The Men in Blue’s first overseas tour of the new decade will begin from the 23rd of January in New Zealand. Team India will play 5 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 2 Tests against the hosts. While Virat Kohli’s men have an exceptional record in the limited-overs matches overseas, the same cannot be said about their record in Test matches.
Even when the Indian team had played a Test series against New Zealand away from home, they had not won a single match. Hence, India will be under immense pressure during the Test series.
Talking about the one-dayers, India should not be much tensed about that series because the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan have done well versus the Kiwis. The trio can inspire India to a series win if they play to their full potential. Also, India has a stellar pace bowling attack by its side now.
The selectors had announced the Indian squad for the 5-match T20I series against New Zealand but, they are yet to declare the squads for the ODI and Test series. Apparently, they seem to be waiting for the performance of a few players in the 50-overs matches against Australia. As per the reports, the selectors will announce the names for the ODI and Test series against New Zealand on 19th January.
After the 2019 World Cup, India’s ODI team has almost been the same. Except for MS Dhoni, all the players have been available for the games and, they have continued their fine form. Shreyas Iyer has cemented the number 4 position with his consistent performances. The Delhi Capitals captain has solved Team India’s longstanding problem. Also, the upcoming wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant played superbly against the West Indies.
In the bowling department, India will miss the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar however, the return of Jasprit Bumrah and the rise of Navdeep Saini should make up for the duo. Besides, Ravindra Jadeja has played a lot of cricket in New Zealand so, his experience will be extremely valuable in the spin section.
Shifting our focus to the longest format of the game now, India has been unbeaten in the ICC World Test Championship. They have won all their seven games but, they are yet to be tested by a tough opponent away from home. New Zealand’s Test team is coming off a whitewash at the hands of Australia hence, they might be low on confidence.
Also, the absence of Tom Latham will benefit the Indian team as the wicket-keeper batsman has been ruled out of the series with an injury. The fast bowlers will enjoy bowling in New Zealand but team India will have to play Neil Wagner and Trent Boult properly. The pace bowling duo has the talent to wreak havoc in the series against India.
The Men in Blue had lost the World Cup 2019 semifinal against New Zealand so, they will be keen to avenge that loss in the approaching tour and here is the expected Indian squad for the New Zealand series.
Predicted Indian Test Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant (WK), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hanuma Vihari, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav
Predicted Indian ODI Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), KL Rahul, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav
NOTE: Hardik Pandya is still recovering from his surgery and he is not 100% fit yet. Pandya’s selection depends solely on his fitness.