We’re ready for Test challenge against ‘intense’ NZ: Kohli - GulfToday

We’re ready for Test challenge against ‘intense’ NZ: Kohli


Indian captain Virat Kohli attends a training session.

Indian captain Virat Kohli exuded a remarkable confidence ahead of their Test series against New Zealand that begins on Friday.

Though he conceded that his team needs to have more concentration on the field and be on their absolute best against the Kiwis on their home soil.

He said their preparations are complete and they are ready to face any team of the world anywhere.

“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.”

Drawing a comparison, Kohli said unlike Australia and England crowd in New Zealand is far more disciplined and less distracting. So they need to focus on game and nothing else.

“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,” he added.

The Indian skipper also praised the fitness and dedication of the Kiwis toward the game. He said they are agile and intense and can test the patience of any team during the course of the day.

“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 capitalise. 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.”

 Having said that, Kohli believes Team India have a very complete squad with skilled batters and pacers. The Virat Kohli-led side, who are at the top of the World Test Championship table with 360 points, will resume their campaign against New Zealand, who are at the sixth spot with 60 points. The Kiwis had lost their last Test series in Australia where they were whitewashed in the three-match rubber.

India, on the other hand, had blanked Bangladesh in the two-Test series -- which also included their first-ever pink-ball Test.

However, Kohli believes New Zealand’s thrashing in Australia will have a very little bearing in the two-Test series.

“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,” said Kohli.

“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,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket team on Wednesday visited the Indian High Commission here ahead of their upcoming Test series against New Zealand. Kohli spoke about the “mutual admiration and respect” between the two countries and the fact that while New Zealand will want to beat the no.1 ranked Indian side, “there won’t be any spite in it.”

“In all our tours, coming to the Indian High Commission is always a very special evening because we get to spend time not only with a lot of people from India but also from the country that we are in,” Kohli said.

“We just heard a few words about mutual admiration and respect between the countries and I couldn’t agree more. I think if we had to share our number one spot with any other team it will be New Zealand,” he said.


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