Auckland: India’s World Cup dream was shattered by New Zealand in 2019. The Virat Kohli-led team were handed an 18-run defeat by the Kiwis in the semi-finals in England. The two sides will meet for the first time since that knockout game.

Is revenge on Kohli’s mind when they get on to the field in Auckland for the first T20I tomorrow (January 24)? Here is what the captain had to say.

Also read: Virat Kohli backs Kane Williamson

“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 on Thursday (January 23).

After defeating India in the semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2019, New Zealand lost to England in the title clash. It was an epic final at Lord’s when both the actual match and the Super Over ended in ties. England were crowned champions with better boundary count.

The boundary rule created a huge controversy. Following this, the International Cricket Council (ICC) changed the rule for future big events.

Talking about the first of the five T20Is, Kohli said his team respects the Kane Williamson-led hosts.

“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,” the Delhi right-hander said.

T20I squads

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Hamish Bennett, Tom Bruce (for fourth, fifth matches), Colin de Grandhomme (for first three matches), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

India tour of New Zealand schedule

T20Is (All matches start at 12.30 PM IST)

1st T20I (January 24) - Auckland

2nd T20I (January 26) - Auckland

3rd T20I (January 29) - Hamilton

4th T20I (January 31) - Wellington

5th T20I (February 2) - Mount Maunganui

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