Auckland: Ahead of their series, India skipper Virat Kohli said they have no feeling of revenge against New Zealand, who knocked Men in Blue out of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
New Zealand defeated India by 18 runs in the semi-finals of the World Cup in July last year.
“Not really. Even if you think about revenge, these guys are so nice that you cannot get into that zone. Honestly, we get along really well with these guys and it is all about being competitive on the field,” Kohli said in the pre-match press conference here on Thursday when asked if this series is about revenge.
Kohli said they were happy when New Zealand qualified for the final of the tournament and this series is all about ‘two quality sides’ playing good cricket.
“They are a quality side and we really have a lot of respect for them and vice-versa, I think they have a lot of respect for us. We actually were happy for them when they qualified for the final because when you lose, you have to look at the larger picture and it meant a lot for them as well as a side. So, I do not think this is about any kind of revenge at all, it is just about two quality sides playing good cricket,” he said.
However, in the final, New Zealand were beaten by England.
Kohli also heaped praise on KL Rahul, who has been on a sublime form, saying that the latter is a ‘total team man’.
“Rahul doing well with the gloves has really opened up another kind of scenario for us where is gives us a lot more balance in playing an extra batter… He is open to accept any kind of role. He is a total team man,” he said.
India are scheduled to compete against New Zealand in five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests, starting from January 24.