Recalled New Zealand seamer Hamish Bennett says claiming the scalp of Virat Kohli helped maintain the belief he could play for New Zealand again.
Bennett is back in the Black Caps’ T20I squad after a three-year international absence.
He is now pushing to be involved as New Zealand welcome India to Auckland on Friday for the first of a five-game T20I series.
Hosts New Zealand are available at 2.63 (11/8) with bet365 to start with a win.
India, meanwhile, are favourites to take an early lead in the series. They can be backed at 1.50 (1/2) to get the win at Eden Park.
Bennett says he never lost hope that he’d be recalled for this country.
“I’d never given up on playing for New Zealand. I don’t think anyone does,’’ Bennett told NZC.
“You just have to keep plugging away. For me, I just enjoy playing cricket. I don’t live and die by New Zealand selections, but I’m still trying to be the best cricketer I can be.’’
Getting Kohli out was a big moment for Bennett
Bennett believes claiming the wicket of India superstar Virat Kohli in 2014 has played a big part in his continued belief that his international career wasn’t over.
He featured in the tied ODI between the teams in 2014 and had Kohli caught behind for six.
“Whenever I doubted myself, or was injured, you go back and look at past performances and know you are good enough,” he said.
“Little things you hold onto through your career which give you belief to carry on.’’
On selection of older players, the 31-year-old added: “It should be that if you’re good enough, then you’re good enough, and the advantage of picking older guys is they know their game.
“We might go rotten a little faster than some of the other fruit on the shelf but at least we know our game, we back ourselves and should be confident because we know our skill sets.’’
He also highlighted the past selection of Will Somerville for the Black Caps at 34.
“Will went to the New Zealand Academy in 2005. We’re good friends. His selection definitely gave me some hope as well.
“But he knows his game and whenever he’s played he’s performed pretty well.”