New Zealand Vs India 2020: 1st Test, Wellington – India’s Predicted XI
After the conclusion of the limited-overs series, India is now in the ending chapter of this New Zealand tour where they will play the two-match Test series against the hosts.
Basin Reserve (Wellington) will host the opening game of this Test series between 21st February and 25th February 2020. It will be the first Test for the no.1-ranked Test side India in this calendar year (2020).
New Zealand vs India 2020: Here is India’s predicted XI for the upcoming Wellington Test
In the ongoing New Zealand tour, the 20-year-old Prithvi Shaw made his ODI debut. He also played four List A matches and one three-day tour game in this tour. Talking about his overall performances of this tour, the right-handed opening batsman has impressed enough to return to the Test playing XI. After the two home Tests against West Indies in October 2018, Shaw hasn’t played a Test yet.
The right-handed opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was the most Test run-scorer for India in 2019. Though he has struggled in the early period of 2020, mostly in the ongoing New Zealand tour, his last innings (81 retired hurt) in the three-day tour game has given a big relief to the national side.
The no.3-positioned batsman Cheteshwar Pujara’s form is going to be a key factor for the Indian team in this Test series. The right-handed top-order batsman was in the superior form in 2018/19 season, and the team is expecting the same form in this tour. In the tour match, Pujara scored 93 runs in the first innings when the other top-order batsmen failed.
Virat Kohli (C)
Undoubtedly the captain Virat Kohli is another most important member in this side. The no.1-ranked Test batsman is in form for a long time. However, most recently, he has struggled to perform consistently, and it is one of the biggest concerns for the team.
The vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is another stand-out and dependable performers of this Test side. Rahane is using his experiences very well and properly handling the middle-order batting in the Test side. The right-handed batsman registered four successive 50+ scores in the last four Test innings, including one century.
Though Hanuma Vihari has got very limited opportunities in the Test side, most of the times he has impressed with his performances. In recent times, he performed consistently as a solid middle-order batsman in the first-class cricket. In this New Zealand tour, he has batted in four innings, and his scores are 51, 100*, 59 and 101 runs. In fact, he registered 50+ scores in all the last six innings. Moreover, he can also be used as an off-spinner.
Rishabh Pant (wk)
While the young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant struggled in recent times, the senior wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha easily replaced him in the Test playing XI, and soon he fixed his place with his brilliant wicketkeeping skills. However, team management still can go with Rishabh Pant in the forthcoming Test match, especially when Saha still has to prove himself in the batting. However, Pant must have to perform well in the next opportunities. In the three-day tour game, Pant scored 7 & 70 runs while Saha scored 0 & 30*.
The experienced all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja can be used in any place of the team as he always provides the deepness in every part of the team. In recent times, he is mostly playing effective roles for the team. Moreover, apart from Jadeja, India has no other experienced left-handed batting option.
At present, the right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Shami is the most consistent pacer for India in every format. In the last year, Shami was the joint second most wicket-taker in international cricket, and most Test wicket-taker for India. Though he is generally effective with every ball, he is more deadly with the old red-ball.
With the growing up his experiences, the tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma has become the more mature and effective bowler for the team. Now, he is a very consistent performer with the ball, and his experience can play a crucial role in this Test series.
It will be the first Test for the right-arm fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah since the Kingston Test against West Indies in last August-September, where he claimed a hat-trick. Though he is in a good rhythm with the ball after recently returning from the injury, Bumrah needs to take some regular wickets to get back his old confidence.
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