India vs New Zealand, Test series: Decoding the key stats
India and New Zealand gear up for a two-match Test series, starting November 25 in Kanpur. The 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 a crunch series, we present the key statistics on offer.
Why does it matter?
- Here are two top teams challenging for a series which will have plenty of relevance in the new WTC cycle.
- Both teams played well in the inaugural WTC and reached the final.
- Notably, India have enjoyed plenty of success at home in recent years and new coach Rahul Dravid will be aiming to get his side turn up against a quality New Zealand outfit.
Pujara has a crucial series ahead of him
The onus will lie on senior batter Cheteshwar Pujara to calm India's nerves. Pujara, who bats at number three, has a crucial series ahead of him as he needs the runs. He has racked up 6,494 runs and is six shy of becoming only the ninth Indian batter with 6,500-plus runs. He can also get to 50 fifty-plus scores (18 tons, 31 fifties).
Rahane can get to 5,000 Test runs
India's stand-in skipper for the first Test - Rahane - has been under the cosh for quite some time now. Rahane last got a century 20 innings ago in Australia. The senior player averages 69.40 at home against NZ and he can use that confidence to turn things around. Rahane needs 244 runs to scale the mark of 5,000 in Test cricket (4,756).
Williamson could be a headache for Team India
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson could be India's nemesis. The stylish batter made the difference in the WTC final in June against India. Williamson, who was rested for the recently concluded T20I series, will look to thwart the Indian spinners. He has scored 7,230 runs at 53.95 and can get past the likes of Walter Hammond (7,249) and Gary Kirsten (7,289).
Ash and Ishant can make the difference
Indian spinner R Ashwin has claimed 413 Test scalps at 24.56. Ash can surpass Harbhajan Singh (417) to become the third-highest wicket-taker for India in Tests. He can also get past Shaun Pollock's tally of 421 scalps to become the 12th-highest wicket-taker overall in Tests. Ishant Sharma, who will lead India's pace attack, can get past Mitchell Johnson (313) in terms of wickets (311).
India have the edge over NZ at home
India have beaten New Zealand on three successive occasions at home in Tests. In their previous tour of India in 2016, the Kiwis were hammered 3-0. India were terrific, registering wins by 197, 178, and 321 runs respectively.