Napier: Ahead of the five-ODI rubber against India, starting here Wednesday, former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor on Monday praised touring captain Virat Kohli as the best 'one-day player' while cautioning his side against solely focussing on the leader as the men-in-blue have many more match winners.
While Kohli has enjoyed a purple patch in the 50-over format in recent years, the Indian opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan has also been responsible for giving the side a great start on most occasions, while the middle order led by former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has displayed their prowess while chasing big totals in the just-concluded ODI series against Australia.
Taylor, New Zealand's second most prolific run-scorer of all time behind only Stephen Fleming, pointed out that focussing solely on Kohli may backfire.
"He's a sensational player, the best one-day player going around, quite easily," Taylor told stuff.co.nz, as quoted by the ICC website.
"It's easy to get caught up in him. (But) you've got two pretty good openers at the top, Sharma and Dhawan, before he gets in."
Like Kohli, Taylor too has been in stellar form, particularly in ODIs. He finished 2018 as New Zealand's most prolific run-scorer before starting the new year with 281 runs from three matches against Sri Lanka.
"I've played a few internationals now and understand my role in the team," said Taylor.
"I've worked on my game, and try and rotate the strike early and be as busy as I can. Different shots against spinners at different stages have maybe evolved my game in a positive way," he added.
Taylor, however gave a scare to the Kiwis ahead of the India series after dislocating his little finger but insisted that he has fully recovered now.
"It's fine. It looks a lot sorer than it is no break, but the ligaments were a bit sore," he said.
After the opener in Napier, both the sides will move to Mount Maunganui for the second and third ODIs before playing the fourth ODI in Hamilton. The fifth and final ODI will be played in Wellington.
Wellington will also host the first of the three T20 Internationals, while the second and third T20Is will be played in Auckland and Hamilton, respectively.