India will lock horns with New Zealand for the last leg of the long tour to Maoriland, this time in the whites for the ICC World Test Championship.
The visitors whitewashed the Kiwis by 5-nil in the T20I series, while the hosts comprehensively won the ODI series by 3-0. This makes the upcoming red-ball encounters fascinating to watch.
In recent years, New Zealand produced tracks that make the ball zip around in the first couple of days of the match at most. Then generally makes it easy for the batsmen to score with the pitching dozing off.
Therefore, the logical decision after winning the toss will be bowling first. In fact, in New Zealand since January 2016, teams have won more bowling first than batting.
However, skipper Virat Kohli holds a telling record abroad after winning the toss and electing to bat first (won 8, drawn 2), in stark contrast to bowling first (lost 8, drawn 3).
For the bowlers, it will be the trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner to deal with for the Indian batters.
Although, Matt Henry has been called into the squad in case Wagner does not make it in time for the first Test, awaiting the birth of his child.
Yet another Kohli hundred will break a plethora of records for the modern great. He will hold the record for the joint second most international hundreds in world cricket and most international hundreds as captain.
Also, if he scores a ton in New Zealand, Kohli will be the first Asian captain to score a Test hundred in SENA countries. Hence, the series will be a fascinating contest with 120 points on the line.
Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (Keeper), Rishabh Pant (Keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma
Kane Williamson (Captain), Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, BJ Watling, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry
1st Test: Feb 21- Feb 25, New Zealand vs India, Basin Reserve, Wellington
2nd Test: Feb 29 – Mar 04, New Zealand vs India, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
LIVE streaming details:
- India: Hotstar
- New Zealand: Sky Sport NZ
- Australia: Fox Sports
- USA: ESPN+
- Canada: ESPN+
- UK: Sky Sports
- MENA countries: Hotstar, Sky Go, Now TV