New Delhi: He is among the best in the world but New Zealand captain and batting mainstay Kane Williamson prefers to be modest and says he has "learnt watching Virat Kohli", terming the Indian swashbuckler a "great player."
"Virat's a great player and his ability to dominate attacks through all three formats is very special. Certainly that I admire, I love watching him play and learn from a player like that," the current World No.3 in the ICC Test Batsmen rankings told reporters during a media interaction, here on Tuesday.
Williamson, Kohli along with Joe Root and Steve Smith are the 'Big Four' among world cricket's premier batsmen and the New Zealand captain said each has different strengths.
"Smith and Root are both great players as well. All of us are different players, have different strengths. Trying to stick to his own gameplans, that's the sort of beauty of this game. That everyone can do things differently and have a bit of success," said the 26-year-old, who has a fantastic Test average of 51 plus with 4393 runs and 14 tons.
Williamson said he doesn't have any problems in balancing captaincy and batting.
"I am enjoying the challenge. We have a great bunch of guys and we are enjoying our cricket. We have to keep improving and that's my focus as a captain. When I take that hat (captaincy) off, it's my job as a batsman to play a role. It's a slightly separate thing."
Williamson and New Zealand coach Mike Hesson agreed in unison that it will be a "bit of scrap" for the batsmen to face Ravichandran Ashwin and co while their own spinners need to adapt quickly to the SG Test ball from Kookaburra ball.
Williamson had no hesitation in agreeing that spin will play a crucial role.
"In the previous series, spin played a huge part. At times batting was difficult. No doubt it will be bit of a scrap. We have three very good spinners as well. It will be a challenge. Playing India at home is one of the toughest challenges. As a team we are excited to get involved," said Williamson.
Coach Hesson said that it is difficult to replicate the spin friendly conditions of sub-continent back in New Zealand.
"Look we spend a lot of time in Bulawayo. It was a spin dominant series and the wickets were slow and similar pace of what we get in India. Replicating those conditions at home is difficult."
Hesson is hopeful that New Zealand spinners like Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi will be able to adapt to the 'SG Test' ball from the 'Kookaburra'.
"Look there have been a number of overseas spinners who have done well in these conditions. Our spin group is young and the challenge is adjusting to a different ball, to 'SG Test' from 'Kookaburra'," said Hesson.
"There are changes in seam angles. Our bowlers are not going to bowl like sub-continental bowlers but we have to create opportunities."
Asked about the roles of the two seasoned new ball bowlers -- Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
"Certainly there will be an element of reverse swing. Certainly you need to adapt with tactics and selection. As we get to first Test, we need to see the surface. That will be huge factor."
But Hesson reckoned reverse swing will be a huge factor when one plays in these conditions where ball reverses.
"I think it's a huge component of playing cricket overseas. In abrasive surfaces where there's not much seam movement, we need to find another way. We are keen to get reverse in legitimate fashion. We have to work on them in coming days."