India are comfortably placed in the first Test at Kanpur against New Zealand. The hosts have a lead over 300 runs as they look to set New Zealand a daunting task. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara once again were amongst runs as the duo scored theur respective second half-centuries of the match. On day three, Ravindra Jadeja calimed a five-wicket haul to help his side bowl out Kiwis for 262 and gain a valauble first innings lead of 56 runs. Watch- India vs New Zealand 2016 Free LIVE Streaming
The first Test against New Zealand marks beginning of India’s long home season. The hosts will be looking to gain the number one Test ranking which they lost to Pakistan after a draw against West Indies. With home conditions, India no doubt starts as favourites, but young New Zealand side will be no pushovers and will be hoping to register their first series win in India.Catch- India vs New Zealand 2016 LIVE Score
There were unavailability concerns in both the camps. All-rounder Jimmy Neesham who was recalled into the Kiwi Test squad is nursing a rib injury and is not available for selection. On the other hand, hosts Indian will be without fast bowler Ishant Sharma who is suffering for chikungunya.
Kane Williamson-led side has the potential and ammunition to stun India at home. New Zealand boasts of good bowling and batting line-up. Spinners will play a key role, and both the teams have quality spinners in their ranks.
Apparently, India’s record in Tests against New Zealand is impressive. India has played 31 Test matches against New Zealand at home, winning 13 of them and losing just two. This is something India will want to continue, and Kiwis will be keen on turning the tide this time around. 16 matches between India and New Zealand have however ended in a draw.
Overall India and New Zealand have faced each other 54 times previously. India has won 18 while New Zealand emerged victorious in ten matches. India and New Zealand have been involved in 26 drawn Tests. Out of last five Test matches between these two India has won three, New Zealand one and one Test match ended in a draw.
Both teams have named strong squads for the three-match Test series. While Indian team features three spinners, New Zealand has Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi in the squad as specialist spinners. Indian selectors have also retained faith in batsmen Rohit Sharma and opener Shikhar Dhawan. Both these batsmen have failed to impress in the longer format, but despite that have been given an extended run. India has named KL Rahul as the third opener in the squad. However, it will be interesting to see whether he or Dhawan partners Murali Vijay.
On the other hand, New Zealand has named all-rounder Jimmy Neesham in the squad. Neesham returns to Test fold after missing out against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Kiwis Test side has an experienced batting line-up, which includes the likes of Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. Playing spin will hold the key for New Zealand’s success and the team will be wary of the challenge Ravi Ashwin and co, possesses.
India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling(w), Mark Craig, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.