India vs New Zealand: New Zealand's strongest predicted playing XI for 1st Test

India vs New Zealand: New Zealand’s strongest predicted playing XI for 1st Test

New Zealand will have the challenge of facing the spin trials in India’s home conditions.

New Zealand v Pakistan
New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

New Zealand has exuded some great character in international cricket lately. The team reached the finals of the 2019 ODI World Cup, was crowned as the inaugural World Test Championship winners, and also made it to the summit clash of the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2021. Post the multination tournament though they were whitewashed by India in the T20I series, one couldn’t write off the team.

Kane Williamson had missed the T20I series against India as he was rested. However, he is now all raring to return to the setup for the red ball games. The team will have the challenge of facing the spin trials in India’s home conditions. However, it is to be noted that the team possesses some good alternatives that can take on the spinners.

New Zealand has had a good run in the longest format lately. In their last 5 games, the team has won four games and lost none. They will be determined to take the momentum further against the tough contenders.

Here is New Zealand’s Predicted Playing XI for IND vs NZ first Test:

Openers- Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell

Tom Latham. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The team will pin a lot of hope on their openers to provide the team with steady starts. Tom Latham is one of the key batters of the side. He has hit five half-centuries against India and three of those have come in India. He will be all determined to display his flair.

Daryl Mitchell has a good form by his side. The batter will aim to take his good momentum for the side further. He averages pretty decent in the longest format. From the five-Test matches he has played so far, he has chipped in 232 runs at a healthy average of 58.00.

Middle Order- Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell

Kane Williamson & Ross Taylor
Kane Williamson & Ross Taylor. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

New Zealand’s middle-order is quite dominating. Skipper Kane Willaimson is in sublime form in Test cricket lately. In his last five Test matches, he has smashed a total of 754 runs which includes two double centuries, and a century and fifty each.

With the experience he has under his sleeves, Ross Taylor is one of the most important batters for New Zealand in Indian conditions. He plays spin quite well and will look to dominate the proceedings against India. To further strengthen the middle order, the Kiwis have the likes of Henry Nicholls and keeper-batter Tom Blundell who will look forward to exuding their talent.

Bowlers- Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Mitchell Santner

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Tim Southee has been in sensational form in Test cricket lately. In his last 5 matches, he has scalped five, seven, two, four and seven wickets respectively. Neil Wagner, on the other hand, can also be a potential threat to India’s batting lineup. He has a good record against India and will be high on confidence to put a good show on display.

Kyle Jamieson has been impressive against India in the recent past. The speedster will be all keen to continue his good form against the opposition. Ajaz Patel can also prove impactful on Kanpur’s spin-friendly pitch. He has the likes of Mitchell Santner who comes in handy with his all-rounder abilities. He has a good record against India with both the bat and the ball.