Playing well-balanced Kiwi side is the toughest challenge for us, admits Virat Kohli
He didn't rule out the possibility of playing three seamers but insisted the final call will depend on the availability of an all-rounder.
Updated - Jan 22, 2019 1:58 pm
Recently, Virat Kohli-led Team India had an excellent tour Down Under beating the Aussies in Test and ODI series while drawing level in T20I series. After the series, Indian skipper said he wants the team to be the superpower in the world of cricket in all formats. India’s next assignment is against the strong Kiwi team in their backyard, which gets underway at the Mclaren Park in Napier on Wednesday.
Indian skipper believes that the New Zealand tour is going to be the biggest hurdle in their way of achieving the dream of becoming a superpower as the Williamson’s team has a well-balanced team which is in good form recently. The 30-year-old praised the consistency showed by the Black Caps in the past year or so and admitted that the team will pose a big challenge for his team.
India last toured New Zealand in 2014 when it lost 4-0 in ODIs and 1-0 in Tests. Delhi born cricketer confess that the team’s batting was relatively weak and inexperienced at that time. However, Kohli exuded confidence in the team’s batting abilities this time around as the team has evolved as a batting unit and is relatively experienced.
Back then (2014), we had an inexperienced side in terms of batting
Kohli was quoted as saying by Sportstar, “We have noticed a lot of patterns from the previous tours here. Back then (2014), we had an inexperienced side in terms of batting but we have evolved in that department in the last three-four years and are definitely ready to conquer all challenges that are thrown at us.”
“The fact that they are the No. 3 ranked side in the world speaks about their consistency. We played them in India and lost in Mumbai. Those matches were quite competitive. I think they have a well-balanced unit. It’s a mix of youth and experience. Their bowling attack is experienced but at the same time, they (bowlers) are not that old. Tim (Southee), for instance, is an experienced seamer but has that energy and the buzz all the time. Plus they play their cricket in the right way which is something we always appreciate.” he further added.
Captain Kohli acknowledged the fact that the games in New Zealand are mostly high-scoring as the grounds are very small and stressed on not panicking if the opposition scores in excess of 300. He didn’t rule out the possibility of playing three seamers but insisted the final call will depend on the availability of an all-rounder.
New Zealand usually has high scoring grounds, so the key is to not panic
“New Zealand usually has high scoring grounds… so the key is to not panic when the opposition is racking up scores in excess of 300. They are a difficult side to beat at home but we believe in our abilities and will be eyeing a repeat of our results in Australia,” Kohli said.
“It depends on the all-rounder. The strongest sides in the world all have two all-rounders; some even have three. That gives you bowling options to work with. So unless Hardik Pandya or Vijay Shankar doesn’t play, three seamers make sense. If the all-rounders step up, you don’t need a third seamer,” he noted as he signed off.