India vs NZ 2021: After registering a 3-0 clean sweep in the T20 series, India would be looking to create a similar dominance in the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand. The first Test is slated to be played at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur from 25th November to 29th November 2021. It won’t be wrong to say that India will be playing with a second-string side as most of their senior members won’t be available for the first Test.
Players such as Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, M Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, while KL Rahul has been ruled out of the series due to injury. India’s regular Test skipper, Virat Kohli too has been rested for the first Test and will be back for the second Test. In the absence of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side. The likes of Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal will open the innings, followed by Cheteswar Pujara at number three. Rahane has also revealed recently that Shreyas Iyer will be making his debut in the first Test. It will be interesting to see how he begins his red-ball career.
As for the bowling, Ravi Ashwin should lead the spin attack, which also consists of Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja. Umesh Yadav should take the new ball, while it will be interesting to see who will share the new ball between Ishan Sharma and M Siraj.
New Zealand will need to exhibit strong performances with both bat and ball to beat India in their den. Kane Williamson will return to lead the side after taking a break in the T20 series. His presence in the middle-order alongside Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls would be vital for the side. Trent Boult has been rested for the Test series and thus both Wagner and Kyle Jamieson could be seen playing the first Test. Keeping in mind the subcontinent pitches, New Zealand are likely to opt for at least two spinners out of three.
India vs NZ 2021 1st Test Predicted Playing XI
Here’s a look at the predicted playing XI of both sides:
India: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Cheteshwar Pujara (Vice-captain), Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (WK), Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner