The dreams of millions of Indians to see the cricket team lifting the ICC World Cup for the third time was shattered as New Zealand edged the Men in Blue in the semi-final of the showpiece event in July 2019. As India prepare to take on the Kiwis in an all-format series starting Friday, the talks of ‘revenge’ are in the minds of cricket fans. For skipper Virat Kohli, however, it’s all about being competitive on the field that matters.
Kohli, addressing the press conference ahead of the start of the T20I series, was asked about the World Cup semi-final loss to the Kiwis that ended India’s hopes of lifting the trophy. When the point of taking revenge in the upcoming series came, the 31-year-old was quick to dismiss it.
“Not really. Even if you want to think of revenge these guys are so nice that you cant get into that zone. It’s all about being competitive on the field. They are one side that has set the right example for teams to carry themselves on the international stage. We were actually happy for them when they qualified for World Cup finals. When you have lost you have to look at the larger picture. So nothing about revenge,” the Indian captain had said.
The Indian cricket team doesn’t have a good record against the Kiwis, especially in the shortest format. They are yet to win a T20I series in New Zealand and it would be the first instance that skipper Kohli will be playing a T20 game in the country.
In a series that will produce many firsts, the Indian captain admitted that the hosts will have slight home advantage but the tourists are also determined to perform at their best.
“You have to play good cricket to win. know what they bring to the table while playing at home. We are not going to take them for granted. They know their conditions well, they understand how the pitches play, the angles off the field. They will have a slight home advantage. But we have also played here a lot. So we definitely have to be at our best,” he added.
Having got the better of Australia 2-1 in a 3-match ODI series, the Men in Blue would hope to kickstart the series against the Aussies’ Trans-Tasmanian rivals with a win in the first T20I on Friday.