India vs New Zealand: India came agonizingly close to taking a 1-0 lead in the first of the two match Test series against New Zealand. As things panned out, the visitors were let off the hook, as the likes of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel managed to save the test in the dying stages.
India will receive a massive boost ahead of the second Test at Wankhede Stadium, as Virat Kohli returns to action. He will take over the captaincy duties from his deputy, Ajinkya Rahane who led the troops in the opening match. Rahane’s form has become a serious issue, as the Indian test vice-captain failed to score runs yet again in the first match.
Shreyas Iyer who was handed his Test debut in Kanpur, delivered an outstanding performance, scoring a hundred and a fifty in the two innings. The Indian management will have plenty to think about the team combination, as someone would have to make way for Virat Kohli in the second Test.
Given his heroics in the first Test, it would be very harsh on Shreyas Iyer if he was to be dropped. Ajinkya Rahane has not been in the best of form since the past couple of years, as he averages in the mid 20’s. We could very well see a scenario where Virat Kohli comes in place of Ajinkya Rahane, with Shreyas Iyer batting at number four.
However, given Rahul Dravid’s comments post the first Test, it is unlikely that Rahane is going to get dropped anytime soon. In this scenario, Mayank Agarwal could make way for the skipper, Virat Kohli. This would mean that Shreyas Iyer could be tasked with the duty of opening the innings alongside Shubman Gill.
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Ishant Sharma proved to be ineffective during the first Test in Kanpur, as he went wicketless. Moreover, he was not used much by the captain in the second innings, bowling just seven overs.
Ishant Sharma’s poor outing in the first Test could hand Mohammed Siraj a spot in the playing 11 in Mumbai. Siraj has had an incredible start to his Test career, picking up 30 wickets in his nine matches so far. Moreover, Virat Kohli has been a huge admirer of his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate, which could bring him back into the playing eleven.