Sports NZ v IND, 1st Test: India ready to face...

NZ v IND, 1st Test: India ready to face stiff Kiwi challenge on spicy Wellington wicket


NZ v IND, 1st Test: India ready to face stiff Kiwi challenge on spicy Wellington wicket

India are ready for their most difficult challenge of the World Test Championship till date as they face powerful hosts New Zealand on a spicy Basin Reserve track in the series- opener start here on Friday.

Virat Kohli’s top-ranked team, with 360 points in its cat, is definitely the preferred on paper however the Black Caps under Kane Williamson are specialists at using down opposition with their persistence on pitches which turn flat as the game advances.

The last time New Zealand lost a series at home was back in March 2017 and ever since have won 5 (10 Tests) in familiar conditions.

For New Zealand, it is time to get pieces after their 0-3 drubbing in Australia while the existing Indian team would like to reassert that they are the very best when it comes to winning in negative conditions like they performed in Australia in 2015.

The open Basin Reserve ground has actually constantly been challenging for both bowlers and batsmen due to cross winds.

And the brand-new opening set of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal will have its job eliminated versus a leading class joint attack consisting of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Kyle Jamieson, who in all probability will make his debut.

Nevertheless, the lack of left arm speedster Neil Wagner, who might have developed uncomfortable angles with his brief balls, will offer some break for the Indian middle-order. Wagner is on a break to welcome his first kid.

New Zealand called their 12 on the day and it will be an option in between seamer all-rounder Daryl Mitchell or sluggish left-arm orthodox Ajaz Patel.

In an open ground with overcast conditions anticipated, captain Kohli will incline winning the toss and release Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami on the home team.

Even Kohli confessed that his men would need to have lots of persistence once the track relieves as Williamson’s team is understood to the play waiting game.

“It doesn’t matter how much patience opposition has, we have to show more patience. We can’t really prepare in a manner where New Zealand show more patience and put pressure on us,” skipper Kohli made his intents clear throughout a media interaction.

While New Zealand are anticipated to opt for 4 frontline pacers and might be a 5th seamer in all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, the Indian team management may be lured to try Ravichandran Ashwin, who simply as a spinner, has more range compared to left-arm orthodox of Ravindra Jadeja.

The wind consider Wellington is a concern that captains need to handle and Kohli is no various as he will have to carefully pick ends for his bowlers.

“If breeze is blowing across the ground, who is more effective with inswinger or outswingers, these things you think as a captain,” stated Kohli.

The return of Trent Boult for New Zealand and Ishant for India, from their particular injuries will definitely reinforce both the sides.

For India, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane will have to be the foil around Shaw, Agarwal and Vihari with their strategies being checked.

” As a batsman, you need to believe that ball may not take a trip in the air a lot more when you are striking versus the wind. You need to be prepared to run a lot more which we experienced last time and if you have a light bat, you are in difficulty.

“You need to be firm with your stance and where your bat is as it can really swing around,” added Kohli, who is India’s best batsman by a mile.


India (First 12): Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajnkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja.

New Zealand (12): Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling.

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