You cannot keep Virat Kohli away from getting involved in a game. In the inconsequential fifth and final Twenty20 International against New Zealand, the Indian captain rested himself and handed over the reins to Rohit Sharma to lead the side.
Kohli and his Blackcaps counterpart Kane Williamson, also out of the match due to an injury, were seen serving drinks and chatting on the boundary ropes at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Quizzed at the post-match presentation after India sealed a comprehensive seven-run win to complete a crushing 5-0 series whitewash, Kohli threw his weight behind the beleaguered Williamson.
“Kane and me have similar mindsets, similar philosophies. It is amazing that despite being from different parts of the world, we have similar thinking and we speak the same language,” he said.
“Despite what the scoreline suggests, I feel that New Zealand cricket is in the best hands and he is the right guy to lead this team. He is the perfect, perfect man to lead them. I wish him the best of luck and power to lead this side in the future. They are a side everyone loves to watch and play against.”
India have bounced back from situations where their backs were against the wall, especially in the last three matches. “All of us are really proud of the way we’ve played this series. I think the conversation we had was to always look to find ways to win. When it comes out, it feels nice. You don’t want to see what happened to Rohit, but there were all these young guys playing well and handling the pressure. That gives me a lot of pleasure watching from the outside and they will take this momentum going forward for many years,” Kohli said about the team’s effort.
He then elaborated on how he sow the seeds of establishing a winning mentality in his side. “Basically it is all about laying the vision in front of the boys, the way you think, prepare. The guys are taking notice of it and they realise that the team needs 120 per cent from them every time. Because only then you will find ways to win. That has been a massive change for us in the last two-three years. We have seen the results; we obviously won’t win everything and these victories give a lot more pleasure than the one-sided victories,” he said.