New Zealand vs India, 1st Test: Preview, Dream11 and more
New Zealand and India are set to face each other in the first Test match, starting February 21. The Kiwis will be out to stop the India, who have been on a dream run in this ongoing ICC World Test Championship. Both teams possess several prolific names and one expects a fiery contest. Here's the complete match preview.
Team India needs to make these decisions
India will need to decide on the choice between Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill for the opening role alongside Mayank Agarwal. Will skipper Virat Kohli go with the option of an all-pace attack? Ishant Sharma will lead the bowling with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami supporting him. If India prefer a spinner, then R Ashwin will feature. If not, then another pacer will play.
New Zealand will turn up to experience in Wellington
For New Zealand, veteran batsman Ross Taylor is set to feature in his 100th Test match. He was in dream form in the ODIs and will want to continue in the same vein. Skipper Kane Williamson has a sorted record at the Basin Reserve and averages 63.50. In the bowling, Trent Boult will lead the show in the absence of Neil Wagner.
Dream11: Williamson and Pujara get the leadership nods
Mayank and wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling are the choices as openers of this Dream11 side. Williamson's record here means that he gets the captaincy nod. Cheteshwar Pujara is the vice-captain. Virat Kohli comes in next and is supported by Ross Taylor and Hanuma Vihari. We go in with a four-man pace attack. Ishant, Shami, Boult and Tim Southee are the premier pacers.
Pitch report, conditions, timing and TV listing
The bowlers will have plenty on offer in the first two days. The pacers will be excited with the offerings here at Basin Reserve. As per reports, there will be strong winds and sunny intervals as well. Batting will easier post Day 2. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network. The match will start at 3:30 AM IST.
Taylor and Kohli give their views
"They are the No. 1 team in the world for a reason and we know we have to be on our game to be successful against them," said New Zealand's Taylor. "I think in New Zealand, it's all about cricket discipline and what the team brings on to the field. They are intense and very, very fit guys," said Kohli.