New Zealand’s Ross Taylor warned against getting too fixated on Indian captain Virat Kohli and overlooking the other great batsmen in India’s top order. “He’s a sensational player, the best one-day player going around, quite easily,” Taylor told stuff.co.nz. “It’s easy to get caught up in him. (But) you’ve got two pretty good openers at the top, (Rohit) Sharma and (Shikhar) Dhawan, before he gets in.”
New Zealand are set to host India in a five-match ODI series starting on January 23 followed by a three-match T20I series that starts on February 6. India are coming to the country after a successful tour of trans-Tasman neighbour Australia in which they drew the T20I series 1-1 and recorded historic wins in the Test and ODI series.
Dhawan was the only player among the top three that did not manage to score a century in the three ODI matches while former captain MS Dhoni showed signs of a return to form by ending the series as the highest scorer. Australia, though, have been an embattled side in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal that exploded in March 2018 and were missing some of their best players to suspension.
New Zealand, on the other hand, have been on the ascendancy in ODI cricket since their 2-1 defeat away from home to India in October 2017. Since then, they have lost 3-2 in a hard-fought series to number one ranked side England and drew a three-match series in the UAE against Pakistan 1-1.
34-year-old Taylor has averaged 92 in the 13 ODI innings he has played since the start of 2018, second only to Kohli’s 113. “I’ve played a few internationals now and understand my role in the team. I’ve worked on my game and try and rotate the strike early and be as busy as I can. Different shots against spinners at different stages have maybe evolved my game in a positive way,” said Taylor.
The first ODI will be played in Napier, followed by the second and third ODIs in Mount Maunganui on January 26 and January 28 respectively. The fourth match will be played on January 31 in Hamilton and the final game will be played in Wellington on February 3.