India vs New Zealand 2020 | Sportzwiki

India vs New Zealand 2020

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Deep Dasgupta Advised Indian Batsmen On How To Approach The Conditions In England

The cricketer-turned-commentator Deep Dasgupta has a piece of advice for Indian batsmen in a bid to deliver better in English conditions when India will take on New Zealand in the much-awaited WTC Final kick-starting on June 18.

Former India player Deep Dasgupta has taken a rather different route and has given a detailed plan to India’s batters to tackle the seam and swing conditions and also New Zealand’s pace bowling attack, while many experts and critics have picked their playing XI for the WTC Final or talked about the favourites between the two teams India and New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC).

Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)
Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)

Deep Dasgupta: Indian Batsmen Need To Keep Clarity Of Thought In Mind First

India’s struggles when facing the swinging ball are well documented and the Indian team also struggled to come to terms with it during their sole series loss in the WTC cycle against New Zealand in 2020. Many experts in the cricket fraternity fear that the possibility of it repeating will be higher considering the England conditions, which generally assist fast bowlers.

“The first thing Indian batsmen need to keep in mind is their clarity of thought. People advise you to play your natural game, and I completely agree with that. Your natural game provides a basic structure to your game. Rohit Sharma’s most productive shot is his cut or pulls off the back foot. That doesn’t mean you need to hit every ball if attacking is your natural game,” Dasgupta explained.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, the cricketer-turned-commentator advised how to approach these conditions when the marquee clash begins on June 18. New Zealand is the only team to beat India in the WTC. The Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton.

Deep Dasgupta: Rohit Sharma Has Tried To Stay Away From Driving The Ball

The former India wicketkeeper-batter also discussed how Rohit Sharma approaches his batting even before the ball is bowled. Generally, Rohit Sharma is known to play pulls and cuts pretty efficiently but prefers staying away from the drives early in his innings.

Deep Dasgupta feels clarity of thought process is essential while tackling bowlers in the seam and swing-friendly conditions. Rohit Sharma has amassed 1030 runs in 11 Tests averaging 64.37 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

“Rohit Sharma has consciously tried to stay away from driving the ball. He depends on the pull and cut shots. If you get a short-pitched ball, you have to go for it because you have to score runs at the end of the day.

But if you aren’t getting the ball in your slot, you have to be very clear in your thought process and game plan that you will not play a shot. If a drive is not part of your game plan, unless it is a half volley or full toss, stick with it. That clarity of thought is very important,” Deep Dasgupta continued.

Apart from the game plan, Deep Dasgupta further mentioned defence and respecting the conditions as his three major points for the Indian batters to tackle the England conditions. Deep Dasgupta believes Ishant Sharma, who picked up three wickets in the intra-squad game, must get a nod ahead of Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj because of his experience.

Ishant Sharma(3/36) shone with the ball in the ongoing intra-squad practice match in Southampton before the WTC final. Openers Shubman Gill (85 off 135 balls) and Rishabh Pant (121* off 94 balls) shone with the bat. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 54 off 76 balls in India’s intra-squad practice match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Deep Dasgupta’s playing XI for WTC final:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

India Needs To Play To Its Strengths And Two Spinners Ravindra Jadeja And Ravichandran Ashwin Must Play, Says Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag, a former Indian dashing opener feels India has to play both their spin all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the WTC final as the team needs to play to its strengths. Virender Sehwag believes that rather than going in with four pacers, India should go with two spinners in their five-man bowling line-up as it would also strengthen their lower middle-order batting.

Team India has to do a lot of pondering regarding the bowling combination they are going to play in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag: India Needs To Play To Its Strengths And Two Spinners Will Be Good As Both Ravindra Jadeja And Ravichandran Ashwin Are Capable All-rounders

India has the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Siraj available in the pace department while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the premier spinners in the team. So it is a good headache to have for Virat Kohli and the team management.

“I don’t how the wicket would look like on June 18th but one thing I have always believed is that you need to play to your strengths. If India can play with five specialist bowlers that will be great thing because I still believe that two spinners will come into effect on fourth and fifth day,” Virender Sehwag told PTI during an interview.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

“Two spinners will be good for India because both Ashwin and Jadeja are capable all-rounders. That also adds depth to your batting. You don’t need a sixth batsman with both of them around.”

India has not preferred playing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in an overseas Test. In England, they have done it only once in 2014 at Manchester without much success. But this time, things might be different.  Ravichandran Ashwin has 409 scalps in 78 Tests and Ravindra Jadeja has 220 scalps in 51 Tests.

Virender Sehwag Looking Forward To Trent Boult And Rohit Sharma Contest

Opener Rohit Sharma countering New Zealand’s pacer Trent Boult’s incoming deliveries will make for a fascinating contest, something that Virender Sehwag will be looking forward to during the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, starting in Southampton on June 18.

Virender Sehwag, who redefined the art of opening batting in Test cricket, feels that Rohit Sharma’s qualities and recent form at the top of the order certainly makes him a candidate to succeed during the six Test matches in England this summer.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

“No doubt Trent Boult-Tim Southee combination will pose a lot of challenge for Indians. They can move the ball both ways and are brilliant while bowling in partnerships also,” Sehwag said.

The New Zealand team thrashed India inside three days in two home Tests in early 2020, something that will give them confidence going into the final.
The New Zealand pace bowling quartet of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Kyle Jamieson was crucial in them qualifying for the final as they won all their games at home in the WTC cycle defeating India, West Indies, and Pakistan 2-0 each. They will once again pose a massive challenge to Virat Kohli and other batsmen.
With Mohammed Siraj’s recent meteoric rise and the availability of the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma, the team management is deliberating who all should feature in the team’s pace attack. As per a report, the team management is keen on including Mohammed Siraj in the XI. Senior pacer Ishant Sharma could be asked to rest if Mohammed Siraj manages to impress in training in the lead-up to the final.
Indian test team
Prithvi Shaw[photo: Twitter]

Prithvi Shaw Opens Up On Cough Syrup Fiasco

Prithvi Shaw, after India’s U-19 World Cup in 2018, was hailed as the next big thing. He did make it to the Indian team soon after and started with a bang against West Indies, where he slammed his maiden ton. But from there, things went on a downward spiral for the Mumbai youngster.

He suffered an ankle injury during the Australia tour, then saw a dip in form, and also tested positive for a banned substance, for which he had to stay away from cricket for eight months.

Prithvi Shaw Image Source : TWITTER
Prithvi Shaw Image Source: TWITTER

Prithvi Shaw Admits Guilty Not To Have Consulted The Physio To Take Cough Syrup As Advised By His Father When He Had Cold

Talking to Cricbuzz, Prithvi Shaw has opened up about the toughest phase of his career, and how he dealt with it. He also threw light on how the entire cough syrup fiasco happened.

“Till New Zealand tour I was in a happy space. Basically, I was feeling okay, and then I did decently in IPL too in 2020. the 2018-19 Australia series was something I was really looking forward to. And then suddenly this ankle injury happened.

The physios and team management were trying to keep me ready for the third Test, but the recovery progress stopped after a point. I was in a lot of pain and was really sad. But these sort of things keep happening, and this is what the players and support staff tried to explain to me.”

“After I came back, I started my treatment and played the IPL. But then this cough syrup controversy came up. I think dad and I are responsible for it. I remember we were playing the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Indore and I was down with a cold and cough at that time. So I had gone out for dinner and was coughing a lot.

So, I spoke to my dad. He asked me to take the cough syrup available in the market. What I did wrong was did not consult the physio, which was wrong on my part.”

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw. Photo Credit: BCCI

“I took that syrup for two days, and on the third day I had my dope test. So that’s when I was detected positive for a banned substance. That was a really difficult phase for me, and can’t even express in words. I was worried about my image, and what would people think about me. That is when I went for London, to stay away from all this. There too, I didn’t step out of my room much.”

Prithvi Shaw lost his place in the Indian Test side after disappointing tours of New Zealand and Australia. Prithvi Shaw blasted 827 runs, the most by a player in a Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign, as he led Mumbai to the title. He scored his runs at an extraordinary average of 165.4 and an outstanding strike rate of 138.29.

Prithvi Shaw Was Banned For 8 Months For Taking Banned Substance But Returned Hence And Emerged Highest Run Scorer In Vijay Hazare Trophy Ever

But Prithvi Shaw did make a comeback of sorts and emerged as the highest run-scorer in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He also scored over 300 runs in the suspended IPL 2021.

Prithvi Shaw’s turnaround from the low of Australia tour last year has been nothing short of sensational. After having his technique scrutinized following scores of 0 and 2 during the first India-Australia Test of the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he went back, worked on his batting, and returned with stellar returns in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he became the first player to amass over 800 runs in a single edition of the tournament.

Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals’ innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL

Prithvi Shaw continued his impeccable form in the IPL 2021 for the Delhi Capitals, scoring 308 runs from eight matches before the tournament was suspended indefinitely. Last year, despite starting the IPL with a couple of half-centuries, Prithvi Shaw registered three ducks in the tournament, finishing with 228 runs from 14 matches.

Prithvi Shaw has played 5 Tests and 3 ODIs and although isn’t part of the WTC Final and 5 Tests in England, he is in contention to be selected in India’s tour of Sri Lanka for a limited series.


WTC Final Will Be Challenging And Conditions Will Favour New Zealand: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman has said that the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand could be a challenging one for the Indian team despite excellent performances in the last Test series against England and against full-strength Australia in their own backyard.

The Virat Kohli-led side qualified for the summit clash of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship by finishing atop the WTC points table. They will now take on already-qualified New Zealand in the final, which is scheduled to be played in Southampton from June 18.

VVS Laxman India
VVS Laxman. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

VVS Laxman Predicts The WTC Final Against The Kiwis Will Be Tough As Conditions  England Will Suit Them

During an interaction on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, VVS Laxman was asked about India’s chances in the World Test Championship final. The former India player said that the Kane Williamson-led side would be tough opposition in the seamer-friendly English conditions.

“It is going to be a challenging final against New Zealand because the conditions will suit the New Zealand team. It will be helping the seam bowlers; there will be a lot of swing and seam movement on offer, and I feel whichever side bats well will eventually win that final,” said Laxman.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

However, the cricketer-turned-commentator feels the Indian batting could come to the fore and help the team lift the coveted trophy.

“India have got depth and experience in their batting line-up, and I will definitely back India, and it’s a great opportunity for India and Virat Kohli to lift the ICC World Test Championship Trophy,” added VVS Laxman.

Within five days of play in New Zealand, India lost out on 120 possible points, which hurt their campaign. They compensated for it with their stupendous series win in Australia. India had suffered a harrowing 2-0 series defeat at the hands of New Zealand in February 2020.

New Zealand has a strong team in the likes of skipper Kane Williamson, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, and BJ Watling (wk).

VVS Laxman: WTC An Opportunity For Test Specialists To Lay Their Hands On The Coveted Trophy

“It’s a great initiative by the ICC because over so many years, especially in my career, I never played a World Cup, and I played a lot of Test matches. This is an opportunity for the Test cricketers to get a trophy in their hands,” said VVS Laxman.

ICC World Test Championship mace
File photo of ICC World Test Championship mace. Image Source ICC

The 46-year-old also mentioned that India deserves to play the final after their consistent performances during the qualifying period, except for a hiccup in the New Zealand series abroad.

“I think this is the perfect start and great start for Team India also because at one time they were dominating in all the series they played except the series in New Zealand, but suddenly because of Covid, the rules changed. But the way they played against England, they deserve to be in the final,” observed VVS Laxman.

The ICC World Test Championship final being moved from Lord’s to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton could work to India’s advantage. The pitch in Hampshire tends to help the spinners more compared to the usually seamer-friendly conditions at Lord’s.

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE

No One Said Anything About The Pitch As India Lost Inside Three Days In New Zealand: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli cited the example of India’s recent tour of New Zealand in early 2020, where batsmen were criticized rather than the pitch as both the Tests wrapped up within 3 days and India eventually lost.

India captain Virat Kohli believes the debate surrounding the Ahmedabad pitch has been going in for far too long time and it is about time people should come to terms with the fact that spin is an important factor while playing Test cricket in the sub-continent.

Virat Kohli | AFP
Virat Kohli | AFP

Virat Kohli: India Doesn’t Focus On The Pitch

Virat Kohli cited the example of India’s tour of New Zealand in early 2020, where they were blanked 0-2, with both Tests finishing inside three days, mentioning that all people were talking about was the lacklustre performance by the batsmen and not the pitch.

“Let me ask you a question – do we play matches so that they last 5 days or do we play to win? We lost in New Zealand inside 3 days. No one said anything about the pitch back then. Our strength is we focus on ourselves and not the pitch. We need to be honest with ourselves about this narrative (of spinning tracks),” Virat Kohli said on the eve of the fourth Test between India and England at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli managed only 38 runs in 2 Tests averaging 9.5 against New Zealand © AFP

The third Test match between India and England in Ahmedabad finished inside two days – the first time it has happened in over 50 years, and even on the eve of the 4th Test at the same venue, several former cricketers are still trying to come to terms with it.

India lost the 1st Test against New Zealand by 10 wickets and the 2nd Test by 7 wickets. They managed scores of 165 and 191 in the 1st and 242 and 134 in the 2nd Test.

Virat Kohli’s Deputy Ajinkya Rahane Echoes Captain’s Thoughts

Virat Kohli’s deputy Ajinkya Rahane echoed his captain’s thoughts and mentioned how relating India’s performance to the nature of a pitch is unfair.

Virat Kohli last scored a century way back in 2019 and has not been able to get to three figures since then. His last Test century came against Bangladesh in Kolkata in India’s first day-night Test at Eden Gardens in November 2019.

On the other hand, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane expressed his disagreement over the slamming of Indian pitches by several former England cricketers in the ongoing four-match Test series. He asserted that India has never complained about the wickets when they tour abroad.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane stressed the fact that while playing the line, the footwork plays a more significant role and how to use that is an individual batsman’s choice while mentioning that despite beating England by 10 wickets in the third Test, the hosts aren’t going to take the opponents lightly.

Ajinkya Rahane,
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ajinkya Rahane Not Too Much Worried Despite New Zealand Tour Failure

Though the Indian batsmen failed to handle the short balls during the last tour in New Zealand, the Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is still confident enough about the team.

The Indian team’s dominant runs in Test cricket has recently been hampered by the hosts New Zealand. Before that tour, the no.1-ranked Test team India were dominating in Test cricket. In the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship, India not only won all their first three Test series but also won all the matches of those series (a total of seven Tests).

But, in the two-match Test series in New Zealand, India suffered defeats in both the Test matches. While many were raising questions on the batting strategies of the Indian players against the short balls during that tour, Ajinkya Rahane reminded them of their success during the 2018 Melbourne Test.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credits: Twitter)

Rahane recently said, “People are speaking too much about it (short balls). If you see Melbourne innings, we have dominated. We all play short-balls well, one game doesn’t make you bad players of short ball.”

We have to stay focussed and positive: Ajinkya Rahane

Talking about their batting failure in the recent New Zealand tour, Rahane pointed out the breeze factor in New Zealand. However, the Test vice-captain is looking forward for the Australia tour where they will play the four-match Test series after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020.

India, New Zealand
Image Credits: BCCI Twitter

He claimed, “They (NZ bowlers) used the breeze factor very well because in New Zealand it was biggest factor, cutting the angle and pace. We have to stay focussed and positive and the next series is in Australia and there is a long way to go, looking forward to that.

“We have really done a good job in the last three-four years. Now Test Championship has started. In this journey, you are going to win and lose some matches.”

In the Test series in New Zealand, Rahane scored 46, 29, 7 and 9 runs respectively. However, Rahane isn’t too much worried about his form. He claimed that he and his team learned a lot from the recently concluded New Zealand tour.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credits: BCCI Twitter)

Rahane added, “I am not too much worried about that and I am not going too much deep in that. Test Championship is all about one match and one series at a time, one match at a time because points are involved, because one bad game or two bad games will not make us bad team.

“We learnt a lot from New Zealand series, they played well. As a team, there is some learning as batting and bowling unit.”

The no.1-ranked Test team India is still leading the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship points table with 360 points. India have already played two home and two away Test series in this Test Championship.

Their remaining Test series in this Championship are against the hosts Australia (four-match Test series) and the visitors England (five-match Test series).

Photo: Getty Images

‘Shut The F**K Up’ – Virat Kohli Abuses Jeering New Zealand Crowd During 2nd Test

India skipper Virat Kohli and New Zealand crowd began their on-field rivalry during the second day of the ongoing Test match. On day 1, Kohli responded to the jeering crowd with some animated signs. But on day 2, his aggression was on full display and Kohli abused a section of crowd after New Zealand lost a wicket.

Also Read: Delhi Capitals’ Ishant Sharma Likely To Miss Initial Phase Of IPL 2020 Due To Ankle Issue

The crowd was continuously jeering the Indian skipper for the second day and he had no choice but to hit back at them. Here is a video of Kohli abusing the crowd on day 2 –

Since his reaction was recorded, the India captain might also invite some fine from ICC. The apex board is likely to take action against him after the end of the Test match.

Meanwhile, Team India made a magnificent comeback on day 2 as they ended up getting a small lead of seven runs. Umesh Yadav got the first breakthrough in the third over of the day when he trapped Tom Blundell in front of the stumps.

Jasprit Bumrah got the wicket of Kane Williamson just two overs later. Likes of Ross Taylor (15) and Henry Nicholls (14) did spend some time at the crease but they failed to convert it into big scores. Mohammed Shami got the big wicket of Tom Latham (52 off 122) in the 44th over.

'Shut The F**K Up' - Virat Kohli Abuses Jeering New Zealand Crowd During 2nd Test 1

Team India was staring at a big lead but Kyle Jamieson (49) and Neil Wagner (21) kept their hopes at bay by adding 51 runs for the ninth wicket. Shami broke the partnership to provide another breakthrough.

Also Read: ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020: New Zealand Women Create History After Beating Bangladesh Women In Low-Scoring Thriller

The visiting team once again had a poor start as opener Mayank Agarwal was dismissed on a score of 3. Prithvi Shaw did entertain with two boundaries but only managed 14 off 24. Kohli only managed 14 off 30 in his final outing on the tour. India are  down for 51 after 17.1 overs.

The visitors will hope to get a lead of over 200. Should India win this Test, they will become the first team to defeat New Zealand in a Test match Down Under.

India, New Zealand, New Zealand vs India
Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli (Image Crerdit: Facebook)

India vs New Zealand 2nd Test: IND vs NZ Dream11 Team, Playing XI, Fantasy Cricket Tips

India take on New Zealand in a must-win contest at Hagley Oval in Christchurch from Saturday. The defeat in the first Test did leave India stunned but the visiting team is confident of turning the things in its favour. A win here will be a boost for India while a defeat will mean another series defeat for them in New Zealand.

For the home team, the win in the second Test will see them add complete 120 points in their account. No doubt, they are favourites to win the Test and the series but expect Virat Kohli and co to bounce back.

Also Read: Prithvi Shaw Or Shubman Gill? Ravi Shastri Names Opener For 2nd Test

Conditions –

The conditions will be similar to that which were in the first Test. A green top will welcome Team India. Both the teams are expected to make a couple of changes in the lineup.

Here is the likely playing XI of both the teams –


Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma. Credits: BCCI Twitter

As confirmed by Ravi Shastri, opener Prithvi Shaw is fit and will open the innings in second Test as well. However, Ishant Sharma is suffering from an ankle issue and is set to miss the game. R Ashwin is likely to make way for Ravindra Jadeja. Rest of the lineup should remain the same.

Likely playing XI: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Also Read: New Zealand vs India 2020: Ishant Sharma Ruled Out of Christchurch Test

New Zealand:

Strike pacer Neil Wagner is confirmed to return into playing XI. He is likely to replace Ajaz Patel in the lineup, which means that Kyle Jamieson will retain his place. NZ are likely to go in without a frontline spinner for this Test.

Likely playing XI: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner

My dream11 team for IND vs NZ 2nd Test:

Tom Latham (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Vice-Captain), Kane Williamson, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishabh Pant, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner


Prithvi Shaw Or Shubman Gill? Ravi Shastri Names Opener For 2nd Test

India opener Prithvi Shaw seems to be fit and running for the second Test match against New Zealand. Head coach Ravi Shastri announced that he (Shaw) is fit and is ‘good’ for the second Test. Swelling on his left foot threatened Shaw’s participation in the game. He also missed the practice session two days before the Test but Shaw returned to nets on the eve of the game and looked fit.

Also Read: Rajasthan Royals to play two home matches in Guwahati

Team India have a ready to go replacement in the form of Shubman Gill and he would have played the Test in case Shaw wasn’t available.

Prithvi Shaw Or Shubman Gill? Ravi Shastri Names Opener For 2nd Test 2

Shaw scored 30 runs in the first Test. He got out to Tim Southee in the first innings while Trent Boult snared his wicket in the second innings.

While most players will keep their places, Team India’s lineup is expected to have one change as R Ashwin is likely to make way for Ravindra Jadeja. The latter was surprisingly kept out of playing XI for the first Test. The visiting team needs as many batsmen in the playing XI and Jadeja is highly likely to replace Ashwin.

Prithvi Shaw Or Shubman Gill? Ravi Shastri Names Opener For 2nd Test 3
Image Credit: Getty Images

Home team New Zealand is also confirmed to have one change as their lead pacer Neil Wagner is all but confirmed to be part of playing XI. He might replace Kyle Jamieson.  The debutant did take four wickets and scored 44 runs but New Zealand have no other option but to drop him. Should NZ consider playing four pacers, Ajaz Patel will make way for Wagner.

Also Read: Ashton Agar takes massive strides in ICC T20I rankings

The second Test of the series takes place at Hagley Oval in Christchurch from Saturday. BlackCaps are leading the two-match series 1-0. They defeated India by a big margin of 10 wickets in the opening Test. The second Test will also mark an end to Team India’s 10-match tour of New Zealand.


Harsha Bhogle Slams Team Management For Preferring Rishabh Pant Over Wriddhiman Saha

Indian team management’s decision to leave out Wriddhiman Saha came as a big surprise to many, including senior cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle. The 58-year-old slammed the team management for dropping Saha, opining that the move sends a wrong message among youngsters.

“Just up and see Saha is left out. We have just told every young keeper in India not to bother becoming the best in the world behind the stumps and instead focus on getting a few more runs in front of them. Disappointed,” he wrote on Twitter.


Saha looked all set to keep his place over Rishabh but the team management decided to play the latter more as a batsman than a wicketkeeper. He (Saha) is regarded as one of the finest glovesmen but Rishabh has a great record with the bat. He has scored 754 runs in 11 Tests at 44.35, which includes centuries in England and Australia. On the other hand, Saha has 1238 runs in 37 Tests at 30.19.

Wriddhiman Saha, catch

Since his return, Saha has warmed the bench for just two Tests. He was kept out of playing XI for the two overseas Tests against West Indies. But the come home season, he replaced Rishabh and played all the five Test matches against South Africa and Bangladesh.

Since spin and uneven bounce will not be the case in New Zealand, the captain and coaches picked Rishabh over Saha. It remains to be seen if the move backfires or will Rishabh do well with the bat.

Harsha Bhogle Slams Team Management For Preferring Rishabh Pant Over Wriddhiman Saha 4
Photo: AFP

The visitors were reeling 122/5 at the end of play on day 1. They lost the first wicket of Prithvi Shaw in the fifth over. Cheteshwar Puara did show signs of playing a big innings but was dismissed after facing 42 deliveries.
Captain Virat Kohli again failed to leave an impact and was dismissed on a score of 2. Trent Boult broke opener Mayank Agarwal’s resistance and dismissed him for 34.

Also Read: New Zealand Vs India 2020: 1st Test, Wellington – Fans React After Rishabh Pant Replaces Wriddhiman Saha

Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant put up 21 runs for the sixth wicket before rain washed out the last session of play. The home team will aim to take the remainder of five wickets in the first session on day 2 while the visitors will look to reach the mark of 250.

The play on day 2 will have at 3:30 AM.

1 2 3 8