Kohli’s dig at scheduling
India had only three full days between their New Zealand tour opener in Auckland on Friday and the final ODI in Bangalore versus Australia, which was on January 19.
It reflects how packed the schedule is, with captain Virat Kohli taking a dig at the scheduling aspect.
“Well, it’s definitely getting closer and closer to landing at the stadium and playing straightaway,” was Kohli’s tongue-in-cheek comment, even though he said it smilingly, on the eve of the first T20I versus the Black Caps.
“That’s how compressed the game has become, but I think this kind of travel and coming to a place, which is seven hours ahead of India time, is always difficult to adjust to immediately.
“So, I am sure these things will be taken into consideration much more in the future… Yeah, it is what it is, and you can do whatever you can to get better and get on the park again, and that’s international cricket for you today. It’s back to back,” he added.
After the New Zealand tour concludes on March 4 with the second and final Test, India will host South Africa for the first of three ODIs just after eight days. The last of those ODIs is on March 18 with the IPL likely to start in the last week of March, leaving a gap of just over a week or so for the players.
Kohli, however, pointed out its positives as well. “The last series we played against Australia was ODIs, so we spent more time on the field. But we played a few T20Is before that.
“Having played a lot more cricket than just T20s in the last three games, we will find it easier to come here and play even though with less time to prepare.
“We are looking forward to that because this is the year of the World Cup and so every T20 match is important,” the skipper emphasised.
According to Kohli, touring New Zealand is much more relaxing than what it is in case of other countries, as cricketers don’t seem to have a larger-than-life image there.
“Any New Zealand tour is much more relaxed. Every tour is a representation of how people look at the game in that region and in New Zealand the game is looked at as a job for the guys that play the game.
“It is not larger than life or the most important thing in life. It is part of the New Zealand culture and it is just a sport. They get on with it, but they also play really hard and want to win the game.
“They are dejected or depressed if they don’t win, so I think it is a wonderful balance and something that every team that comes to New Zealand loves this tour.
“... New Zealanders are the most relaxed and chilled out and professional in what they do,” Kohli elaborated.