Captain Virat Kohli praised seamer Mohammed Shami and batsman Rohit Sharma, after India won Wednesday's third T20I against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton via a one-over eliminator.
India gathered a final total of 179 for five on the back of a half-century from opening batsman Rohit Sharma. New Zealand then climbed to 196 for six, thanks largely to 95 from captain Kane Williamson.
A single from batsman Ross Taylor would have won the match for the hosts. He, however, was bowled by seamer Mohammed Shami off the last delivery of regulation play.
The one-over eliminator ensued. India won it after Sharma struck successive sixes off the bowling of seamer Tim Southee.
What Kohli said
“I thought we were gone at one stage. I told our coach that they probably deserved to finish the game off with the way Kane batted and the way he led from the front. We got a wicket at a crucial stage. Shami again, showed his experience and put a couple of balls outside the off-stump. On the last ball, we had a discussion and we came to a conclusion that we had to hit the stumps because otherwise there is a single anyway and we are going to lose the game,” said Kohli.
“Shami went for it, got the wicket and the game turned on its head. In the super over, New Zealand again put pressure on us. But Rohit was outstanding, in the first half and in the super over. We knew, if he gets one hit, the bowler will be under pressure because he is such a clean striker of the cricket ball.
”Overall a top day for us and a beautiful game to be a part of. Kane came out and played a couple of brilliant shots against Jasprit Bumrah, who is one of the best death over bowlers in world cricket. It was just a see-saw game.”
Kohli suggested India, who have an unassailable three-nil series lead, will make changes to the XI for the fourth and fifth T20Is. They have spinner Washington Sundar and Navdeep Saini available.
“We will try to win five-nil. There are a couple of guys who are sitting out like Sundar and Saini – they deserve to get a game. The idea is to win the remaining two games,” added Kohli.
The fourth and fifth T20I will be played on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Bet365 have New Zealand and India priced at 2.37 and 1.57, respectively, to win the fourth T20I in Wellington.