India vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli factor - How New Zealand can contain ‘prolific’ Indian captain
Virat Kohli has adopted a new approach in T20Is. The Indian captain marches out to bat and takes the attack to the opposition from the first ball. A batsman who generally does not take the aerial route in the other formats is not averse to going big in T20Is and this new method has worked out well for him as well as the Indian team. Now as India travel to New Zealand, all the focus will once again be on Kohli. Surprisingly, this will be Kohli’s first-ever T20I match in New Zealand. He has played 5 T20I matches against the Kiwis (all in India) and has a strike-rate of 155 - this is the third best strike rate for a batsman against New Zealand (for a minimum of 5 T20Is played).
However, there could be a way for New Zealand to stop the Virat march. As far as the numbers and stats are concerned, the Indian captain finds it tough against the left-arm pacers. And this is where New Zealand has missed a trick as they do not have even a single left-arm seamer in their ranks.
Now, there is also the Ish Sodhi factor - 2 out of the 4 dismissals of Kohli have come against the leg-spinner and after what Adam Zampa said during the Australia series, Williamson could toss the ball to Sodhi to target Kohli.
Sodhi is also the bowler with the best average against Kohli in T20Is for bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 10 deliveries.
This will be a very interesting subplot to the entire series and if the driven nature of Kohli is anything to go by, he will be keen to hit the ground running from the very first match. It will also be interesting to see how the Kiwis attack the Indian captain and the bowlers Williamson employs to take on the right-hander.