New Zealand vs India, second Test: Preview, Dream11 and more
The Indian cricket team were handed a massive 10-wicket defeat by New Zealand in the first Test at the Basin Reserve. This was also India's first loss in the ICC World Test Championship after winning seven straight games. Nevertheless, Virat Kohli and his troops will be looking to gain the edge in the second Test in Christchurch, starting February 29. Here's the match preview.
The match is set to be held at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The second ODI will start at 4:00 AM IST. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network. As per reports, the wicket will likely be a green top. The conditions in Christchurch usually favours fast bowlers. As a result, the captain winning the toss will look to bowl first.
In a huge blow, pace spearhead Ishant Sharma might not participate in the final Test due to injury. The veteran seamer who had returned to action after a prolonged injury lay-off, will miss the Test due to recurrence of his ankle injury. Besides, Umesh Yadav who is already a part of the Indian squad, will likely replace the former in the upcoming Test.
"We will take a call about Jadeja and Ashwin tomorrow. We have to be sure that we pick the right side for the right conditions. Ashwin has bowled well over the years. He would want to improve his batting in time to come," Shastri said.
Fast bowler Neil Wagner is back in the mix and will be a certain starter in the second Test, according to coach Gary Stead. Wagner would join Tim Southee and Trent Boult in the playing XI to bolster New Zealand's bowling attack. Either Ajaz Patel or Kyle Jamieson will make way for Wagner in the playing XI. The hosts might also play four seamers.
With 964 runs in 15 Test innings, Mayank Agarwal may become the second fastest Indian to 1,000 Test runs after Vinod Kambli. The left-hander reached the feat in 14 innings, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara who took 18 innings to touch the mark. Mayank has cemented his spot as a mainstay opener of late. He averages 64.27 with three hundreds and two double tons.
India: Besides Mayank, Ajinkya Rahane is the only Indian batsman to have looked comfortable against the New Zealand seamers in the first Test. Seven of his 11 hundreds have been registered away from home. New Zealand: Skipper Kane Williamson looked in sublime touch in the Wellington Test. His 89-run innings might lure you to make him captain in your Dream11 team.