India captain Virat Kohli said that bowler-friendly conditions made his side “nervous” after losing the toss in the deciding Twenty20 International at Thiruvanantapuram on Tuesday. The hosts edged out New Zealand by six runs in the rain-hit contest to win the series 2-1.
India had beaten the Kiwis in One-day International series with the same scoreline too. “I think we were really happy to get a game. This crowd deserved to watch some action. Ever since the ODIs started, we expected them to give a good fight. We were nervous to start with the pitch being damp,” Kohli said, after India won the eight-overs-a-side contest.
India made 67/5 and in response, the Kiwis could only reach 61/6. Jasprit Bumrah once again starred with the ball, striking twice and bowling the crucial penultimate over of the game. He ended with superb figures of 2/9 in from his quota of two overs. “We thought if we can take the run-rate up, it would not be so easy. Rohit and MS [Dhoni] came up with Bumrah bowling the second last, and Hardik Pandya bowled the last over well.”
Kohli reflected on the funny side of the injury Pandya suffered while going for a return catch in the final over of the match, “When Hardik got hurt, I was thinking god forbid if I had to bowl the last four balls,” he said. “We have won a few on the trot and it makes us very proud. This stadium is beautiful, the outfield wonderful and the crowd made it special. I am surprised there were no games here earlier,” he added.
Williamson: It is a tough place to play
The Greenfield Stadium hosted its first ever international match. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson thought that India showed why they are one of the best teams in the world by winning the pressure games regularly. “It was a tricky surface and runs on board on that surface was handy. It came down to the couple of deliveries. [It was a] shame to not get across the line in this decider. As soon as you ran your fingers on the ball, it made life difficult,” said Williamson.
“In this part of the world, wickets can be flat. We showed good fight. You have to be on top of their game to win here, they are one of the best teams in the world. I think there have been number of strides forward for us. [It is a] fairly new group and it’s not easy, guys coming here for the first or second time. It’s a tough place to play,” he added.