Catch him while you can. Equally good advice for the New Zealand fielders and spectators who have only two more chances to watch Indian captain Virat Kohli before he heads home.

While NZC and fans who can't make it to Mt Maunganui will rue the exit of the box office batsman, his decision makes sense as congestion grows in the global cricket calendar.

Kohli has been on the go for the past three months in multiple series against the West Indies, Australia and New Zealand, where the demands on his time and skill have been unrelenting as the captain and premier batsman in the group.

His commitment, batting expertise and unyielding leadership drove India's outstanding summer campaigns and hopes of historic success.


Kohli's production and welfare are undisputed keys to his nation's success but if he saw out the entire ODI and T20 programme in New Zealand, there would be no room for him to try to take a spell from the demands of his work.

After India leave New Zealand, they are back into domestic action against Australia in a series of limited overs matches before teams fine-tune their preparations for the World Cup.

Somewhere Kohli needed a break in the way that New Zealand rested captain Kane Williamson and Trent Boult from one of the recent matches against Sri Lanka.

Kohli was not at his sharpest in Napier but his 45 in a match-claiming partnership was golden viewing for those who ventured to the ground to see batting majesty.

In the way cricket lovers talk about watching the strokeplay of Wally Hammond, Everton Weekes and Garry Sobers in their rare forays to this country, those who see Kohli at the crease will have similar memories.

Who knows if he will bat again in New Zealand after this Anniversary Weekend?

A decent result for the crowd at the Bay Oval will be a strong Kiwi response to find a victory mixed against some batting gloss from Kohli.

His aim will be to depart with the one-day series sorted while KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya arrive to support Rohit Sharma as he takes over the leadership.


There is more heat on New Zealand this long weekend than India. They are matched against the best side in the world but they have been cast as a team to give the World Cup a shake and more splutters will draw wider speculation about the calibre of contenders for that tournament.