The tight schedule that the Indian cricket team are following currently did raise a few eyebrows but captain Virat Kohli clarified that the team never discussed that and were firmly focused on beginning the New Zealand series with a bang.
On cue, the Indian team produced an emphatic performance at Eden Park in Auckland and won by 6 wickets as KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer smashed half-centuries in a chase of 204. India reached the target with an over to spare.
“We enjoyed this. Landing two days before and playing a game like this, it was fantastic. Felt like 80% support was for us and the crowd was right behind us. You need that sort of push chasing 200+. We never spoke of the jetlag in the team. We didn't want any excuse. We just focused on what we needed to do to win. We were looking forward to play,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Speaking about the performance of the team, the captain explained in conditions like these it would be difficult to pick faults. But Kohli did point out that India’s fielding could have been better.
“You can't be harsh on anyone on this kind of pitch. I think we did well in the middle overs, to restrict them under 210 was a good effort. I think fielding is one thing that we can improve on, just getting used to the ground dimensions and the ball snaking a bit.”
While Kohli and Rahul set-up the chase for India with a good partnership for the second wicket, it was Iyer who steadied the ship and then took control just as the hosts began clawing back.
“We had lost quick wickets and it was really important to build a partnership. We knew the ground is small and that we could cover the run rate at any time,” Iyer, who won the Player-of-the-match award for blistering knock, said.