New Zealand’s batting mainstay Ross Taylor has insisted the hosts’ fast bowlers will have their work cut out against a top-quality Indian batting unit in the upcoming five-match ODI series, starting January 23 in Napier.Taylor, who is expected to lead New Zealand’s challenge with the bat, also heaped praise on India captain Virat Kohli, calling him “the best one-day player going around”. However, the veteran batsman has warned his team against focussing too much on Kohli, saying India have two top quality opening batsmen in Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.India arrived in Auckland on Sunday ahead of the first ODI which will be played in Napier on Wednesday. The visitors are high on confidence after having started the World Cup year with a historic series win in Australia.Kohli was once again at the thick of things as he led India’s fightback in Adelaide in the second ODI after a series-opening defeat in Sydney against Australia. The top-ranked ODI batsman scored 104 as India successfully gunned down a 299-run target before sealing the decider in Melbourne on Friday.A smile is the best way to unwind. pic.twitter.com/w8RoT6udd3Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 21, 2019Apart from Kohli, Rohit Sharma also showed signs of peak form when he slammed a daddy hundred in a losing cause in the first ODI. Meanwhile, veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has seemingly hit form as he walked away with Man of the Series with three successive half-centuries.Kohli best one-day player going around: Tayloradvertisement”Kohli’s a sensational player, probably the best one day player going round – easily, really,” Taylor was quoted as saying by Stuff on Monday.”It’s easy to get caught up in him, but they’ve got two pretty good openers up the top in [Rohit] Sharma and co to come out before Kohli gets in. [Shikhar] Dhawan’s got a very good record as well. I’m sure the fast bowlers will have their work cut out.”India are expected to face a stiffer challenge than they did in Australia as history isn’t in favour of the touring side. The Asian giants have managed to win only one series in seven attempts. They were beaten 4-0 in a five-match series on their last tour in 2013-14 season.Ross Taylor is expected to be one of the major threats to Kohli’s visiting side as the veteran Black Caps batsman has been in fine form over the last 12 months. Since 2018, Taylor has scored at an average of 92 in 13 ODIs.Taylor scored 281 runs, including a century and two half-centuries, in their 3-0 defeat of Sri Lanka earlier this month. The good news for New Zealand is that Taylor has deemed himself fit for the upcoming series against India despite suffering a finger injury during a T20I against Sri Lanka in Auckland. Reuters Photo”I have played a few internationals now and understand my role in the team. I’ve worked on my game and try and rotate the strike early and be as busy as I can. Different shots against spinners at different stages have maybe evolved my game in a positive way,” Taylor said.”But you’re still human and you still have to start again, and it’s exciting against India.”Also Read | MS Dhoni eyes Sachin Tendulkar’s record in New Zealand after hitting form in AustraliaAlso Read | New Zealand tough side but it will be advantage India: Madan LalAlso Read | Michael Bevan finished matches with fours, MS Dhoni does so with sixes: Ian ChappellAlso Read | Virat Kohli is the greatest-ever ODI batsman, says Michael ClarkeAlso See:
Full disclosure on this play, this is just terrible football from Pitt. It’s almost like they thought no one would rush on the right side of the line? Nonetheless, tremendous pressure applied from both Trey Carter and Calvin Bundage. Causes a hurried throw and a pick-6. Also does Bundage kill the QB?This play ended up getting called back for holding, but it’s a good example of when getting out of your rushing lane can open up huge holes for the run game. Brailford gets too far inside and the OL is able to seal him even further, and it opens up a gaping hole for a big 33 yard gain. Gap integrity is so important.Overall I think the DL did its job. It wasn’t a dominating performance by any means, but they prevented Pitt from having a consistent run game. Holding any a team to 103 rushing yards and 14 points is a big deal, even more so a Power 5 team like Pitt. The 4-man rotation of Dequinton Osborne, Trey Carter, Darrion Daniels and Enoch Smith is a really exciting group and hopefully can anchor this DL once the competition continues to get tougher.On to TCU!If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! We already looked at the offensive side of things, but I wanted to look at OSU’s defensive line performance at Pitt, too. Matt Canada’s offense gave the OSU defense problems last season, and although he left for LSU, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi decided to keep that offensive philosophy with incoming offensive coordinator Shawn Watson.Anytime you hold a team that prides itself on a power run game to 3.0 yards/carry you have to be pretty happy. The Oklahoma State defensive tackles shined once again, and are slowly proving to be one of the best positional units on the team.“Defensively we stopped the run,” said Mike Gundy. “Pitt wants to run the ball and control the clock – we stopped the run. In the first half, we were poor at time tackling. We missed three or four guys on tackles which cost us a couple of touchdowns. The rallied and tackled better in the second half.”I was worried that the constant shifting would really test OSU’s discipline, but for the most the Oklahoma State defense was sound in that area.Although they had their moments, if there’s a point of criticism I think you would like to see a steadier pass rush. There are still times where the DEs are unable to shed blocks if they get latched on. OSU had 2 sacks and 6 QB hurries officially. Ideally you would like to see the sack number closer to 3-4. I would settle for more disruption, which really isn’t a stat in itself but has a large impact on the game itself.Here is a good example of disruption that doesn’t show up in a box score. Enoch Smith is able to get a nice rush up field, shed his blocker with some really nice upper body strength, and ultimately cause a holding penalty after the guard tackles him from behind.Here is one of the two sacks, nice twist from Brailford and DQ. Brailford is getting pretty good at that Dwight Freeney-style spin move. Check out the bend/flexibility from DQ Osborne to be able to make that corner and make the sack. That is really impressive for a 300-lb defensive tackle.This is just great defense. Brailford can feel that this is a screen pass so knows he has to get to the QB immediately, he has to assume there is a RB behind him setting up. Osborne has great awareness on the screen pass as well, and immediately locks down the RB to blow the play up.