‘We can compete against anyone in the world’ – Virat Kohli banks on India’s chances in New Zealand Tests
India’s last Test-series win in New Zealand came in 2008-09 when MS Dhoni’s side won a three-match series 1-0 by the virtue of their 10-wicket win in Hamilton.
Updated - Feb 19, 2020 3:13 pm
India have not been known to be good tourists in cricket traditionally. Till the era of Sourav Ganguly saw the Asian powerhouse doing some hard work to shed their ‘rabbits abroad’ tag, nothing much was to be written about their Test success overseas. New Zealand is one such country where India’s Test missions have not been too productive after MAK Pataudi’s team had registered a 3-1 win in the 1967-68 series.
India though have a 21-10 lead over the Kiwis in overall Test head-to-head, their win record in New Zealand is poor. In nine tours they have undertaken in New Zealand since 1967-68, India have been able to win only on two occasions. The Men in Blue drew on two occasions while on five occasions, they lost.
India’s last Test-series win in New Zealand came in 2008-09 when MS Dhoni’s side won a three-match series 1-0 by the virtue of their 10-wicket win in Hamilton. In all, India have played 23 Test matches in New Zealand but could win only five matches, after losing eight and drawing ten.
However, India captain Virat Kohli is set to challenge the stereotypes ahead of the upcoming two-Test away series against the Kiwis. This is the first time that he will lead India in a Test series in New Zealand and the fans hope that he replicates his famous conquest of Australia of 2018-19 in New Zealand this time.
“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 was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. “That’s the kind of confidence we will carry into this series.”
The ace batsman also added that India are not the same team they used to be. “We have a very complete squad now,” he added.
An all-or-nothing tour for India so far
In the middle of a tour which has been proved to be an all-or-nothing one for Kohli (India won the T20I series 5-0 but lost the ODI series 0-3), the 31-year-old did not forget to give the hosts their dues even if they were decimated by Australia 3-0 in their last Test series.
“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,” said Kohli.
The Indian captain felt the results in Australia Test series will not affect New Zealand’s game in the upcoming series, something he could assure from his own experiences. India have so far been without any loss in the ICC Test Championship.