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New Zealand need to try and make it as difficult as possible for Virat Kohli: Tom Latham

India vs New Zealand: New Zealand stand-in captain confirmed that leg-spinner Ish Sodhi will miss the first ODI in Hyderabad due to a niggle. The visitors will also be without their Big 3 – Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and Tim Southee for the 3-match series, starting January 18.

In Short

  • Virat Kohli has hit 5 hundreds against New Zealand in ODIs
  • India take on New Zealand in a 3-match series from Wednesday
  • Tom Latham said Ish Sodhi will not be available for 1st ODI

PosterGuy: New Zealand’s stand-in captain Tom Latham said the visitors will try and stop Virat Kohli from continuing his excellent run when the two sides meet in a 3-match ODI series, starting January 18 in Hyderabad.

Virat Kohli has regained his form and looks in glorious touch as the former captain has hit 3 hundreds in his last 4 ODI innings. Kohli ended a 3-year wait for an ODI hundred against Bangladesh in December 2022 and smashed two more in a recently-concluded 3-match series against Sri Lanka which India won 3-0.

Virat Kohli notched up his second-highest ODI score of 166 not out in the final ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday in Thiruvananthapuram, announcing that he is back to his best in the 50-over format of the game. Kohli hit 13 boundaries and 8 sixes in a stunning knock where he cut loose after reaching his hundred in 85 balls. Kohli hit his last 65 runs in just 25 balls, going on a six-hitting spree against the Sri Lankan attack.

Kohli will be looking to extend his golden run and continue his good record against New Zealand. The former World No. 1 has scored 1378 runs in 26 matches at an average of 59.91 and a strike rate of 94.64. He has hit 5 hundreds and 8 fifties against New Zealand.

“Virat has been playing some great cricket. Looks like he is hitting the ball well. We need to plan as best as we can like we do our scouting on all those guys. We will try to make it as tough as possible for him (to score runs),” Latham said on the eve of the ODI series against India in Hyderabad.

MASSIVE HOLE FOR NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand will miss the likes of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult and captain Latham also confirmed that leg-spinner Ish Sodhi will be unavailable for the series opener due to a niggle.

Lockie Ferguson will lead the pace attack in the company of Blair Tickner, Doug Bracewell and Henry Shipley for New Zealand, who will look to continue their good run after beating Pakistan 2-1 in Pakistan earlier this month.

Latham said Ferguson’s presence is a big boost and that the absence of the Big 3 is an opportunity for others to step up.

“They (Boult, Southee, Williamson) are not in the side and that leaves a massive hole for us. On the other hand, it presents an opportunity for other guys who have been around the squad. Everyone has played international cricket in the squad which is a bonus,” Latham during the pre-match press conference.

“It is their turn to step up. Lucky we have Lockie Ferguson who has played a lot of cricket in India,” said

With the ODI World Cup scheduled in India in October-November, Latham said the series gains a lot of significance.

“The cricket that we played in Pakistan was really good. Some of them had not toured Pakistan ever and to come up with a series win was really nice. Over here, we will try and adapt to the conditions as much as we can.

“Surfaces in India will potentially be a bit better than what we had in Pakistan. Every time we play India it is a competitive series,” he said.

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