India faced an embarrassing defeat in the second Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Monday. The New Zealand bowlers once again proved to be too good for the Indian batting line-up to survive. On Monday morning, New Zealand won the second Test by seven wickets after India gave them a target of 132 to chase in their second innings with two full days of play available.
The press conference after the match was a gruelling one for captain Virat Kohli, who was bombarded with several questions about his strategy. When asked about preferring Rishabh Pant over Wriddhiman Saha in the two Tests, Kohli sided Pant and mentioned how the 22-year-old was given an opportunity because of the hard work that he put in behind the scenes. Pant was replaced with Saha in the series against South Africa last year after a string of unimpressive performances.
The Indian skipper, who himself did not have a great outing with the bat, attributed India's loss to an all-round poor show with the bat. Kohli maintained that one or two failures should not bother the team and the team is still filled with champion players none the less. Pant scored 60 runs in the four innings that he played against NZ in the two Tests. Virat Kohli also added that no one in the Indian team is taking their position in the team for granted.
The defeat in the Test series has concluded the New Zealand vs India series. The team will now return to India to host South Africa in a three-match ODI series before IPL 2020 begins on March 29. Rishabh Pant will be a vital part of the Delhi Capitals Team 2020 which will also see the arrival of Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane along with ace-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.