Captain Virat Kohli rued disappointing fielding performances, as India fell to a three-nil ODI series defeat against New Zealand on Tuesday.
Losses in Hamilton, Auckland and Mount Maunganui amounted to only India's fourth whitewash in a series of three or more ODIs – and a first under Kohli's captaincy.
“The games are not as bad as the scoreline suggests. The first game, we were pretty much in the contest. Again, it boils down to the chances we didn't grab. And all three games, I thought, the way we fielded and the composure with the ball – I don't think that was enough to win games of cricket at the international level,” said Kohli.
Kohli reflects on ODI series whitewash
India dropped several catches throughout the series, which effectively undermined a sound showing in the preceding T20I series against the same opposition. India won those five consecutive T20Is before losing the three successive ODIs.
“With the ball we were not able to make enough breakthroughs. And in the field as well, we were not good at all. So we didn't deserve to be on the winning side at all in the series. Haven't played so badly, but if you don't grab your chances at this level then teams are going to hurt you,” added Kohli.
“We played really well in the T20 series, a bit more experience there. Here in the ODIs a couple of new guys still finding their feet at the international level, so a good experience for them.
“Obviously New Zealand were keen to come back and get few wins under their belt after the T20 series and they played with a lot more intensity than we did. And in the crunch moments they were better in the field, better with the ball and better with the bat as well. We didn't deserve to win because of the way we did not show enough composure under pressure and New Zealand did so. They deservedly won three-nil.”
NZ vs India Test series
New Zealand and India will soon contest two Tests. The first Test will start in Wellington on 21 February. Christchurch will host the second and final Test.
“I think because of the Championship, every Test match has that much more importance. As I said, Test cricket, T20 cricket – there's so many things to look forward to this year and the next year as well. We're very excited for the Test series now. We have a really good and balanced team in Test cricket and we definitely feel that we can win the series here. We have that kind of team, but we obviously need to step onto the park in the right kind of mindset,” concluded Kohli.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, meanwhile, praised fast bowler Kyle Jamieson. The tall right-armer impressed in the absence of the injured Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry.
“An outstanding start from Kyle. Obviously, he has been around the squad for a little period of time. To get the opportunity to bowl with the new ball and bowl really nicely, he's an exciting prospect. Coming in with that height does bring a point of difference – a great attacking weapon,” added Williamson.
“Expecting all of those guys to be fit for the first Test and they're all tracking nicely. So, yeah, it's an exciting opportunity, like I say, against one of the best sides in the world.”
Kohli and Williamson at IPL 2020
Kohli and Williamson will represent the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively, in the Indian Premier League later this year. RCB and SRH are priced at 8.00 and 5.00, respectively, by bet365 to win the 2020 IPL.