60 crucial Test Championship points will be up for grabs when India play New Zealand in the 1st Test of the 2-match series on 21st Feb in Basin Reserve, Wellington. After India whitewashed New Zealand 5-0 in T20I series, the Kiwis bounced back to whitewash team India 3-0 in the ODI series.
Now, the riveting action moves to the traditional format of the game – Test match, where along with skills, temperament of the players will also be tested. In the last 3 test matches that team India has played on this ground, they have lost 1 and managed to draw two. So, quite clearly this has not been a happy hunting ground for team India, but under the aggressive and determined leadership of Virat Kohli, India will look to change this stat.
Captain Kohli and India’s premier fast bowler – Bumrah were nowhere close to their best in the ODI series and will look to make an impact. If green pitch is provided, fast bowlers such as Southee, Boult, Shami, and Bumrah will lick their lips. Such kind of a wicket will be nightmare for the batsmen, especially considering the quality of fast bowlers that both sides possess.
This match and series is most likely to be dominated by the bowlers. Batsmen will have to apply themselves and be patient enough to score runs.
Action-packed series opener awaits!
Following is the match preview, playing 11, pitch report, weather conditions, match prediction for 1st Test slated to be played on Friday, 21st Feb.
India vs New Zealand 1st Test 2020 will be played on 21st Feb in Basin Reserve, Wellington. Live action of this Test Match will begin at 11:30AM local time. For Indian Fans, the match begins at 4AM.
If in India, you can catch all the live action of this match on Star Sports Network. Live streaming of this match will be available on Hotstar.
What can you expect from the Pitch?
Pitch is expected to be seam-friendly. Hence, the seam bowlers who can make the ball move will be more than handy. Both teams have bowlers to exploit such conditions, so it is the batting that will be the deciding factor in the outcome of this game.
Cloudy and windy weather conditions will be of great help for the seam bowlers. The cool conditions mean that the playing conditions will be comfortable for players. Cricket fans will hope that rain gods stay away and enjoy the game from above.
Possible Playing 11:
Following are the possible playing 11 of team India and New Zealand for the 1st Test:
Virat Kohli (C), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishab Pant (WK), Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
Shubman Gill, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma.
Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (WK), Tom Blundell (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel / Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner.
Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel / Kyle Jamieson.
To strengthen the batting line-up, team India might go with Jadeja rather than Ashwin. Umesh might get a nod ahead of Navdeep Saini as the third seamer after Shami and Bumrah. Ishant Sharma seems to have not yet fully recovered from the injury and might be benched.
On the other hand, New Zealand have picked a 13-man squad, where the only confusion might be whether to play the left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel or the new pacer Kyle Jamieson. The rest of the Kiwi squad seems settled.
Fantasy Cricket Tips and Tricks:
We can assist the 1st test match prediction by providing fantasy cricket online tips and tricks. India vs New Zealand prediction can be tough given the potent and lethal players possessed by both the sides. Following are few suggestions for captain and vice-captain for 1st Test between India and New Zealand.
Captain Choices: Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Williamson, Boult.
Vice-captain choices: Rahane, Shami, Southee, BJ Watling.
Our Fantasy Cricket Playing 11:
We follow the game of cricket closely and analyse it to the best of our knowledge. Also, we provide winning fantasy cricket team combinations for variety of contests on KhelChamps app.
Our fantasy cricket team:
Wicket-keeper/s: Rishab Pant (WK), BJ Watling (WK).
Batsmen: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Kane Williamson (VC), Tom Latham.
All-rounder: Ravindra Jadeja.
Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner.
Power Pick Player:
Our power pick player for the 1st Test match between India and New Zealand is Mohammed Shami.
The seam position, consistency, and the ability to hurry batsmen make Shami a lethal bowler. Seam-friendly conditions in New Zealand are only going to aid Shami. Kiwi batsmen need to be at their absolute best to handle Shami’s deliveries.
This series falls under the Test Championship; Virat Kohli will not want to lose a point. Hence, the intensity will be high. Pick batsmen who are technically sound and bowlers who can exploit the seam-friendly conditions.
According to our match prediction for the 1st Test match between India and New Zealand, India just edge ahead of New Zealand in the batting department. So our prediction says India will win the first match and lead the 2-match series 1-0.
We set our fantasy cricket teams after thorough analysis of previous matches, grounds, players’ recent form, and various other important parameters. We hope that our predictions help you win various contests on KhelChamps app.
*Disclaimer: The above predicted team is purely based on analysis and understanding of the author. Hence, make your own decision and consider the above points while making your fantasy cricket team.