India vs NZ: Ajinkya Rahane to lead in first Test
In a major development, Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead India in the first Test against New Zealand, starting later this month. As per a report in TOI, India's regular skipper Virat Kohli will miss the series opener. Meanwhile, opener Rohit Sharma is likely to miss the entire series to manage his workload. The first of two-match Test series will begin on November 25.
Why does this story matter?
The senior members of Team India have been playing back-to-back matches of late. Both Kohli and Rohit have been at the forefront across formats besides captaining in the Indian Premier League. Rahane is the only player who can be looked upon as a leader in their absence. Although India's Test vice-captain has been off-color, he is one of their core members in the format.
Rahane led Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Rahane recently led Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. They crashed out of the tournament, having won three and lost two games. However, Rahane is the tournament's third-highest run-scorer. He racked up 286 runs at an incredible average of 57.20. His tally includes four 50+ scores. Notably, Rahane mustered 109 runs from seven innings at 15.57 in the England Test series.
Four other players likely to miss the Test series
It is understood that the Test regulars Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant, and Shardul Thakur are likely to miss the Test series, besides Rohit. The four players have represented India in all three formats lately.
Rohit to lead Team India in T20I series
As far as the T20I series is concerned, Rohit will lead the side after he took over from Kohli. The latter has opted out of the T20I series. Squad: Rohit (captain), KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand tour of India, 2021
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur will host the first T20I between India and New Zealand on November 17. Meanwhile, the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi and Eden Gardens in Kolkata will play host to the next two T20Is on November 19 and 21 respectively. The two Test matches will be held in Green Park, Kanpur (November 25-29) and Wankhede, Mumbai (December 3-7).