After an extravagant show of T20 cricket for the last few months, Team India will be back in whites for the ultimate form of the game as they get ready to host New Zealand for a two-match test series commencing from November 25 in Green Park, Kanpur. In the first Test, India will be missing out on their captain Virat Kohli, opener Rohit Sharma alongside star speedster Jasprit Bumrsh and Mohammed Shami. KL Rahul who was earlier a part of the squad is ruled out of the series owing to a muscle strain on his left thigh.
India Vs New Zealand: The Battle of The Bests
India has grown as one of the strongest Test teams of the world and to challenge them in their backyard will be a herculean task for New Zealand. But not to forget, the Blackcaps are the numero uno in the ICC test rankings. Kane Williamson a prolific batter, will eye for a win as this series also marks the beginning of their WTC campaign. Reigning Champions NZ will heavily depend on the services of Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Tom Latham – the trio will be the backbone of the Kiwi batting line-up, and their experience of playing the subcontinent will be crucial in the team’s performance.
India on the other hand, is a powerhouse on home soil are the firm favourites. It will be a great opportunity for them to assess their bench strength. Cheteshwar Pujara is at a critical juncture of his career. Once the most dependable batter of the team, Pujara may have lost a bit of his shine in the last few years. A series in home conditions may be a perfect platform for him to rediscover his mojo as his form can be invaluable for the team in the upcoming challenging tours overseas.
India vs New Zealand 1st Test: Rahane 2.0?
When the Indian team emerged victorious against Australia, fans were all in praise for Rahane who exceptionally lead the side in the absence of Kohli. His century in Melbourne proved to be a massive comeback for the team after the loss in the 1st Test, as they went on to thrash the baggy green 2-1. But like Pujara, Rahane too needs to score consistently else he might risk his position in future. The team has backed him for long and fans expect him to make a stunning resurgence.
Shubman Gill will be the player to watch out for. Gill has opened for India in Tests in 15 innings and the NZ series will be his first series at home. A promising prodigy, Gill will surely look to showcase his class and cement his spot in the Test squad. To face Ravichandran Ashwin in the spin-friendly pitches of India is a daunting task for any world-class batter. Ashwin bowling to the likes of Williamson and Taylor will be an exciting contest to witness.
With the senior pacers being rested, the onus will be on Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav to lead the pack. Mohammed Siraj, the lastest entry to India’s formidable pace battery is another bright prospect courtesy of his matchwinning spells Down under.
Will Iyer get his Test Cap?
The selectors left cricket followers surprised when they picked Shreyas Iyer ahead of Hanuma Vihari in the test squad. Suryakumar Yadav too finds a spot in the dressing room replacing KL Rahul. Iyer might be seen in the middle order who could play the role of an aggressor.
Fans are thrilled to witness the contest of the No.1 and No.2 test teams of the world in Kanpur and Mumbai. After India’s tragic defeat to the blackcaps in the ICC WTC final, they will look to settle the score at home.
India(1st Test): Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Cheteshwar Pujara (VC), Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddiman Saha (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Latham (WK), Tom Blundell(WK), Glenn Philips(WK), Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, William Somerville
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