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New Zealand seek 'fresh start' against India, aim to put behind old demons
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New Zealand seek 'fresh start' against India, aim to put behind old demons

New Zealand will be searching to put behind their unimpressive show in Australia when they switch formats on Friday to kick off a five-match T20I series against India.

The series will be a six-week tour by Virat Kohli's men which includes three ODI and two Test matches.

However, with T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, the shortest format will be getting the most attention.

India recently completed their 2-1 series win over Australia at home but Kohli, who represents India across all formats, said his concern was the hectic schedule for cricketers these days.

"It's definitely getting closer and closer to landing at the stadium straight, that's how compressed the game has come," he said on the eve of first T20I.

He added that leadership wasn’t always judged by the results.

'Leadership not always judged by the results'

"It's also about how you can get the team together and get the guys functioning under you as well, which I think Kane has done wonderfully well," Kohli said.

"He has the respect of his team-mates and he has the trust of his team-mates, is what I can see, and he's also a very, very smart cricketer."

Williamson, termed ‘reluctant leader’ by former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, said his stance would be adjusted to what is required for the group.

"I do feel fortunate to be leading such a great group of guys that share a similar passion, which is to keep moving this team forward," Williamson said.

"If those (leadership) discussions are to eventuate and collectively there's a thought that it would be best for the team, then my stance is whatever is right and fits the group."

New Zealand head into the series with plenty of injuries of late, but their record over India has been decent. Currently placed sixth in T20Is and one place below India, New Zealand edged India 2-1 at home last time around. They have also won eight of their eleven head-to-head contests against India in T20Is.

Tim Southee, who led the New Zealand T20 side against India last year, said he was confident his side would bounce back after receiving 3-0 series loss against Australia.

"What's gone is gone, and as I said, it was very disappointing and the guys have learnt from it," Southee said as the teams assembled in Auckland.

"We're going to look forward to the Indian series and a big way to finish the home summer."