With the second Test at Hagley Oval, Christchurch starting in a couple of days time, New Zealand opener Tom Latham has said they have plans to counter India captain Virat Kohli, who has not been in the best of form in the series and was dismissed for two and 19 in the first Test which India lost by 10 wickets at Wellington. Also Read - ICC Test Player Rankings: Virat Kohli Slips to No. 2; Steve Smith Back on Top
“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 number one rank for such a period of time,” Latham said while talking to reporters on Thursday. Also Read - Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant Named in Asia XI Squad For T20I Series vs World XI in Bangladesh
Owing to his poor run of form, Kohli has also lost his number one spot in the latest ICC Test Rankings. He has scored merely 201 runs in nine innings in the ongoing tour of New Zealand across formats. Also Read - Ind vs NZ: Virat Kohli Not in Favour of India's Overcautious Batting Approach
Praising Kohli’s abilities to get runs almost everywhere, Latham has said that if the surface offers sideways movement they will look to exploit it.
“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,” Latham added.
The left-handed batsman also felt that the comeback pacer Neil Wagner, who was injured during the first Test, will provide more depth to their bowling department.
“I haven’t yet seen him but when he rocks up for training he will be absolutely fizzing up to get going and obviously he will be raring to go. He has been a quality performer for a number of years for us,” Latham said.
New Zealand currently leads the two-match Test series 1-0 and will look to gain the crucial 60 points on offer in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.