India will now face New Zealand in a first of two-match Test series at the Basin Reserve in Wellington between February 21 and February 25. The Indian cricket team are currently on a tour to New Zealand to play five T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches over the course of 40 days in the country. While India won the T20I contests by 5-to-nothing, New Zealand returned the favour in ODIs by claiming the series 3-0.
Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, Team India have won the toss on three occasions in their last five matches. However, India have won all of those five matches and are currently on a 7-Test winning run. Meanwhile, New Zealand won the toss just once in their last five matches. Their form indicates a worrying factor for the Black Caps as they recently suffered a 0-3 whitewash in Australia.
Since 2016, the average first innings score posted at the venue has been 328. 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. One can expect the captain to bat first after winning the NZ vs Ind toss in the 1st Test.
The NZ vs Ind toss time for the upcoming match will be conducted at 3:30 AM IST. The Test will then commence 30 mins after the NZ vs Ind toss time, i.e. at 4:00 AM IST. The two teams will break for lunch at 6:00 AM IST and will resume action at 6:40 AM IST. The tea break will start at 8:40 AM IST, i.e. immediately after the afternoon session. The players will step back into the field for a final session at 9:00 AM IST before Stumps at 11:00 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.
💬 "This is going to be the biggest of them all. Every team wants to make it to the final at Lord's. And we are not any different."— ICC (@ICC) February 19, 2020
Virat Kohli is desperate for success in the ICC World Test Championship 👇 https://t.co/ngtQs6MK33