inspires the middle order and the top order to step it up too.”
The 3rd ODI between India and New Zealand will be played at Bay Oval on Tuesday.