IND vs NZ: Ajinkya Rahane led India look to carry the winning run in Tests
After winning the T20I series with a clean sweep, Team India moves ahead to continue their form in the red-ball format. Ajinkya Rahane takes over captaincy for India in the absence of Virat Kohli in the first test of the two-match test series of the second ICC World Test Championship.
With senior team members - Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant - being rested, it's an open opportunity for the young players to prove their calibre in the longest format of the game. Shreyas Iyer will debut for India in whites.
Ajinkya Rahane, the Indian skipper, talked about the ongoing preparation against New Zealand, "Preparation has been really good. We got five days in Mumbai, which I thought was really good. It was all about how to conquer spin and bounce, and what sort of shots we need to play. The idea was to get used to the pace and bounce in spinning conditions and then back ourselves. We had two practice sessions in Kanpur so we've got an idea of how the wicket will behave so we're ready."
Team India planned to move Shubman Gill to the middle order, but a late injury impeded KL Rahul. Shubham Gill will open with Mayank Agarwal, and Shreyas Iyer, who is confirmed to make his debut in the first test, will bat at number 4.
Suryakumar Yadav replaces KL Rahul, who is ruled out of the series due to a muscle strain on his left thigh.
The return of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls for the Kiwis has sparked the thrill for the game.
India vs New Zealand – 1st Test Match
Venue: Green Park, Kanpur
Time: 09:30 AM IST
Head to Head
New Zealand: 13
Ashwin has picked 45 wickets at an average of 15.91, including six five-fers and three ten-fers, in the last 5 test matches at home against the Kiwis.
India has played 22 Tests at Green Park, Kanpur, winning seven, losing three, and drawing 12 matches.
New Zealand's last victory in a Test against India in India was 33 years ago.
When Ajinkya Rahane last played a home Test against the Black Caps, he hit his career-best of 188 runs.
Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vc), Shreyas Iyer, S Iyer, Wriddiman Saha (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, J Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohd Siraj and Prasidh Krishna.
New Zealand squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Will Young, Neil Wagner.