Virat Kohli’s performance in the ongoing tour was far from pleasing. The Indian captain managed to score solitary fifty across nine innings, which is a rare failure considering a player of his calibre. The top-order batsman was not up to the mark in the first Test match at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Kohli has chipped in with low scores of two and 19 in the first and second innings as New Zealand beat India by ten wickets inside four days, to take the lead (1-0) in the two-match Test series.
Now, New Zealand are just one win away from whitewashing the visitors or even a draw will ensure a series win for the hosts.
The Kiwis are making sure that Kohli’s dry patch continues into the last match of India’s tour too. The second Test is scheduled to be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on February 29, Saturday.
Neil Wagner targets Virat Kohli’s wicket in the second Test:
Meanwhile, Neil Wagner, who makes a return to New Zealand squad after missing the opening Test on paternity leave said that he is specifically targeting Kohli’s wicket. The pacer said that he always aims to take wickets of best players while also adding that he has a tactical plan to dismiss Kohli in the second Test.
“Every team I play against I always try and target and go for their best players, because you know what a big stride it makes within a team when you get their best players out. Drying him up, making sure they don’t score and putting a lot of pressure on him from both ends [is imperative],” Wagner told Stuff.co.nz.
Quite interestingly, the left-arm pacer Wagner has dismissed Kohli thrice in six innings in Test cricket. It should be noted that Wagner came out on top when India locked horns with New Zealand in 2013-14. Wagner was the best bowler for his team in the Auckland Test which New Zealand managed to win by a margin of 40 runs.
“I think it was a stage where I was still trying to find my feet in the team and trying to find a way of getting a role and doing my role in the team. That’s one of the Test matches where it did turn. The way I bowl at the moment, that’s where it started. It was an amazing Test win and something I always look back to and I think it kickstarted my career. Before that I was going through the phase where you have quite a few ups and downs and try to find your feet,” Wagner concluded.