Former New Zealand cricketer and coach Mike Hesson has predicted Indian batsmen to face a very tough challenge from the Kiwi pacers. As India gear up for a month-long tour across all three formats, RCB's director of operations had a few words of caution for the Men in Blue regarding the New Zealand pacers' newfound aggression. India begin their campaign against New Zealand on Friday, starting off with the 5-match T20 series.
Speaking to a news daily, Hesson said that it would be a challenge for the Indian batsmen to face the new ball and that it would be interesting to see how they play in the first 15-20 deliveries. Hesson hoped that the Kiwis would manage to restrict Kohli from having a good start or else it would be very tough to get rid of him. Hesson also revealed that Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult challenge was one to look forward to. pointing at India's top-class bowling line-up that has improved dramatically over the years.
Virat Kohli will be all geared up to take on New Zealand after a morale-boosting ODI series win against five-time world champions Australia recently. As Team India prepare themselves for a grueling tour in New Zealand, even the Indian skipper himself would be hoping to get to a couple of milestones in the five-match series. Kohli has a chance to become the second captain to hit 50 sixes in T20I cricket. The 'Captain Fearless' only needs to hit eight sixes to achieve this feat. English skipper Eoin Morgan is the only player to hit 50 or more maximums in the game's shortest format as a captain. Morgan has 62 maximums to his name.
Meanwhile, the Indian captain also has the opportunity to get past his predecessor MS Dhoni to become the second-highest run-getter as captain in T20Is. Kohli is currently going strong at 1032 runs while Dhoni has managed to score 1112 in the shortest format. However, Virat will be challenged by his Kiwi counterpart Kane Williamson (1083 runs) who is just 30 runs away from registering this feat while Kohli needs 81 runs to do so. Former South African skipper Faf du Plessis is the highest-run-getter as skipper in T20I cricket. Faf has amassed 1273 runs.
The Virat Kohli-led side will be touring New Zealand where they are scheduled to play five T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches between January 24 to March 4, 2020. The two-match Test series will also be a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 where India is currently on top of the points table. However, it will be interesting to see whether Kohli & Co. can emulate their Test greatness overseas.
The Men In Blue will also be eyeing their maiden T20I series win in New Zealand. Even though India have beaten New Zealand in both Test and ODI series, the Black Caps have managed to get the better of them in the shortest format of the game. India failed to register T20I series wins over New Zealand during their previous visits in 2009 and 2019 respectively and therefore, they would be hoping to turn the tables on the hosts this time around.