After winning the five-match T20I series against New Zealand, the Virat Kohli-led Team India is on a four-match losing streak. The 'Men in Blue' were first blanked 3-0 in the ODI series and then lost the opening Test to the Kiwis by 10 wickets, which was their first defeat in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. The second and the final Test beginning on Saturday will be India's chance to level the series. The New Zealand tour also has been a quiet one for Virat Kohli, who is yet to cross the three-figure mark even once.
New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner, will return to the side for the NZ vs Ind second Test starting Saturday at Christchurch. The left-arm bowler missed the first Test due to paternity leave and while speaking to Stuff he said that he is targeting Virat Kohli specifically.
In the interview, Wagner said that he always tries to target the opposition's best players as dismissing them early gives New Zealand much-needed psychological advantage. Speaking about stopping Virat Kohli, Neil Wagner said that drying up runs and putting a lot of pressure on him from both ends is what he plans to do. Neil Wagner has dismissed Kohli three times in six innings in Test cricket, bowling 108 balls to him and conceding 60 runs for an average of 20.00.
Neil Wagner has so far taken 204 wickets in 47 Tests at an average of 26.63. He took 17 wickets at an average of 22.76 in Australia when New Zealand went there in late 2019. The Kiwis suffered a 3-0 hammering at hands of Kangaroos. The batsman that he dismissed the most in the series was Steve Smith. Steve Smith was dismissed four times in the series and all four of his dismissals have been against short balls delivered by Neil Wagner. The pacer is expected to make life for Kohli similarly difficult by not allowing to get away with runs at the start of the innings easily.
The New Zealand vs India Test match is scheduled to start at 4:00 AM IST and will be played between February 29 and March 4 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The NZ vs Ind match will be shown on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD while the New Zealand vs India live streaming will be on Hotstar and JioTV. You can also view NZ vs Ind live score updates at the official BCCI Twitter handle, i.e. https://twitter.com/BCCI.