India vs New Zealand, 1st Test, Match Preview, Playing XI and broadcast details

India vs New Zealand, 1st Test, Match Preview, Playing XI and broadcast details

India have some scores to settle against the Kiwis.

New Zealand Cricket
New Zealand Cricket. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

It’s time to move towards the longest format of the game as India gear up to meet New Zealand in a two-match Test series, starting from Thursday (November 25). The opening clash takes place at the Green Park in Kanpur and both sides would be raring to make a mark. Having clinched the preceding T20I series 3-0, the home team might be high on confidence.

However, Test cricket is a different-ball game and the result of the T20I leg would hardly matter. Also, India have some scores to settle against the Kiwis. The last meeting between these two sides in the longest format was a historic once. The occasion was the high-voltage final clash of the inaugural World Test Championship and the venue was Southampton.

While some exciting battle was witnessed over the 22 yards, the Kane Williamson-led side eventually walked away with an eight-wicket triumph. That defeat would certainly have been heart-breaking for India and hence, they would fight for a different result this time around. With India not losing a Test series at home since 2012, the home team would back themselves to thrive in their fortress.

However, not many odds are in their favour. Many prominent players including Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for this series. Regular skipper Virat Kohli will also give the first Test a miss before coming back for the second fixture. As if this side wasn’t depleted much, KL Rahul has also been ruled out of the series with a muscle strain. Hence, it would be interesting to see what combination Ajinkya Rahane will go with.

On the other hand, the Kiwis have most of their prominent players in the squad except for Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme.  As India is set to field a second-stringed team, the Kiwis have all the reason to back themselves to breach the fortress.

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch at the Green Park in Nagpur has been a good one for batting. In 22 Test matches that have been played at this venue, the average First-innings score in 371. Meanwhile,  Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane had said that this track would assist spinners but batters can also get runs if they showcase application. Hence, it would be interesting to see how the game pans out.

Playing Combinations for IND vs NZ

India

As mentioned above, there are many vacant holes in the Indian XI. With KL Rahul being unavailable, Shubman Gill is set to open alongside Mayank Agarwal. Shreyas Iyer is set to come in the middle order, likely at number four as confirmed by skipper Rahane. There would be a toss-up between KS Bharat and Wriddhiman Saha for the wicketkeeper’s slot. As spinners are known to get assistance in Kanpur, India would go with three spinners and two pacers.

 Probable Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane (C), KS Bharat/Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj

New Zealand

Unlike India, the Kiwis don’t have a lot of brainstorming to do. While the batting line-up is pretty certain with veterans Tom Latham, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor assisting Will Young and Henry Nicholls. New Zealand should also go with three spinners in Mitchell Santner, William Somerville and Ajaz Patel. With Tim Southee playing a lot of cricket lately, he could be rested while Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner can take the field.

Probable Playing XI: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (WK), Mitchell Santner, William Somerville, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner

IND vs NZ Head-to-Head

Overall

Matches- 60, India – 21, New Zealand– 13, Tie- 0, Draw- 26

In India

Matches- 34, India – 16, New Zealand– 2, Tie- 0, Draw-16

India vs New Zealand Broadcast Details

Match Timings – 09:30 PM IST

TV – Star Sports Network

Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar