Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, on Tuesday, played down India suffering a series-whitewash against New Zealand after suffering a five-wicket loss at Mount Maunganui. The Black Caps won the third One-day International by five wickets to complete a 3-0 clean sweep.

“Overall, if you see it is just the fourth or fifth series loss in the last 4-5 years,” Chahal said after the match. “The other team is also here to play. You cannot win every match. We have won one series, lost the other; so it is not something too serious to ponder over.”

He said the youngsters will learn a lot from the experience of playing in New Zealand. “Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal came into the side, so youngsters got to play outside India. It is not easy to play in New Zealand. But overall, if we see, it is just an ODI series. We did win the T20 series 5-0, first time, that’s a positive for us as well,” added Chahal.

KL Rahul scored his fourth ODI hundred while Shreyas Iyer also scored a half-century to propel India to 296/7. Chahal appreciated their efforts.

“You can see the confidence in them,” Chahal said. “They are 25-26 years old and batting with maturity. They understand the situation well. It is not easy to bat in the middle overs especially when the spinners are bowling. Rahul has also batted up the order at times. So, it shows the maturity that he knows what the team needs.”

Chahal, like his captain Virat Kohli, admitted that fielding is a concern for India. “They have played quite extraordinarily in this series. So we need to appreciate that. Poor fielding happens at times. Once in 10 series it happens, we have time until the next ODI series. We have seen what are the shortcomings and we have enough time to work on it before the next series,” he said.

When asked why he and Kuldeep Yadav have not played together since the World Cup, he said, “Ravindra Jadeja is playing extraordinarily well, whether it is batting or bowling or fielding. So, I play half the matches and Kuldeep plays half the matches. [The team management’s] main motive is to do what is best for the team. In Asia Cup all three of us have played together as well. If wickets allow that, maybe all of us will play together again.”

The leg spinner did finish with 3/47 in his ten overs, and his regular strikes created a chance for India to win. He bowled Martin Guptill with a beauty, but was taken off the attack every time he took a wicket. Chahal defended it as a ploy.

“Guptill’s dismissal was one of my best deliveries. Before that, I was getting a lot of drift as well and hit their pads. I came from an angle and didn’t know it would turn so much but I was bowling in my strong areas.

“Short spell was part of our plan. Jadeja also has to bowl and we are only two spinners. So our effort is to take the wickets and when I got it, the idea was to save 2-3 overs for the end and make chances for taking wickets,” the 29-year-old said.

Chahal denied that a heavy workload – which included eight limited-overs matches in a span of 22 days after a hectic home season – played a part in India’s series defeat. “The main exertion happened in T20s (sic). We didn’t care much about jetlag etc, and got on the park to play. We gave 100 per cent in every game. We are professional cricketers so we didn’t think much about it,” Chahal said.