Mumbai Test: Win the match, Win the series

, Six Sports

The 1st Test between India and New Zealand in Green Park Kanpur was a gripping contest between the two top sides of the world. The 2nd Test will be played at the iconic Wankhede Stadium and will see King Kohli back in action. Whoever wins the match will also be crowned as the champions of the series.

Kohli back as the leader of the pack

To put Team India under pressure on their home soil is a daunting task for any team. But the way New Zealand showed character in Kanpur, India will definitely not consider the next match as a cakewalk. Southee has been the top performer for the Kiwis. His ability to swing the ball even in unfavorable conditions makes him a threat to batters.

When it comes to New Zealand’s batting, except Tom Latham and Will Young nobody has been comfortable handling spin. The Blackcaps will hope a lot from their captain Kane Williamson who has well established himself as a genius of the game. If the Wankhede pitch offers a spin on Day 4 and 5, a lot will depend on how well will the Kiwi spinners fare against the Indian batters.

Pujara-Rahane : Will Wankhede witness a stunning turnaround?

Coming to the hosts, India’s only worry is their senior batters. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane – the backbone of the batting lineup are currently in the worst phase of their careers. Rahane will be playing the match in his home ground. He will surely expect things to take a rapid change for him with the willow.

Shreyas Iyer made his debut in the last match and has already presented a sample of his potential in Tests. On a pitch that was never easy for the batters, he batted sensibly to score a hundred and fifty in consecutive innings and was deservedly adjudged the man of the match.

Spin Vs Pace

Shubman Gill too will aim to score big in Mumbai. He will look to be ahead in the race of batters like Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw to open the innings in Tests.

Mumbai pitch is considered to be seamer-friendly on day 1 and day 2. So a lot will count on Indian pacers to tackle the strong Kiwi batting. So far as the spinners are considered, Axar Patel is in sublime form. Ashwin is still the No.1 bowler for the team and Jadeja too showed some form with the red ball in the final innings of the 1st Test.

India is yet to avenge their defeat at the ICC WTC finals, and Wankhede will be the perfect platform to stage that.

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