India completed their first whitewash in a five-match one-day series away from home on Saturday when they crushed Zimbabwe by seven wickets with 16 overs to spare, with leg-spinner Amit Mishra taking six wickets to lift his series tally to 18.
“There are a lot of positives we could take out of this series, especially the way the young guys performed,” he said. “The guys who got a chance for the first time showed a lot of character, especially bowlers like Mohit Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat.”
So comprehensive was India’s success in the series that the only criticism that could be levelled at Kohli was his reluctance to handicap his own side either by going against conventional wisdom by batting first in trying conditions, or by giving more opportunities to their less experienced players.
All-rounder Parvez Rasool stood to become the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to represent India, but he failed to see action in the series and his omission on Saturday drew criticism back home from the chief minister of the region, Omar Abdullah.
“We didn’t want to take any game lightly and I didn’t want to change too much in the bowling department,” Kohli said.
“Mishra has been out for a while so we wanted to give him four or five games, and Parvez is going to South Africa now for the India ‘A’ tour and he’s going to play a lot of games there and pick up more experience.”