India sounded an emphatic warning to rivals at this year's cricket World Cup when it completed a 4-1 series win over New Zealand on Sunday, taking the final one-day international by 35 runs.
Coming into the series, India was second behind England in ODI world rankings and only eight points ahead of New Zealand which was third and had just completed an impressive 3-0 sweep of Sri Lanka.
Kedar Jadhav leads India's celebration in Wellington with 'How's the Josh?' chants, Vicky Kaushal reacts
India's convincing series victory away from home suggested it will mount a formidable World Cup challenge in England in the middle of the year. On Sunday it demonstrated resilience and versatility in rallying from 18-4 to reach 252, using up all but one ball of its 50 overs. It then bowled out New Zealand for 217 with 35 balls remaining.
"Kedar gives us that balance being a second spinner. I consider him a proper spinner because every game he bowls 6 or 7 overs and gets a wicket as well. Even today, the wicket of Kane Williamson, it was a crucial point. He came and broke that partnership," he said.
"I think, especially after the Hamilton loss ... we needed to come together as a team and we came together as a team right from ball one," Sharma said. "After losing those four early wickets all we needed was somebody to apply, someone to take the game on and Rayudu and Shankar did that pretty well. That partnership I think was the turning point and the way Hardik and Kedar (Jadhav) played at the end was magnificent."
(With AP inputs)