Wellington [New Zealand], Oct.24 : New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham is full of praise for India's limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and swashbuckling batsman Virat Kohli, after the duo stitched a huge 151-run partnership to guide their side to an emphatic seven-wicket win in the third ODI of the five-match series in Mohali last evening.
The 26-year-old, who was brought in the squad as a replacement for Anton Devcich, believes that it was not his side who bowled poorly, but it was the Indian duo who batted outstandingly.
"We fought pretty hard with the bat to get what was a slightly below par total. I don't think we bowled that badly in the second half of the game, but the way Virat and MS batted was outstanding," Neesham was quoted as saying by Stuff.co.nz.
Chasing a competitive target of 286 runs, Kohli smashed 16 boundaries and one six in his massive 154-run knock while Dhoni scored a brilliant 80 runs to help their side cross the line with 10 balls to spare.
"When you're dealing with two of the best chasers in the history of the game, you've got to have a bit go your way.
We had a couple of things not going quite our way, but we kept trying and putting the ball in good areas and, hopefully, in the next game, that will come to fruition for us," he added.
The match also saw Kohli score his 26th century from just 166 innings to boost his career average to 52.90.
Sixteen of those centuries have come while chasing and 14 of them lead India to victory. In spite of that, Neesham believes his side weren't demoralised by Kohli. "We weren't too far off today. If we'd managed to get a wicket between the 40th and 45th over, then we would have been right in the game.
Obviously the way that Virat batted took it away from us," he added. Earlier, Neesham (67) and opener Tom Latham (61) displayed a brilliant batting performance to help their side post a competitive 286-run target against India after being reduced to 199 for eight.
India, who have now taken a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, need to win the series by 4-1 or more to rise to third spot in ODI rankings.
The two-sides will play their third match on Wednesday in Ranchi..