Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma on Sunday said that his side wanted to test themselves in tough conditions after the Hamilton loss and lauded his team for showing character in the fifth ODI which India won to clinch the series 4-1 against New Zealand.
India suffered a heavy defeat in the fourth ODI after they were dismissed for just 92 runs but the visiting side bounced back in the fifth match Sunday to score 252 before winning by 35 runs.
“The Hamilton loss, the way we lost was big. We need to get together as a team. I knew there was some moisture on the pitch. If the series was alive, we would have chased but we wanted to test ourselves today,” Rohit said after India beat the home side by 35 runs.
Ambati Rayudu (90) and Vijay Shankar (45) shared a 98-run partnership to resurrect the Indian innings, before Hardik Pandya (45 off 22) and Kedar Jadhav (35) powered them to a competitive total.
Rohit heaped praise on Rayudu and Shankar, saying their partnership was the turning point of the match.
“After we lost four wickets, all we needed was somebody to show application. Rayudu and Vijay Shankar did that. The partnership between them turned the game for us and the way Hardik and Kedar played in the end was magnificent. We showed a lot of character,” said Rohit who contribute just 2 runs.
He also lauded the efforts of the bowlers for producing crucial breakthroughs.
Rohit said the ODI series helped them to have a look at how the bowling combination work out without Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the series following the Australia tour.
India will now take on New Zealand in the three-match T20I series, starting on Wednesday.