Black Caps not focused just on Kohli

Martin Guptill of the New Zealand Blackcaps reacts during the One Day International match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Bay Oval. Photo: Getty Images
Martin Guptill of the New Zealand Blackcaps reacts during the One Day International match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Bay Oval. Photo: Getty Images
The warm-up is over and the real competition is here.

India has arrived on New Zealand shores, beginning its tour with the first of five one-day internationals today in Napier.

It comes fresh off test and ODI series victories in Australia and only England rates above it in the world rankings.

New Zealand slots in one place down those rankings in third, but to close the gap it will have to beat several of cricket's biggest names.

Kuldeep Yadav is ranked in the world's top three bowlers, while MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are among the most dangerous players in the game with the bat.

But at the forefront is captain Virat Kohli.

Arguably the world's best batsman, he has averaged a staggering 113 in ODIs since the start of 2018.

It is an imposing record, although New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said it was important not to get caught up in one player.

''Obviously he's a world-class player, Virat.

''He's always a challenge to come up against and I think most admire the way he goes about his cricket and he's formidable in his run scoring.

''So definitely a player of note to try to shut down.

''But at the same time there's plenty of quality players in that side. Although he is world-class, you don't want to get too consumed around one individual.

''There are a number of match winners in that side and it's about us trying to execute as best we can.''

New Zealand's focus on its own game and the here and now was clear from Williamson.

That may not be easy as it hosts one of the world's best teams with the World Cup just months away.

However, those focuses had led to success through the recent Sri Lanka tour and he did not want to change that formula.

''[The World Cup is] a great occasion, one that the team is really looking forward to.

''But at the same time our focus is very much about one game at a time and that was certainly the focus throughout the Sri Lankan series.

''It's certainly important that we focus on what we're trying to do to keep playing better cricket for us.''

The tour consists of five ODIs and three twenty20 matches.

New Zealand has welcomed back Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, and Mitchell Santner to its 14-man squad for the series.

Williamson said it was likely all players within the squad would get to play at some point in the series.

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