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Need to get Kohli out early: Tim

Auckland: New Zealand’s pace spearhead Tim Southee warned India of more of short-pitch bowling in the third ODI, given that the boundaries, here, at the Eden Park, are short and the wicket expected to be quick.

“The pitch does offer a bit of pace and bounce, but generally, it is a pretty good batting surface. With the small boundaries, it is a bit daunting for the bowlers. But in the last couple of games, it has managed to swing around a little bit.

“It does generally swing in here. So, hopefully, we can make the most of it,” Southee said on Friday.

“If there is a little bit of pace in the wicket, short bowling will be an option. The square boundaries are a bit bigger and it will come into play as strategy.

“We have plans in place for each of their batsmen. The plans had worked well in the first game,” he added.

Southee, however, admitted that the New Zealand bowlers have so far failed to restrict Virat Kohli. “The Indian batsmen are all good players. But Kohli has been in great touch and has shown his class for a period now in international cricket.

“I don’t think we have bowled particularly well to him. Once he gets going, he’s shown that he is pretty hard to stop. He is in great nick and our job is to get him as early as possible,” he said.

India lost that first ODI at Napier by 24 runs, with four top-order batsmen falling to the pull shot. In the second ODI at Hamilton, the visitors again fell short by 15 runs (D/L method) to go down 0-2 in the five-match series.

“It has been a good start to the series so far. We have played two pretty good games. It is important we do not get too far ahead of ourselves and instead, take each game as it comes.

“We know they are a good side and have been No. 1 in the world for a while. They will be disappointed with the first two games. They are too good a side to roll over.

“We know we have to be at our best to beat this side and hopefully, we can do that tomorrow,” Southee said.

In two matches so far, India have opted to bowl first but ended up falling short in the run-chase on both occasions. Eden Park is a small ground with varied boundary angles and the toss could play a vital role on Saturday. “I don’t think India are at a disadvantage by opting to chase. Grounds in New Zealand are small and chasing is the preferred option for a lot of sides, knowing you can chase down any score here,” opined Southee. (PTI)