Virat Kohli terms Napier ODI victory as the 'most balanced performance'

India vs New Zealand 2019: It Was One of Our Most Balanced Performances – Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, New Zealand, India
Virat Kohli heaps praise on bowlers. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

As India clinched the first One-day International (ODI) of the Netmeds five-match series by eight wickets on Wednesday (January 23) at the McLean Park in Napier, the skipper Virat Kohli has expressed an excitement while heaping praise on the bowlers. He added it was the prominent performance from the unit.

“It was one of our most balanced performances. With the ball, couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Kohli told Simon Doull during a post-match presentation.

The visitors chased down the target in 34.5 overs after the target was revised to 156 in 49 overs due to the sun outrage.

‘Gabbar’ roars at McLean Park:

Shikhar Dhawan, 5000 ODI runs
Shikhar Dhawan completes 5,000 ODI runs. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Kohli, who himself scored 45 runs to knit a crucial 91-run stand alongside Shikhar Dhawan for the second wicket. Kohli believes it was an important knock for an opening batsman. He admitted the fact that Dhawan becomes a threat while being in his form.

Moreover, India rode on the prolific all-round performance and one of such came from Dhawan’s bat. The southpaw smashed unbeaten 75 off 104 balls. His innings was laced with six fours. However, Ambati Rayudu, who hit a winning run, chipped in with 13 off 23 deliveries.

[It was] really important innings for Shikhar and we spoke during the sun break that he needed to finish the game to get some momentum. He is a dangerous player when in rhythm,” Kohli stated.

Satisfying performance in Napier, Shami Shines in Napier:

Mohammed Shami, India, New Zealand
Mohammed Shami became fastest to bag 100 scalps in ODIs. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The top-order batsman Kohli revealed he thought there would be a 300-plus total after losing the toss. Adding the bowlers have put up a good show on such a good surface.

“When I lost the toss, I thought a score of about 300-plus but the bowlers were brilliant. To get them out for 150-odd on this pitch was brilliant,” Kohli asserted.

Pertinently, after winning the toss hosts couldn’t rose to the occasion. Mohammed Shami alongside Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal shared ten wickets. Thus, the hosts were restricted at 157 in 28 overs. On the other side, Shami gave a rollicking start with the ball to clinch three prized scalps.

Shami further achieved a milestone to become the fastest India to clinch 100 ODI wickets. Also, he was adjudged as the Man of the Match.

“Belief in his (Shami) abilities is key and as he said, the fast bowling unit is extremely confident of knocking any team out,” Kohli added.

Spinners did the damage:

Kuldeep Yadav, MS Dhoni
Kuldeep Yadav pick of the bowlers for Team India. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In addition, Kohli has hailed the slow bowlers. Kuldeep starred with the ball to bag four wickets after giving away 39 in 10 overs.

“The lines and lengths bowled by the spinners were brilliant because the pitch only slowed down in the second half and they were really good,” Kohli further said.

Moreover, the promising leg-spinner Chahal has been among wickets, has settled with two in 10 overs.

Pertinently, Kohli maintained this pace batter is confident of giving their best against any top nation. He remarked the faith in Shami as a bowler has been a key to success.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. Twitter, Instagram: TahirIbnManzoor