IND vs NZ, 1st Test: Preview, stats, and more
India and New Zealand gear up for the first Test match, starting tomorrow in Kanpur. The two-match Test series is part of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle. Notably, New Zealand beat India at home (2-0) in 2020 and then tasted success once again in the Test Championship final 2019-21 cycle. Ahead of the match, we present the complete preview.
Why does this story matter?
India have dominated the scenes at home in Tests of late and they go into the Kanpur encounter as the favorites. The host many opt for three spinners and two pacers to have the cushion in bowling. Last time around, Indian spinners ran riot against England this year. New Zealand have to bat well. In 2016, the Kiwis were thrashed 3-0 by India.
Key details about the match
The match will be held at Green Park in Kanpur. One can watch the game live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on the Hotstar app (paid subscription). The match is set for a 9:30 AM IST start. The pitch in Kanpur will favor spinners at large as things progress. Batters will need to negotiate spin well and be careful.
India go into the match as the favorites
Team India will aim to choke the Kiwis with spin. They have the experienced duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The presence of Axar Patel will be massive. He had a superb series against England. India are without several players in the batting department. Therefore, the onus lies on skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara to take responsibility and lead the unit.
New Zealand will aim to test India
World Test Championship winners New Zealand will have their task cut out given the slow nature of the pitch and India's spin-heavy artillery. The batting of New Zealand will revolve around skipper Kane Williamson. He is the side's main weapon alongside veteran Ross Taylor. Both are champion Test players. NZ could field three spinners as well with Mitchell Santner leading the line.
The key stats ahead of the match
India have played 22 Tests at this venue, winning seven, losing three, and drawing 12 matches. The last time India lost at this venue was in 1983 against West Indies. Meanwhile, New Zealand have never managed to beat India at this ground in three attempts. They have lost twice, besides drawing one encounter.
A look at the probable XI of both teams
India playing XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav New Zealand playing XI: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner/Will Somerville