Virat Kohli hoping to put Ishant Sharma’s experience in New Zealand to good use

Seamer in fitness race

Ishant Sharma playing for India

Captain Virat Kohli remains hopeful fast bowler Ishant Sharma will full recover from an ankle injury and participate in India's Test series against New Zealand this month.

India and New Zealand will meet for two Tests at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Sharma, who has played five Tests in New Zealand, rolled an ankle during a Ranji Trophy fixture last month. He was named in the touring squad, regardless, and is effectively in a fitness race ahead of the series opener.

“He looked pretty normal like before, I mean before he got injured. Pretty similar to how he was bowling before the ankle injury, and he was hitting good areas,” said Kohli after a practice session this week.

“Obviously he has got plenty of experience. He has played in New Zealand a couple of times before, and definitely his experience will be something that will be useful in the series. Really good to see him bowling with pace and in good areas.”

Kohli on discipline in New Zealand

New Zealand and India have contested 57 Tests since the first in 1955. India have won 21 and lost 10. There have been 26 draws. India's last visit to New Zealand for a Test series was in 2014. The hosts won that two-match series one-nil.

“I think in New Zealand it's all about cricket discipline and what the team brings on to the field. They are intense and very, very fit guys, and they can keep going all day and test your patience, really skilled with what they do as both bowlers and batsmen and obviously brilliant fielders as well,” added Kohli.

“So they don't give you a lot within the game to sort of bank on or pounce on. You need to be wary of the chances that come on the way, and be focussed enough to capitalise on those. So I think it takes a lot more concentration on the field rather than dealing with things off the field in New Zealand.”

India are without opening batsman Rohit Sharma for this series. He has been sidelined by a calf injury.

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Jonhenry
Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.