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NZ vs IND: KL Rahul reacts to successfully leading Team India to victory in Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli's absence

India will once again lock horns with New Zealand on February 5 at the Seddon Park in Hamilton for the first ODI of the three-match series next.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Feb 02, 2020, 08:20 PM IST

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Wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul has expressed his thoughts on how good it feels to see the team perform in the absence of skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma on Sunday (February 2).

His comments came right after Team India defeated New Zealand by 7 runs in the fifth and final T20I match at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Going into Sunday's clash, India decided to rest Kohli in the fifth T20I and Sharma was given the responsibility to lead the side.

India hoisted a total of 163/3 from the allotted 20 overs as KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma played instrumental knocks yet again.

While KL scored 45 runs on the day, Sharma - the Men In Blue skipper today in Virat Kohli's absence - smashed 65 runs off 41 deliveries before leaving the field retired and did not come out to field later on.

Speaking at the post-match interview, KL said: "Loving the challenges that are being thrown at me. It was great to see how we responded without our leaders, Rohit and Virat."

In the absence of Sharma, KL Rahul lead Team India during their run-defense.

"This is one series where I think the whole team has contributed and it has not been like one person or two-three seniors players doing. Everybody contributed for the team," he said.

"We are a young team and love spending time each other and help each other out. There is not senior and junior in the dressing room."

"We all have a common goal and that is to win games of cricket and winning World Cup is in the back of the mind," Rahul added.

With this win, the Men In Blue registered a complete whitewash against the hosts in the five-match series by winning all five of them.

In chase of a target score of 164 runs, New Zealand got off to a shocking start as they lost three of their top-order batsmen before the completion of four overs.

Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro failed to give the home side a proper start as Jasprit Bumrah and Washington Sundar sent both the batsmen back to the dressing room early.

However, Tim Seifert and Ross Taylor then formed a partnership and steadied the ship for the BlackCaps.

Seifert and Taylor knitted together a 99-run partnership before Navdeep Saini dismissed Seifert just moments after he reached his half-century on the day.

The Kiwi tailenders also failed to take their side over the line as faced their fifth successive defeat at home against Team India.

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