IND vs NZ 2021, First Test: India will start their home series against New Zealand at Kanpur on 25th November, and start their new era under the coaching of Rahul Dravid. After white-washing New Zealand 3-0 in the T20I series, India will be confident to keep their incredible record at home running and beat Kiwis on slow and turning Indian pitches.
But, the good thing for New Zealand would be the return of their skipper and one of world’s best batsmen Kane Williamson. Williamson’s presence in the dressing room will add more confidence, and lift the morale of Blackcaps.
For India, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has decided to rest after a long playing season. India’s star batsman and newly appointed T20 captain Rohit Sharma has also been rested to manage the workload.
Unfortunately, KL Rahul, who was in blistering form in the T20I series, suffered an injury just a few days before the start of the series and he has now been replaced by Suryakumar Yadav.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, facing the daunting bowling attack of Kiwis will be a big challenge for Ajinkya Rahane and company. Kiwis would look to put pressure on India’s batting unit in the absence of their big guns and push the hosts on the backfoot in the opening match of the series.
India have also rested their first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. This means that many young players and those who have been warming the bench would get opportunities to make a mark in Rahul Dravid‘s first Test series as India’s head coach.
Let’s have a look at India’s probable playing XI for the opening Test match of the series against New Zealand.
Openers: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill,
Middle-order: Cheteshwar Pujara(vc), Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane (Captain),
Wicketkeeper: Wriddhiman Saha
Spinners: Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel
Fast bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj
India: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha, KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Will Young.