A confident Virat Kohli was wary of the challenges New Zealand pose ahead of the Test series and said that the hosts have very skilled bowlers, batsmen, and brilliant fielders so they don’t give a lot to bank on or pounce on.
- India will take on New Zealand in the opening Test in Wellington
- In New Zealand it’s all about cricket discipline and what the team brings on the field: Kohli
- If you gain momentum at the right time you can play good cricket: Virat Kohli
After getting whitewashed 3-0 in the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand, Virat Kohli led team India are gearing up for the 2-match Test series that starts from Feb 21 with the opening Test set to be played in Wellington.
In the past 6 months, Virat Kohli’s team have steamrolled each opponent in the World Test Championship but New Zealand should prove worthy challengers in the next series if the Kiwis can bury the disappointment of their recent Trans-Tasman rivalry.
Also, India skipper would be looking to overcome his lean patch in the ongoing tour of New Zealand. Notably, Virat Kohli has gone past fifty only once in 7 innings in New Zealand. With scores of 45, 11, 38, 11, 51, 15, and 9, Kohli has had a lean patch by his standards on this tour.
“We have prepared in a manner where our fitness levels and concentration levels are such that we can compete against anyone in the world,” Kohli said. “That’s the kind of confidence we will carry into this series.”
“Not saying this in a negative manner, but the crowd plays a massive role in England and Australia. You need to be in a zone where you need to be feisty and counter that from all angles,” he said.
“In New Zealand it’s all about cricket discipline and what the team brings on the field. They’re very intense and very fit guys and they can keep going all day and test your patience.
“They’re very skilled bowlers and batsmen and brilliant fielders so they don’t give a lot to bank on or pounce on. You need to be wary of the chances that come your way and be focused enough to capitalize.
“It takes a lot more concentration on the field in New Zealand rather than dealing with things off the field and that’s good for the players to be in that kind of zone.”
“We are not the same team that we used to be. We have a very complete squad now.”
That statement was justified for what looks among the strongest Indian Test sides to visit New Zealand, already with one foot in the new World Test Championship final at Lord’s next year.
Virat Kohli is wary of Williamson’s captaincy record at home. In 17 Tests across 8 series played under Williamson’s captaincy since he took over from Brendon McCullum, New Zealand have managed to win the 7 series with their 1-0 win vs England at home in December 2019 being the latest triumph.
“It can happen. Kane’s leadership was questioned and these things pop up pretty quickly. Having been in those situations myself I can tell you it’s not that alarming for any team.
“Things can turn around pretty quickly. You saw in the ODI series we lost 3-0 and it didn’t look that way before we started. If you gain momentum at the right time you can play good cricket.
“Playing at home they will have more control over what they do as a group so they will understand their plans much better.”