Effort will be to stop Virat Kohli, says Kane Williamson ahead of the first ODI
Kohli recently hit his 39th ODI hundred and is now is just 10 short of compatriot Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 in the format.
Updated - Jan 22, 2019 5:18 pm
India are set to kick off the tour of the final SENA country on Wednesday when they take on New Zealand in the first of the five ODIs at McLean Park in Napier. Besides being a clash between two of the world’s top three ODI teams, this series will also be a witness to two talented captains – who are also among the finest of the batsmen from their respective sides – Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli.
India have only one bilateral ODI series in New Zealand which was a decade ago under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be playing as the wicket-keeper who has just hit form in Australia. The last time they played an ODI series in New Zealand (2013-14), India were thumped 4-0 with one match ending in a tie. India, however, have won the last two ODI series against the Black Caps under Kohli and will look to continue with their good run.
The two captains, however, share a cordial relation. While Kohli leads Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, Williamson led Sunrisers Hyderabad last year and tournaments like them bring foreign players even closer to each other.
Williamson and Kohli admire each other
“Someone like Virat is certainly a player I admire and enjoy to watch and he’s pushing the boundaries of the game so that’s brilliant,” 28-year-old Williamson told the media in Napier on the eve of the first ODI. “He’s a respectful guy and I’ve known him for a very long time but as a player, obviously, word class and our focus is more about that and his cricketing ability and how we can combat him as best as we can.”
Kohli recently hit his 39th ODI hundred and is now is just 10 short of compatriot Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 in the format. He also praised Williamson, saying the latter is the most attractive batsman when on song. While India has had a series of success in the ODIs of late – winning the Asia Cup followed by bilateral series wins over the Windies and Australia, the Kiwis are also in a great form and hammered Sri Lanka 3-0 in their last series after drawing Pakistan 1-1.