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Kohli banks on confidence to make it square

REUTERS

Wellington

India’s batsmen will still take a confident mindset into the second test against New Zealand in Christchurch, despite struggling to deal with the hosts’ disciplined pace bowling attack in a 10-wicket loss in the first test.

India were dismissed for totals of 165 and 191 in the first test at the Basin Reserve, with opener Mayank Agarwal the only player to pass 50 in either innings.

Virat Kohli, who only scored two and 19, however, said they would not go into their shells as they prepared for the series-deciding game at Hagley Oval from Feb. 29.

“I don’t think a cautious approach ever pays off, especially away from home,” Kohli said after the loss. “We will definitely be much more positive.

“We will try and put their bowlers under pressure and try and make them do something different rather than them making us do something different.”

The defeat was India’s first in their scheduled matches for the International Cricket Council’s World Test Championship, but Kohli said the team’s culture meant that his players would not be bothered by it.

“We have the belief that we can win. But if there is a defeat in the interim, it doesn’t mean the belief will go away,” he said.

“There’s no cakewalk or easy games at the international level. Teams will come out and beat you, you have to accept it and that defines your character as a side.”

Kohli added the team’s positive mentality had helped his side hold onto the world’s top test ranking since October, 2016 and they would continue to pursue that.

“We are not going to play in any other fashion,” he said.

“Whatever it requires us to do as a batting unit, a bowling unit and a fielding unit to be able to do that, we are definitely going to come out and do that.

“We are not bothered about another loss but we are not going to take a backward step, that’s for sure.”

New Zealand coach Gary Stead, who had earlier praised his side’s bowlers for their approach in Wellington, felt the approach advocated by Kohli would likely make it more difficult in Christchurch, but could also offer opportunities to exploit.

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