New Zealand Vs India 2020: 1st Test, Wellington – BCCI Reveals The Pitch Ahead Of The Game
One day ahead of the opening game of the two-match Test series between New Zealand and India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed the pitch of the first game.
India will end the ongoing New Zealand tour with the two-match Test series. The first Test will begin on Friday (21st February) at Basin Reserve (Wellington).
Green pitch for Wellington Test
Just a few hours before the first Test, the BCCI has revealed the pitch of the match. Expectedly the hosts are following their tradition in Test cricket by providing the green pitch.
A day out of the 1st Test, this is what the pitch at Basin Reserve looks like.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 20, 2020
In the past time, most of the Indian batsmen always felt uncomfortable to bat on the green pitches. However, the present Indian cricket generations are handling these conditions more positively. Moreover, the present Indian pace-bowling side is very strong.
Another important factor of this venue is to handle the wind, which is not easy, especially for the inexperienced cricketers.
So, to achieve success in this Test match, the Indian team will have to depend hugely on their experienced players. Talking about the batting unit, Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Virat Kohli and the Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane have played one Test each at this venue. Even when the Indian team played their last Test at here in February 2014, Kohli and Rahane both hit a century each in different innings.
Among the Indian bowlers, the tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma has played two Tests while Mohammed Shami has experienced one Test at this venue. During the 2014 Test match, Ishant bagged six wickets and Shami picked up four wickets in the first innings.
The visitors India haven’t a great record in Test cricket at Basin Reserve (Wellington). Out of their seven Tests at this venue, India won only once, lost four times and drew twice.
India’s Test records at Basin Reserve (Wellington)
Last time when India played at this venue (February 2014), they bundled out the hosts New Zealand for just 192 runs in the first innings. After scoring 438 runs in their first innings, thanks to the century of Ajinkya Rahane (118) and Shikhar Dhawan’s 98 runs, the Indian bowlers once again started to dominate as the hosts were struggling on 94/5 at one stage of their second innings.
But then skipper Brendon McCullum rescued the hosts along BJ Watling and James Neesham. While McCullum recorded New Zealand’s first triple century (302 runs) in Test cricket, Watling (124) and Neesham (137*) hit their respective centuries. McCullum and Watling set up the massive sixth-wicket partnership of 352 runs.
The hosts declared that innings on 680/8 as India had to chase 435 runs in a very short time to win that game. At the end of that match, the visitors scored 166/3, and the game had the draw result. Virat Kohli (105*) hit a century on the final day.
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