Virat Kohli heaped praise on the bowlers after India registered a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20 International at Eden Park on Sunday. With the victory, India took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, having won the opening match by six wickets at the same venue on Friday. While both the teams had managed to score 200-plus in the first T20I, the subsequent match saw batsmen struggle for runs. After opting to bat, New Zealand were restricted to a below-par 132/5 in 20 overs thanks to some impressive bowling from India.
India then rode on an unbeaten half-century by KL Rahul to chase down the target with 15 balls to spare.
"I think we backed it up with another good performance today especially with the ball. The bowlers stood up and took control. I think the lines and lengths we bowled today, sticking to one side of the wicket and being sure of what we wanted to bowl," Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
"It was a very good feature for us as team. That helped us restrict a strong side like New Zealand to such a low total. I think the pitch was good enough for a score of 160 in the first innings," he added.
Ravindra Jadeja led the bowling attack with two wickets, while Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah and Shivam Dube contributed with a wicket each.
"I think Jadeja was outstanding, once again Chahal was a banker. Bumrah was amazing as well. I think we backed it up in the field. The surface gripped a bit," Kohli said.
Wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul top-scored with 57 runs off 50 balls, including three boundaries and two sixes. He remained not out at the crease with Shivam Dube smashing the winning six for India on the third ball of the 18th over.
India lost opener Rohit Sharma in the first over and skipper Kohli in the sixth over, however, Rahul held the fort by stitching an 86-run stand with Shreyas Iyer.
Iyer scored 44 runs off 33 balls, including a boundary and three sixes.
Kohli said the Indian team "understood the angles of the field better" than the hosts.
"When you have a complete performance like that, it helps. This same side has won us two games," the Indian skipper said.
India will look to clinch the series when they take on New Zealand at a new venue in the third T20I on Wednesday. Talking about "dimensions of Hamilton", Kohli said his team is "up for the challenge".
"I know New Zealand are going to bounce back hard. We need to bring our A game again and we are up for the challenge. I think the dimensions of Hamilton are better than Auckland, it's an even field for the bowlers," he said.
The fourth and fifth T20I will be played in Wellington and Mount Maunganui respectively.