Mount Maunganui (New Zealand): India’s stand-in captain KL Rahul has revealed the team’s “common goal” and said they are focused on it.

For the fifth T20I against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui, India had rested regular captain Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma was the designated skipper for the match. However, he got injured during the contest and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul took over the captaincy reins.

Also read: India complete 5-0 clean sweep

India created history by completing a 5-0 whitewash over the hosts on Sunday (February 2). This was the first time in T20I history that a team had won by a margin of 5-0.

Speaking after the match, Rahul said India is focused on winning the ICC T20 World Cup later this year in Australia. The Karnataka right-hander won the Man-of-the-series award. He scored 224 runs in five matches and also kept wickets.

“We are a young team, love spending time with each other, and there is absolutely no divide between the seniors and the juniors. We all have a common goal - to win games of cricket. We are all focused on winning the (T20) World Cup - that's a common goal, and we're trying to maximise our preparations for the World Cup,” Rahul, who scored 45, said.

He also said having such a team was coach and captain’s dream. “Every month we are playing so much, it's hard on the body as well, and for everyone to stay fit mentally and physically and perform like this is phenomenal. This team is a coach's dream and a captain's dream.”

India and New Zealand will now play three ODIs followed by two Tests. The first ODI is on February 5 in Hamilton.

India tour of New Zealand schedule


1st T20I (January 24) – Auckland – India won

2nd T20I (January 26) – Auckland – India won

3rd T20I (January 29) – Hamilton – India won

4th T20I (January 31) – Wellington – India won

5th T20I (February 2) – Mount Maunganui – India won

ODIs (All matches start at 7.30 AM IST)

1st ODI (February 5) - Hamilton

2nd ODI (February 8) - Auckland

3rd ODI (February 11) - Mount Maunganui

Tests (All matches start at 4 AM IST)

1st Test (February 21-25) - Wellington

2nd Test (February 29-March 4) - Christchurch