Virat-led India line-up stood exposed in slightly favorable bowling conditions as New Zealand won the warm-up match by six wickets at The Oval on Saturday.
Under overcast conditions, Trent Boult’s incisive swing bowling proved a tough test for the Indian top-order batsmen and the Men In Blue never recovered from the early collapse. They were bowled out for just 179 in 39.2 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja’s 54 off 50 balls and Hardik Pandya’s 37-ball 30 were the only substantial scores.
After the loss against New Zealand, Kohli admitted his side couldn’t execute their plans.
“Didn’t go to plan. Good challenge up front though. We can expect that in some places in England when conditions are overcast. From 50 for 4 to get to 180 was a good effort,” Kohli said. “In a tournament like the World Cup, the top order can go off sometimes, so Hardik getting runs, MS (Dhoni) absorbing pressure and Jadeja’s fifty, those were good positives.”
Speaking about his side’s bowling effort, Kohli said: “We bowled well–they were going at 4, 4.5 per over–and looking at that in isolation we did well. Fielders are going to play a crucial role, half chances will be massive. We’ll have to be precise in all three departments.”
On the other side, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was happy with the effort of his fast bowlers and he plans to use the spinners more in the second warm-up match against West Indies in Bristol.
“With the new ball, there was a little bit of seam movement, not too much swing. We didn’t get too much from the spinners but hopefully we can get them some work in the second warm-up game,” he said.
“It was quicker in the first innings than the second innings, it got slower later on.”
Williamson also said his side was trying to be flexible in their batting unit.
“Henry (Nicholls) can bat at the top and in the middle. And with Tom’s (Latham) finger being injured, we wanted to have (Colin) Munro up there to give us options. We are trying to be flexible as we know Munro can be destructive.
“Facing a quality side like India and scoring some runs is always good,” the Blackcaps skipper added.