After the completion of the three-match T20I series, India and New Zealand will kick-start the first Test at Kanpur on 25th November. The visitors had a terrible defeat in the shorter format as the hosts have won the series by 3-0. Now coming into the red-ball cricket, New Zealand will surely have something to cherish as they have recent records on their side. New Zealand won the home Test series against India and also defeated them in the inaugural final of World Test Championship 2021.
On the other hand, India will be pleasing after their T20I series victory against the Kiwis in the absence of key players. However, the Test series will start under the captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane as Virat Kohli will be available for the second Test only. Some of the new faces will get a chance in this home series as limited-overs players are rested due to bio-bubble.
Venue: Green Park, Kanpur
Date & Time: Nov 25 – Nov 29 | 9.30 AM IST
Weather: The weather will be clear as no rain is predicted during match hours.
Playing XI Probables
India has rested Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the batting department so there will be opportunities for young players to impress in Test cricket. Mayank Agrawal and Shubman Gill are likely to open for the home side in this game in the absence of injured KL Rahul. Shreyas Iyer will play in middle order along with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. In the absence of Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha will handle the glove work. In the bowling department, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, and Ravichandran Ashwin will be the main wicket-takers.
Probable Playing XI
Shubman Gill, Mayank Agrawal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammad Siraj, Ishant Sharma.
The skipper Kane Williamson will be back for the visitors as he was rested in the T20I series. Along with him, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham will also feature in Test XI for New Zealand. Daryl Mitchell, who was impressive in the T20I series might get the opportunity in the Test series as well. In the bowling department, Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee will lead the pace attack. Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel will play the role of spin bowlers.
Probable Playing XI
Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner.
What can you expect?
India has a very impressive record at home as they are yet to lose single Test series since 2012. However, their skipper will not play this Test much still they have a pretty strong squad to compete against the Kiwis. New Zealand will have a stronger XI compared to their recent series defeat in the shorter format but they will have a huge challenge of scoring runs against the Indian spin trio at Kanpur.
The pitch will be good enough to score runs in the first two days so you can pick the first three or four batsmen from batting the first team. However, it will get better and better for spin bowlers as the match progress. All three spin all-rounders can give maximum points in this game.
The conditions in India allows pacers to reverse the ball so you can try one or two seam bowlers. The skipper will like to bat first, as far as the toss result is concerned.
Wicket-Keepers: Wriddhiman Saha will bat at number six for India and he is an experienced wicket-keeper batsman for these conditions.
Batsmen: Mayank Agrawal and Shreyas Iyer will be my batting picks from the Indian side. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are no-brainers from the visitors.
All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will be key wicket-takers from India and Mitchell Santner for Kiwis. I will have all three spin all-rounders in my fantasy team as they can provide maximum fantasy points with both, bat and ball.
Bowlers: Mohammad Siraj was impressive during the England tour with his seam bowling. Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee can be picked from the New Zealand side.
Captaincy Choices: One of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin will be the best pick to the captain as they are expected to be the biggest threats fpr the kiwi batters. Kane Williamson is another option to captain your fantasy XI team.
A Cricket Writer