IND vs NZ: India and New Zealand will go head to head in the first of a two-match Test Series beginning on Thursday in Kanpur. The Green Park stadium will host the clash. Team India will be fielding a largely second-string squad with several major players rested or injured. It is a good time for Rahul Dravid and Co. to test the bench strength on home soil. Kane Williamson is back and it will be interesting to see what combination the Kiwis go with.
The skies will be clear with no rain predicted on day 1. With winter setting in over north India, the temperatures in Kanpur for the first test match starting on Thursday will be in the comfortable range. The conditions are perfect for some hard-fought test cricket.
The minimum temperature on day 1 is 14 degrees Celsius around sunrise and the maximum in the afternoon will be close to 27 degrees. Air will be generally dry with relative humidity in the range of 40-50%. Air Quality Index will be poor ranging between 200 to 300. There will be hardly any winds on the first day.
All eyes will be on stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane. He has led the side ably in the past. Who can forget India’s most recent triumph Down Under? However, he has been struggling with the bat for quite a while now. He confirmed Shreyas Iyer will be handed his debut but did not reveal other plans. India are heading in this contest without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and the injured KL Rahul. It is a glorious opportunity for their replacements to prove their mettle.
India Playing XI (Likely)
Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
The Black Caps have won three in a row now against the Men in Blue in the longest format. Two of those victories were on their home soil and the most recent one was in Southampton in the WTC Final. The Kiwis always maximize their resources and punch above their weight. But beating India in the subcontinent is a tall task. Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel are expected to start this game while off spinner William Somerville might also get a look in.
New Zealand Playing XI (Likely)
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
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