The Black Caps are gearing up for a “cracking series” against India.
The ODI series kicks off in Napier tomorrow, which will be the first time the northern city has hosted an international since February 2017 due to poor drainage which caused embarrassing scenes when an ODI against Australia was called off after hours of sunshine failed to dry the outfield.
Amongst the Indian side is Virat Kohli, widely regarded as one of the sport’s best batsmen.
Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson isn't expecting New Zealand fans to emulate their Aussie contemporaries when Kohli asks for middle and leg in their tour of India.
"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," said Williamson in Napier today before the 3pm ODI series opener at McLean Park from 3pm.
He said Kohli was a passionate cricketer and felt that was the gist of what the bolshy batsman and leader was about.
"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."
Spinner Mitch Santner told D’Arcy and Goran that they aren’t underestimating their opponents.
He says that India has shown that they can play all over the world and have all aspects covered, as seen by their defeat of Australia.
“They’ll take a lot of confidence coming over here, and I guess we’re playing good cricket as well, beating Sri Lanka, so both teams will come out firing.”
Williamson said the opposition was different from Sri Lanka but the focus remained on what the Kiwis were intending to do.
He felt the collective drive to mould a better template overrode any other desire, including the need to clinch another series at home or, for that matter, the ODI World Cup looming in the northern hemisphere summer.
In mutual admiration, Williamson teed up Kohli for his in-your-face approach to batting that had made him a crowd puller around the world.
"Obviously a world-class player, Virat, and he's always a challenge to come up against and is someone who is most admired in terms of how he goes about his cricket and he's formidable in his run scoring so he's definitely a player of note to try to shut down."
LISTEN TO MITCH SANTNER TALK WITH D'ARCY AND GORAN ABOVE