India vs New Zealand: Opening combination, Ishant’s fitness - Virat Kohli drops big hint about India’s team combination
Team India captain Virat Kohli said that Ishant Sharma looked to be in good rhythm and that he was hitting the right areas which could well mean that the seasoned pacer could well start the first Test match in Wellington. Kohli also backed young Prithvi Shaw to follow his instincts when he walks out to bat. Rishabh Pant might have to miss out if the net session was anything to go by, while Hanuma Vihari could walk out as India’s number 6.
“He (Ishant) looked pretty normal and pretty similar to what he was bowling before the ankle injury. He is hitting good areas again and he has played (Test cricket) in New Zealand couple of times, so his experience will be useful to us. It was really good to see him bowling with pace and in good areas,” Kohli said during his media interaction ahead of the match.
“Prithvi is a talented player and he has his own game and we want him to follow his instincts and play the way he does. Look, these guys have no baggage and are not desperate to perform in any manner,” Kohli further added.
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Kohli wants Prithvi to watch and learn from Mayank Agarwal and the way he batted in his debut series in Australia. “They don’t have any nerves to do well overseas. Like a clear head with which Mayank played in Australia, Prithvi can do the same in New Zealand. “A bunch of guys playing with fearlessness, something that can motivate the whole team, gives us start that the team wants and not get intimidated by the opposition in any way,” Kohli said.
The skipper did not want to read too much into India’s performances in the limited-overs leg of the series and said that the players are well aware of things they need to do to adapt their games.
“Prithvi, I think you can call him relatively inexperienced and Mayank, I wouldn’t call him that inexperienced because he has scored a lot of runs last year. So he understands what his game is like in Test cricket.
“I think sometimes in white ball cricket we try to do too much but once you come into red ball cricket, you fall into that disciplined mode of batting, which obviously suits him much more at this stage.”
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