IND vs NZ: Resurgent New Zealand eye maiden Test series win in India as they begin WTC title defence

As the T20I series is done & dusted, the focus now shifts towards the longer format of the game as India and New Zealand will lock horns in the 2-match Test series that gets underway on Thursday. The first Test will be played at Green Park Stadium, Kanpur from November 25-29 followed by the second Test at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai from December 03.

While India started off the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle on a positive note, New Zealand will begin its WTC title defence in Kanpur on Thursday with an eye on the maiden Test series win in India.

For India, the WTC 2021-23 cycle started on a positive note. The Virat Kohli-led side managed to remain in lead (2-1) against England in the five-match Test series, with one game left. And, now they will be eying to get off to an ideal start at home too.

While the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, M Shami & Rohit Sharma will be missing from the entire 2-match series, the regular skipper Virat Kohli will return for the second Test in Mumbai. However, they do have experienced campaigners in the likes of Ravindra Jadeja & R Ashwin in the spin department & Ishan Sharma and Umesh Yadav in the pace attack.

In Kohli’s absence, the hosts will be led by stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and vice-captain Cheteshwar Pujara in the first Test.

New Zealand, on the opposite, will be looking to better its records on Indian soil. Out of 34 Tests, the Kiwis have managed to win only 2 Test matches on Indian soil while 16 have ended in a draw.

The last time New Zealand played a Test match in India was half a decade ago in 2006 when they faced 3-0 whitewash in the Test series. Interestingly, the first Test of the 2006 series was played at Green Park, Kanpur. And, India won it by a huge margin of 197 runs.

However, like the hosts, the visitors have already begun preparations for the 2-match series. The likes of Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson opted out of the T20 series to focus on the Test series which shows the inaugural WTC winners are determined to break the shackles this time.

Date: 25 November – 29 November

Time: 09:30 AM IST

Venue: Green Park, Kanpur

Head-to-Head: IND vs NZ Test in India:

Total – 34

India – 16

New Zealand – 02

Draw – 16

IND vs NZ Probable Playing XI:

India

KL Rahul, Shubman Gill/Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer/Axar Patel, W Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, P Krishna

New Zealand

Tom Latham, D Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner/Azaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee