India’s tour of New Zealand will now continue with a two-match Test series between the two nations. The first Test is scheduled to be played at the Basin Reserve in Wellington between Friday, February 21 and Tuesday, February 25. The Test series also forms a part of the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship. World No.1 Test side India are also at the top of the championship points table and are currently on a seven-match winning streak in the longest format. The action will commence at 4:00 AM IST.
Just days before the start of the Test series, Kiwi paceman Matt Henry was called in as a replacement for the World No.1 ranked bowler Neil Wagner. Wagner decided to opt out of the opening Test as he is awaiting the birth of his first child. Meanwhile, in-form Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the remainder of the tour after he suffered a calf injury in the final T20I game. 20-year old batting sensation Prithvi Shaw will be covering for Sharma in the series and is expected to open alongside Test specialist Mayank Agarwal.
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Daryl Mitchell, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry.
Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Hanuma Vihari, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill.
Even though the weather will be cloudy in the first three days, no rainfall is expected during the entire five-day course of the game. As per Accuweather, the temperature on the opening day is expected to be around 20°C to 22°C.
The deck at the Basin Reserve is usually a batting-friendly one with just a hint of grass in it for the opening two days. While the pitch generally assists fast bowlers more than the spinners, expect Indian captain Virat Kohli to entrust his pacers on Day 1 and Day 2.
The NZ vs Ind 1st Test live streaming can be viewed on Hotstar and Jio TV in India.