The much awaited New Zealand tour of India, starts tomorrow. The Kiwis will be touring India for a 3 match test series followed by 5 One Day Internationals. This series marks the beginning of a long home season for the Indian team. There have been feisty encounters between the two teams, the last time India played New Zealand in a test was in February 2014 where Brendon McCullum scored a marathon 302 runs. Both sides ooze world-class talent in the likes of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Trent Boult, and Kane Williamson.
The last two test series have gone to the home side, with India winning the 2012 home series 2-0 and New Zealand winning the 2014 series 1-0.
Spin vs Pace :
This series, the New Zealand Tour of India, will essentially be a battle between the Indian spinners and the Kiwi pacers. Both the teams have high quality bowlers. The Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja , and the pace attack of Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, all feature in the top 10 ICC test bowlers’ rankings as of now.
The spinners do have the edge because the pitches in Kanpur and Kolkata have always proven to be a hunting ground for spinners. Kiwi spinners Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig will be playing in India for the first time and will enjoy the spin friendly wickets. The pacers of both teams have to take advantage of the new ball in the early sessions. One cannot rule out the possibility of deadly reverse swing on days 4 and 5.
Injury Update :
Both teams will be missing their experienced pacers. Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the 1st test due to Chikungunya while Kiwi pace spearhead Tim Southee has been ruled out of the series due to an ankle injury and has been replaced by Matt Henry.
India will be playing their 500th test match. They have won 121, lost 157, drawn 212 and tied 1 test. The Holkar Stadium in Indore will be hosting its first ever test match.
India has never lost a test series at home to New Zealand.
New Zealand tour of India schedule :
Sep 22, Thu – Sep 26, Mon
India vs New Zealand, 1st Test
Green Park, Kanpur
Sep 30, Fri – Oct 04, Tue
India vs New Zealand, 2nd Test
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Oct 08, Sat – Oct 12, Wed
India vs New Zealand, 3rd Test
Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
Oct 16, Sun
India vs New Zealand, 1st ODI
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
Oct 20, Thu
India vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Oct 23, Sun
India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Oct 26, Wed
India vs New Zealand, 4th ODI
JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi
Oct 29, Sat
India vs New Zealand, 5th ODI
Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Both the teams have named their squads for the test matches. The ODI squads are yet to be announced.
India: Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay,Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami,Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.
The New Zealand tour of India starts tomorrow, who’s your money on?