High with confidence Virat Kohli and co. are ready for India’s 250th test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata against New Zealand starting on Friday (30 September). India will take field aiming series win while visitors will look to level the series after huge loss in Kanpur.
India won first test by huge margin of 197 runs in Kanpur and took 1-0 lead in three-match Test series. It was team effort in the end which helped them to victory but special credit goes to Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the way they dismantled Kiwis batting line-up.
Duo not only contributed with ball but with bat too. Jadeja with score of 42, 50 in first and second innings respectively remained unbeaten in both innings while Ashwin contributed 40 runs in first inning and he couldn’t get chance to bat in second inning.
Murli Vijay looks in sublime form and he gave India good solid start along with KL Rahul. KL Rahul will not be part of squad for second test as he sustained injury while running between the wickets in second inning and he didn’t take further part in first test. Also, Ishant Sharma who missed first test due to chikungunya has been ruled out from second test who is still recovering. (KL Rahul and Ishant Sharma ruled out from second test at Eden Gardens)
Injury to KL Rahul have increased suspense over who should open with Murli Vijay but looking at Shikhar Dhawan who has been regular part of the squad even when he didn’t had great time with bat gets an edge over Gautam Gambhir. Gautam Gambhir who returns to the squad after 2 years has huge experience but he might have to sit out in second test.
Meanwhile, visitors have lot to look out for especially after huge defeat in first test. Mark Craig, spinner was ruled out from the series due to side strain. Jeetan Patel who had good season playing on English soil has been called in as replacement.
Martin Guptill, opener could do much in opening game, so is expected to fire and score big when he gets chance in Kolkata. He has scored total of 21 runs in first game including a duck in second innings. Batting needs to lift themselves up and find a way how to tackle Indian spinners.
Since, Kolkata pitch is expected to assist pacers so visitors may fancy their chances. Trent Boult who took only 3 wickets in first test may prove little more effective at Eden Gardens. Mitchell Santner has been bowling superbly but performance of Ish Sodhi was little disappointing looking at the nature of wicket which favored spinners.
India vs New Zealand – How to watch??
Full squad – India & New Zealand
India Squad: 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 Squad: Kane Williamson(c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling
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