Auckland: Ahead of the five-T20I series opener against New Zealand, India captain Virat Kohli supported his counterpart Kane Williamson, who is facing crticisim over his leadership role.

Recently, the Williamson-led Kiwis were handed a 3-0 thrashing in Test series by Australia. There were questions raised over Williamson’s tactics.

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With India set to face the hosts in Auckland tomorrow (January 24) in the first T20I, Kohli backed Williamson and explained how it is important not to blame only the leader for a team’s failures.

“These kinds of things do come up every now and then, whenever you have a setback. I think it is a part of having that responsibility of captaining in all three formats. One thing that I have done is I just focus on what I can do for the team and the vision that needs to be there to take the team forward,” Kohli said on Thursday (January 23).

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The Delhi right-hander, who has enjoyed success as a leader across all three formats, said captaincy should not be determined by results.

“I don't think leadership can always be determined 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.

“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. If a team outplays you, you have to accept it as a collective failure, and not a lack of leadership or captaincy, is what I think.”

Kohli is the most successful Indian Test captain. He leads the national team in all three formats. In the current tour of New Zealand, India will play five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests.

T20I squads

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Hamish Bennett, Tom Bruce (for fourth, fifth matches), Colin de Grandhomme (for first three matches), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

India tour of New Zealand schedule

T20Is (All matches start at 12.30 PM IST)

1st T20I (January 24) - Auckland

2nd T20I (January 26) - Auckland

3rd T20I (January 29) - Hamilton

4th T20I (January 31) - Wellington

5th T20I (February 2) - Mount Maunganui

ODIs (All matches start at 7.30 AM IST)

1st ODI (February 5) - Hamilton

2nd ODI (February 8) - Auckland

3rd ODI (February 11) - Mount Maunganui

Tests (All matches start at 4 AM IST)

1st Test (February 21-25) - Wellington

2nd Test (February 29-March 4) - Christchurch