Expressing his admiration for Virat Kohli, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on Tuesday said that his side would be primarily focussed on how to "best combat" his Indian counterpart in the limited overs series, starting at McLean Park in Napier on Wednesday.
"Someone like Virat is certainly a player I admire and enjoy watching and he's pushing the boundaries of the game so that's brilliant," said Williamson on the eve of first ODI of the five-match series.
He further said, "He's a respectful guy and I've known him since a very long time. But as a player, obviously, world class and our focus is more about that and his cricketing ability and how we can combat him as best as we can."
Williamson also felt that the passion with which Kohli approaches his cricket has made him a crowd puller around the world.
"He's always a challenge to come up against. He is also someone who is most admired in terms of how he goes about his cricket. He's formidable in his run scoring which definitely makes him a player of note to try to shut down," he said.
Kohli, too, was not far behind when it came to acknowledging Williamson's achievements, calling him one of the best in the world.
"Williamson is easily one of the best players in the world. So easy on the eye, great to watch and I personally enjoy his batting and when he is on song he is easily one of the most attractive batsmen to watch. He is always going to be a solid player for New Zealand purely because of what all he has done over the years in all three formats," Kohli said.
He more or less makes the team win when he is scoring runs, so that tells you about his awareness about the game and hence he is leading the side and guiding it in the right direction. So Kane will be a factor but at the same time Rosco (Taylor) and other guys as well," he added.
The Indian captain besides Williamson, also picked Ross Taylor as a batsmen his team would look to dismiss cheaply.
Kohli added, "You can't take anyone for granted and their batting revolves around Kane and Ross in ODIs especially, the other guys bat around them and we are aware of that and working on our plans."
Williamson signed off by saying that he hopes the pitch at McLean Park, Napier could aid batsmen.
"It's important the batting group puts together a plan that is good but, at the same time, the bowlers have a massive role in that in trying to nullify the strengths in both oppositions," he said.