IND vs NZ, 2nd Test: Virat Kohli defends Ajinkya Rahane & Co. after hosts fail to go 1-0 up in Kanpur

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Dec 02, 2021, 07:00 PM IST


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IND vs NZ, 2nd Test: Virat Kohli commented on the drawn Kanpur Test and defended Ajinkya Rahane & Co. by saying 'we tried everything we could as a team'.

Virat Kohli-led Team India will lock horns with New Zealand in the second and final Test at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on December 3 (Friday). After the series opener ended in a riveting draw, all eyes are on the series finale. After being rested for the three T20Is and the two-match Test series opener, the 33-year-old Kohli will return back to action and lead India in the deciding Test.

Talking about the first Test, the Kohli-less Indian team couldn't take NZ's last wicket as the match ended in a draw. Opting to bat first, Ajinkya Rahane-led hosts posted 345 all-out. In reply, Kiwis made 296 all-out, giving the home side a handy 49-run lead. Chasing 284, NZ surrendered the momentum on Day 5 to be reduced from 79 for 1 to 155/9. At stumps, they, however, managed to ensure a draw as the last-wicket stand remained unbroken.

While India did a lot of things right and fought hard versus the inaugural WTC winners, Rahane & Co. couldn't manage to win. Hence, some section remained unimpressed and criticised the national side. Speaking at the traditional press conference ahead of the 2nd Test, on Thursday (December 3), skipper Kohli has now defended Rahane & Co.

"I watched the game and I think we tried everything we could as a team. Obviously, everyone has a different way of approaching things. I probably would have been able to answer that if I was in that situation but I was not so I know that the team tried everything that they could and Jinx has always brought up great ideas to make sure that, you know, we put the opposition under pressure with strategy, with field placings and rotating the bowlers as well. A great example of that was in Australia as well when we played [there]," Kohli reckoned.

He added, "Sometimes when you are not able to pull off a result you also have to give credit to the opposition for batting out 10-12 overs in the end with the last wicket. It was a very good effort from them. So we have to be realistic about the scenario, realistic about the situation. Obviously, you look to improve on things you still can and you find ways of winning and that’s been the essence of our team regardless of who’s been in charge."

India will now look to carry the momentum from the first Test, where they were denied a win by a whisker, and claim the two-match Test series versus the Black Caps. However, it won't be a cakewalk given how competitive Williamson & Co. have been in the longest format.