Indian skipper Virat Kohli and limited-overs’ vice-captain Rohit Sharma recently strengthened their positions in MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings after notable performances in the just-concluded three-match ODI series against Australia.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who are currently ranked No.1 and No.2 have gained two and three rating points respectively. Virat Kohli stands on top of the list with 886 points after being named the man of the series against Australia. Kohli garnered as many as 183 runs in the series which included a handy 78 and 89 in the second and third ODI respectively.

Rohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, India vs Australia 2020, Steve Smith
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma. (Credits – Getty)

On the other hand, Rohit Sharma was the second-best Indian batsmen in the ODI series. He accumulated an aggregate score of 171 runs including a match-winning 119 in the final ODI in Bengaluru. Rohit Sharma is placed second with 868 points.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be up against a top New Zealand side with quality pacers in the upcoming series. The tour kicks off with shorter format, with the first match scheduled to be held at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

New Zealand pacers will trouble Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma: Mike Hesson

Meanwhile, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, who has been appointed as the Director of Royal Challengers Bangalore said that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be challenged by New Zealand pacers especially in the initial phase of the game.

Mike Hesson

“For me, the match-up I am interested to see is how Virat Kohli deals with New Zealand seamers in his first 10-20 balls. If he can get starts in NZ, then his hunger for runs will make him difficult to dislodge Kane Williamson,” Mike Hesson was quoted as saying in the Times of India.

India’s record in New Zealand is a pathetic one and New Zealand are a tough team to beat at their den while adding that Trent Boult versus Rohit Sharma will be an exciting one.

“New Zealand are very hard to beat at home as you can see by their recent record. I, however, see India having a far more suitable seam bowling attack than they had back in 2014 (the last time the two played Tests in NZ) which means this will be a very even and competitive series,” he said. “Trent Boult versus Rohit Sharma in ODIs will be a fascinating match up with a little bit of swing on offer,” he added.

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