The T20I series between India and New Zealand is in full flow but soon the focus would move towards the World Test Championship as the New Zealand Test series would kick-start on November 25. It is a two-match Test series being played at Kanpur and Mumbai. These two teams were the finalists in the inaugural season of the World Test Championship and would be hoping to repeat the same in this edition as well.
Kane Williamson is back for the Test series and will be leading the Kiwi side but India’s regular captain Virat Kohli will be missing from the first Test and will join the squad in Mumbai for the second one.
Here’s what the Indian selectors have chosen for the New Zealand Test series.
NEW FACES IN THE TEST SETUP
The selectors have chosen 16 players for this Test series and Ajinkya Rahane is going to lead the team out in the first Test with Cheteshwar Pujara as his deputy. As mentioned earlier, Kohli is going to be back for the second and this decision has been made keeping in mind his intense workload before the series.
The Test team will see some new faces from the team that competed in England. KS Bharat, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill and Jayant Yadav have been selected in the sixteen with the latter two making a comeback in the Test setup. Mayank Agarwal and Prasidh Krishna, who were late additions to the squad in England given the injury situation, have retained their place in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav also makes it to the squad as he replaces the injured KL Rahul.
The biggest omission has to be the axe of Hanuma Vihari. The Indian middle-order batter hasn’t put a foot wrong since he made his debut in England back in 2018. Has been deployed in various roles and has tried his best in all those positions but somehow finds himself out of this home series against New Zealand. He will be on the flight to South Africa to play for India A.
Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav who were added to the Test squad in the middle of the England series are out of this series as well. Test regulars like Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have all been given rest for the entire Test series.
Predicted XI for First Test: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma
Expect Virat Kohli to come in for the second Test and the team can either put Shubman Gill at the top of the order in place of Mayank Agarwal or go with the Karnataka opener instead.
Indian Test Squad for New Zealand Series: Virat Kohli*, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
*Only available for the second Test
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