India captain Rohit Sharma on Friday lauded the application of his players under pressure situations and attributed the T20 series win over New Zealand to “team effort”.
India on Friday defeated New Zealand by seven wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The series-win came just after their Super 12 exit from the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
“Great effort from entire unit, wasn’t the easiest of conditions but the way we applied ourselves was great,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Under pressure, we know their quality as a batting outfit. I kept telling the bowlers it’s just about one wicket, if we get that we can put the brakes,” he said.
Watch that fine half-century 🎥 🔽
Rohit, who took over the T20 captaincy from Virat Kohli, praised the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel and also spoke highly about the bench strength of the side.
“We know the quality of our spinners and can always pull things back. The bench strength, these guys have been performing consistently, so there’s pressure on the guys on the field.
“Important for me to give them freedom and the external things will take care of themselves. It’s a young team, a lot haven’t played a lot of games,” he said.
Rohit was full of praise for Harshal Patel, who returned with figures of 2 for 25 on his T20 debut for India.
“He’s (Harshal) has done it many times, playing first-class cricket for many years, he knows what he wants to execute and is a very skillful bowler.”
New Zealand skipper for the T20 series, Tim Southee credited India for their superlative effort under dew.
“Credit to India, they pulled it back nicely after the first six and played the better cricket throughout the game.
“We knew it was going to be wet, it was wet for both teams. There was dew on the ground when we turned up and we knew it would be a factor, but they were too good tonight,” he said.
“We’ll review, different venue, we try to adapt to conditions. Quick turnaround but we’ll assess when we get to Kolkata.”
Man-of-the-match Patel said he couldn’t have asked for a better debut to his international career.
“…but it will sink in, I couldn’t have asked for a better debut. Progress is gradual and slow, someone like me who wasn’t exceptionally talented, I had to build my game from the ground up. So I made mistakes and then found the process of what works for me.
“It’s been a great journey, taught me so many life lessons, even after cricket it will hold me in good stead,” he said.