Hamilton, Feb 10: India captain Rohit Sharma admitted that his teammates must be disappointed to not have won the third and deciding Twenty20 international match here on Sunday (February 10) to end the tour Down Under on a positive note.
Team India fell four runs shy of New Zealand's first innings total of 212 at Seddon Park in Hamilton. India went down fighting in the run chase as Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya's explosive partnership of 28-ball 63 almost took the visitors home.
The Blackcaps' bowlers held on to their nerves in the game heading down the wire which resulted in them successfully defending their total on a pitch that was conducive for batting and short boundaries aided the batters.
India batsmen at Hamilton today:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) February 10, 2019
Dhawan+Rohit+Dhoni - 45 (40) - 4 boundaries
Shanka+Pant+Pandyas+Karthik - 151 (80) - 22 boundaries #NZvInd
After losing the game by such a small margin, Rohit said he was disappointed that the result didn't end in their favour. The 31-year-old Mumbaikar conceded that it would have been better if the team had won the T20I series as well but agreed there were a lot of positives to take from the game.
"Pretty disappointing to not get to the finishing line. 210-odd was always going to be tough, and we were in the game right till the end, but New Zealand held their nerve well and they deserved to win."
"We started off well in the ODIs, and the boys will be disappointed not getting to the finishing line in the T20s. Lots of positives, and a few mistakes, so there's a lot of material to move ahead. It would have been nice to win the series and go home and play Australia, but unfortunately we couldn't do that," Rohit signed off during the post-match presentation.
Love DK’s rare gift of being able to hit big shots crisply from the middle of the bat from ball no 1. One of the most dangerous batsman today with 3/4 overs to go. 👏👏👏🙏#INDvsNZt20— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 10, 2019
After winning the toss, Rohit elected to chase in the deciding T20I but his decision seemed backfired as the Indian bowlers failed to get early breakthroughs. The New Zealand openers Colin Munro (72) and Tim Seifert (43) once again started their innings on an aggressive note and accumulated runs quickly in the powerplays to lay down a solid platform.
Lot of talk about Karthik turning down the single like Dhoni used to. He was in great touch, was backing himself. In the heat of the moment you do things by instinct. He will realise he should have taken it given Pandya was hitting well. Not sure would've made a difference though— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 10, 2019
The rest of the Kiwi batters came and scored quickly and their aggressive cameos ensured the hosts posted another 200-plus total on the board.