The Indian team will begin their tour of New Zealand on January 24, 2020, with the first T20I of the five-match series to be played in Auckland. The Men in Blue will also play three ODIs and then will engage in a two-match Test series with ICC World Test Championship points on the table. The last time these two teams met, Kane Williamson’s team had knocked Kohli’s India out of the World Cup in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, this series begins just a week after India defeated Australia 2-1 in an ODI series which was played in just a week with the last matches being played in three days. Such tight scheduling has caused the Indian captain Virat Kohli expressing some frustration during his tête-à-tête with the press on the eve of the first T20I match.
“It is definitely getting closer and closer to landing at the stadium straight” – Virat Kohli
“It is definitely getting closer and closer to landing at the stadium straight. That is how compressed the gap has become. I think this kind of travel and coming to a place which is seven hours ahead of India time is difficult to adjust immediately. I am sure that these things will be taken into consideration much more in the future,” Kohli was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
India had lost the T20I series 2-1 the last time they played New Zealand in their own backyard, but this time, more than the series will be on the line, given that it is the T20 World Cup year and Kohli feels every game is important.
“The last series we played against Australia was ODIs so we spent more time on the field, but we played a few T20s before that. Having played a lot more cricket than just T20s in the last three games, we will find it easier to come here and play even though with less time (to prepare). We are looking forward to that and starting with the series because this is the year of the world cup and every T20 is important,” Kohli said.
Kohli praised Kane Williamson and his men. He reiterated the fact that India had won the ODI series 4-1 the last time India toured New Zealand and they will go in the series with much confidence.
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