Indian skipper Virat Kohli has not been in the 'destructive form' that fans are used to in Team India's ongoing tour of New Zealand. The skipper has failed to score a century in the past 20 innings across formats for the first time since 2017. Ahead of the second Test at Christchurch, Blackcaps' opener Tom Latham stated that the hosts will be ready to face Virat Kohli in the second test and tackle him to ensure a series win.
Speaking to media on Thursday, Tom Latham said, "When Virat comes out to bat we will be ready. He is a quality player and there is a reason why he is up around that No 1 rank for such a period of time. He has done it for a long time and done it in all conditions. If the surface is conducive to sideways movement we will try and exploit that."
Ahead of the upcoming second Test in Christchurch, the Indian players were seen grinding it out in a training session. Notably, Prithvi Shaw skipped the practice session due to a swelling on his left foot. The right-handed batsman opened the innings for India in the first Test after he was called in as a replacement for the in-form Rohit Sharma. Shaw was also supposed to open in the impending series-deciding game but could well miss out from the playing XI due to his injury.
While Prithvi Shaw skipped the practice session, young cricketer Shubman Gill had a good outing in the nets and is expected to get a call-up to the Indian side for the second Test. According to sources, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri was also seen giving some technical batting tips to the 20-year old.
Shubman Gill is yet to play a Test match for India but has represented the ‘Men in Blue’ in two ODIs. In spite of Shubman Gill’s lengthy net session and Prithvi Shaw’s injury, Indian captain Virat Kohli has stated he will certainly play Shaw if he was deemed fit by the team management.
As New Zealand has already drawn first blood in Test series, Team India would settle for nothing less than a win when both the teams lock horns in the second and final Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on February 29. It is a must-win contest for the top-ranked side as a stalemate or even a washout would mean that they end up losing the series. Meanwhile, the hosts would be looking to add insult to injury by coming out on top once again.