After blanking New Zealand 3-0 in the T20I series, all the focus now shifts to Kanpur where hosts India will take on New Zealand in the first Test match. Despite being at home, India will go into the Test match with a rather green side at their disposal. There is no Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul has been ruled out with an injury. This means that one of Suryakumar Yadav or Shreyas Iyer could make their Test debut.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will be playing their first match after their historic win at the World Test Championship final and will always pose a challenge to the Indian order. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner will be the two pacers with left-arm spin duo of Ajaz Patel and Mitchell Santner have the mettle to trouble the Indian batting order.
India’s bowling will revolve around their spinners and it will be interesting to see the pitch that is prepared for this first Test at Kanpur. Axar Patel and R Ashwin will be in the side and Ravindra Jadeja might play higher up the order as the genuine all-rounder.
The pitch in Kanpur is your typical Indian pitch and it offers assistance to the spinners as the match progresses. If the trend in first-class matches is anything to go by, the first two days will offer assistance to the batters, but since there will nip in the air, seamers can expect to get into the attack early in the piece.
However, we will see a spin dominating attack from both India and New Zealand.
The temperature in the day could reach the mid 20 degrees, but it could well drop to early 20 or late 10s towards the final session of the day.
Test records at this venue
Total Tests played: 22 (Batting first won 7 games, batting second won: 3 games)
Highest score at this venue: 676/7 – India vs Sri Lanka in 1986
Lowest score at this venue: 105 – Australia vs India
India (IND) vs New Zealand (NZ) probable playing XIs
India Probable Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
New Zealand Probable Playing XI: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (Captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner/Will Somerville