Virat Kohli: Good to see Ishant bowling with pace

India captain Kohli is preparing himself for a “rigorous three years” of playing all formats following which he might reassess his workload.

Kohli, who will turn 31 this year, agreed that periodic breaks have worked well for him.   -  K. R. DEEPAK

Virat Kohli and his men face a searching examination of skill and character as the first Test, beginning Friday, approaches.

There is grass on this Basin Reserve surface and the New Zealand pacemen will be relentless in their quest for scalps.

However, Neil Wagner, that battering ram, who hustles batsmen with well-directed short-pitched bowling, could miss the first Test since he is awaiting the birth of his child.

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If Wagner is unavailable, then, the lanky Kyle Jamieson, who achieves lift around the off-stump could come in.

Kohli was confident that his batsmen would be up to the task. The Indian skipper was also gung-ho about his pace pack where Ishant Sharma appears to have put fitness troubles behind.

The Indian captain said, “He looked pretty similar to how he was bowling before the ankle injury and was hitting good areas. Really good to see him bowling with pace. He has the experience too.”

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The Indian team, Kohli said, would be tactically flexible. “We are going to look to adapt to what’s in front of us rather than having a set template.”

Playing in New Zealand had its challenges but Kohli said his team would focus on its strengths. “We have to show more patience than our opposition. If the opposition plays the waiting game, we are gonna play the waiting game. If they counterattack we have the opportunities to take wickets and score runs vice-versa.”

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