India and New Zealand will be playing against each other for the first time in test match cricket since their World Test Championship final match in Southampton back in June. This is the first test match in a two match series which is taking place after the t20 series which India won 3-0.
The first game is taking place in the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur which is the first time the stadium hosts a match since 2016. The game back in 2016 took part between India and New Zealand where the home side won by 197 runs thanks to a MOTM performance Ravindra Jadeja and a six-wicket haul from Ravichandran Ashwin. India haven’t lost at the ground since 1983 when they lost to the West Indies by an innings and 83 runs.
The home side will be without their captain Virat Kohli who is being rest for the first test match after a busy schedule, so Ajinkya Rahane will be the captain for India. Team India will also be with without Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant who are being rest for the entire series. KL Rahul is missing the whole series through injury with a muscular strain.
In the India team they have a number of players that could possibly make their test match debut with Srikar Bharat, Sheryas Iyer, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav and Jayant Yadav in the squad hoping to make their test match debut. Mayank Agarwal will be hoping to make a return into the Indian test side as he missed the test series against England due to concussion. Wriddhiman Saha will be hoping to play to get back in the test team after getting dropped in December after India was all out for 38 and he got replaced by Pant.
New Zealand will be without be without their new opening batsman Devon Conway who suffered a broken hand during the semi final in the t20 World Championship against England. Absences also include Trent Boult and Collin de Grandhomme who won’t take part in the test series citing bubble fatigue.
Daryl Mitchell has been named in the squad replacing Conway. Tom Blundell might replace Conway as one of the opening batsman with Tom Latham. The first match could possibly be a huge opportunity for Mitchell Santner, Williams Sommerville and Ajaz Patel who will be huge for New Zealand as the game be on spin friendly conditions. Also the blackcaps didn’t choose a spinner in the World Test Championship final and they will want to show their captain Kane Williamson what they can do.
Going into the game India will be the favourites as they are in home conditions, however, New Zealand have been very successful in recent years which resulted in them winning the World Test Championship. Also, the Blackcaps will want to avenge the 3-0 series defeat from when they were last in India back in 2016.