A Rahane Will Captain India In Two Test Series Against New Zealand
New Zealand will first play India in a three-match T20 series, with the first T20 starting on Nov 17 and the third T20 ending on Nov 21. A few days later, India and New Zealand will take part in a two-match test series.
The Kiwis have arrived in India after a great performance in the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India was eliminated during the playoffs, but the Kiwis managed to make it to the T20 World Cup final where they play arch-rivals Australia and lost.
They will take confidence from their World Cup performance and look to push India in the T20 series. If the Kiwis can win the T20 series, they will put India under pressure during the test series. On the other hand, if India wins the T20 series, they will feel a lot more relaxed playing the two-match test series.
A Rahane To Lead India
The BCCI decided to rest some key players for the T20 and Test series as some complained about bubble fatigue. India will play the T20 World Cup without Virat Kohli, who stepped down from the T20 captaincy. R Sharma will lead India in the T20 series, but Kohli and Sharma will not be available for the first test.
The selectors decided to rest R Sharma for both the test matches while V Kohli will be rested for the first test. A Rahane, who captained India in Australia during the Test series, has been given the leadership role for the first test. C Pujara has been named vice-captain. When Kohli returns for the first test, he will take over the captaincy, and Rahane will return to being vice-captain.
The selectors have shown faith in Rahane based on how well he led the side in Australia. His batting has been poor during the last two years, and there have been calls from the public to drop Rahane and let one of the younger players take his place. However, with senior players like Kohli and Sharma missing out, the selectors are giving Rahane another opportunity during this test series. It could be his last chance to get some big runs on the board or risk losing his spot.
India Field A Strong Squad
Few faces missing from the test squad include J Bumrah, M Shami, and R Pant. The two pacers who are regular in the Test squad have been given a break. Their absence shouldn’t be felt a lot as India has a lot of depth in their pace reserves. India is playing the experienced I Sharma, U Yadav, M Siraj, and P Krishna, but they will likely only play two fast bowlers and go in with two or three spinners.
R Ashwin and R Jadeja are in the squad, and they will be the go-to spinners. However, they also have A Patel and J Yadav in the squad, but it is highly unlikely they will get a game unless the two front-line spinners get injured.
The battling order looks good, with M Agarwal and S Gill likely to open, C Pujara at three and KL Rahul at four. Captain Rahane will come in at five while the number six spot is up for grabs. India could either play S Iyer or go in with 5 bowlers, then W Saha will bat at 6 followed by R Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Patel, I Sharma, and U Yadav.
New Zealand Have Loads Of Experience
New Zealand has a better chance of beating India in the T20 series than in the test series. They have included several experienced players in the Test squad as they know how difficult it is to win a Test against India in India.
Kane Williamson will lead the side and will once again be their best batsman. His deputy for the test series will be wicket-keeper Tom Blundell. Other experienced players include former captain R Taylor, Tom Latham, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner.
Several new faces in the squad don’t have a lot of experience playing in India, and they will feel the pressure. Some less experienced players include R Ravindra, Ajaz Patel, W Somerville, W Young, and K Jamieson.
We expect New Zealand to put up a fight in the Test series, but we will back India to win the test series 2-0.