23 Jan 2019

Black Caps can't focus just on Kohli

9:21 am on 23 January 2019

The Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson says while Indian captain Virat Kohli is a special player, they would be foolish to put too much focus into containing the master batsman.

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.


The two sides meet in the first of five one-dayers in Napier today.

Kohli has further added to his resume by sweeping the top honours at the ICC awards for 2018.

He was named cricketer, Test and ODI player of the year.

He's also the top ranked ODI batsman but Williamson says they have to look beyond him if they want to win today.

"Obviously a world class player Virat and he's always a challenge to come up against and definitely a player of note to try and shut down, but at the same time there are so many quality players in that side that although he's world class you don't want to get too consumed around one individual because there are a number of match winners in their side, so it's about us trying to execute what we want to do the best we can."

India and New Zealand are second and third in the ODI rankings.

New Zealand and India captains, Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli.


Williamson says he's playing down the talk of the duel between himself and Kohli during the series.

"Very much try to focus on what my job is in the team and what my role is around the sort of cricket we want to play and our batting plans that we set ourselves."

"But certainly someone like Virat is a player I admire and a joy to watch and he's pushing the boundaries of the game which is brilliant."

Williamson says their whole squad is likely to feature at some stage during their five-match series.

With the World Cup less than 5 months away, the series is a chance for players to push for selection for the tournament in England.

New Zealand has a squad of 14 for the first three games of the series and Williamson says all 14 could expect to get a run.

The Napier game is followed by two matches in Mt Maunganui and then games in Hamilton and Wellington.