Virat Kohli (right) and Kane Williamson pose with the winner's trophy at stake with the scenic Basin Reserve at the backdrop. Image Credit: ANI

Wellington: Virat Kohli admitted Wednesday that captaining India in all three cricketing formats was gruelling but insisted he was not yet ready to ease his leadership burden.

Speaking ahead of the opening Test against New Zealand in Wellington on Friday, Kohli, 31, said stepping back was on his mind, but not for a few years.

“It’s not a conversation to hide away from,” he told reporters. “It’s been about eight years now that I’ve been playing almost 300 days a year.

“With the travelling, practice sessions and the intensity being right up there all the time, it does take a toll on you.”

Asked about fellow players who had dropped one or more forms of the game in order to extend their careers, Kohli replied: “I’m not in that space at the moment.”

“Periodic breaks for me seem to work pretty OK,” he added.

“At a time when the body doesn’t respond as well, maybe at around 34, 35, you might have a different conversation, but for the next two or three years I have no issues.”

Kohli, who took over the Test captaincy in late 2014, said he wanted to ensure the Indian team was in a good place when he finally relaxed his grip on the reins.

“The team wants a lot of my contribution in the next two or three years, so that we can ease into another transition, which is what we faced about five or six years ago,” he said.

“The mindset is obviously on the larger picture and from that point of view, I am preparing myself for a rigorous three years.”

Kohli backed rookie opening batsmen Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw to shine at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, where India have not won a Test since 1968.

“These guys have no baggage, they’re not desperate in any way to perform here,” he said.

“They play with a fearlessness that can motivate the whole team and give us the kind of starts we want.”

Kohli expected the notorious Wellington wind to play a role in the match, saying it had to be carefully considered when weighing up bowling options.

“Wind in this stadium more than any other in the world plays a massive, massive role,” he said.

The return of pace spearhead Trent Boult will, meanwhile, come as a welcome boost for New Zealand in their flagging ICC Test Championship campaign from Friday.

Boult broke his hand in the second Test against Australia in December and had to sit out a Twenty20 series and one-day matches against India.

“I suppose breaking a hand, you don’t really know how much you use it until it’s broken,” he told reporters this week after playing in a club match.

“Everything has gone well but catching would be the biggest issue for me at the moment. I’m 100% fit and hungry.

“It’s been nice just to be able to bowl.”

India swept the Twenty20 matches 5-0 but Kane Williamson’s side, without several first-choice bowlers, had their chances to win the last three games of that series.