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IND vs NZ 1st Test: Fantasy Preview and MPL Top Picks

Match: India vs New Zealand, 1st Test (IND vs NZ)

Date: November 25, Thursday

Venue: Green Park Cricket Stadium, Kanpur

After wrapping up the three-match T20I series, India and New Zealand will now lock horns in a two-match Test series, the first of which begins in Kanpur on November 25. Having won the T20I series 3-0, India will be high on confidence ahead of the Tests. However, they will be without their three best batters – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul in the series. While Kohli and Rohit have been rested, KL Rahul is injured. In Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side.

Additionally, the likes of Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami are also rested, and India will mostly field a second string team. Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill are likely to open, while Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will follow them in the batting line-up. The team management has also confirmed that Shreyas Iyer will make his Test debut as a middle-order batter.

As for New Zealand, Kane Williamson is all set to return after resting himself from the T20I series, but Trent Boult is not available for selection. Ahead of the first Test, let’s look at the head to head of both teams, pitch report, top picks for your MPL fantasy team and more.

Weather update and pitch report for IND vs NZ 1st Test  

The surface at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur is very helpful for the spinners as the match progresses and it assists the fast bowlers in the first few hours. The batters, meanwhile, will enjoy batting on the first two days. India have an excellent record at Kanpur and the last time they lost here was back in 1983 against the West Indies. New Zealand are yet to beat India in Kanpur – they have lost two Tests and drawn one. In all, India have played 22 Tests at this venue, of which they have won seven, lost three and drawn 12.

As for the weather in Kanpur tomorrow, the temperature during the day is expected to be around 22 degree Celsius. By the time the final session starts, the temperature can dip even further. No rain is predicted.

India team news and predicted XI

Team news: As aforementioned, India are without many of their star players in this series. This will also be the first Test series under new coach Rahul Dravid. India are unbeaten in Kanpur since the last 38 years and will be looking to maintain the winning streak.

Predicted 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 team news and predicted XI

Team news: New Zealand have revealed ahead of the opening Test that they will be fielding three spin bowlers in the XI. Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel will spearhead the spin department and the third choice could be Rachin Ravindra. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, meanwhile, are back in the middle order.

Predicted XI: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell/ Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel

Head to head total

The two teams have played 60 Test matches between them, of which India have won 21. New Zealand have won 13 matches, while the rest of the games were drawn.   

Five players to watch out for

Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for IND vs NZ, 1st Test

Ajinkya Rahane – Batter, India

In absence of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will be India’s best bets in the batting department, even though the likes of Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill are also reliable. Rahane missed out on a half-century by just one run in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and will be looking to cross the 50-run mark this time around. Rahane has also not been able to score a century in whites this year so far, and will be hoping to have one under his belt before the year ends. In all, the stand-in India captain has played 132 Test innings, from which he averages 39.63. This includes 12 centuries and 24 fifties. Rahane’s price on the MPL app is 8.5 credits.

Cheteshwar Pujara – Batter, India

One of the best red-ball players to emerge from India, Cheteshwar Pujara has not been able to get a century in his last 38 innings. After scoring in 50s, 70s and 80s for a while now, the senior batter will be looking for a century this time around, having plenty of experience playing in Indian conditions. With an overall average of 45.41 in his Test career, Pujara is indispensable to your MPL fantasy team and also a good option for captaincy. He can be included in your fantasy team by shelling out 9.5 credits.

Ravindra Jadeja – All-rounder, India

Batting, bowling, and fielding, Ravindra Jadeja brings value to all three departments. After resting himself in the T20I series, the all-rounder is returning for the red-ball format. The spin-friendly conditions in Kanpur will help the left arm orthodox bowler who has 227 wickets in 106 Test innings. With the bat, Jadeja averages 34.04 in the format. His price on MPL for this game is 9.5 credits.

Kane Williamson – Batter, New Zealand

Kane Williamson is back in the team after resting himself in the T20I series. The last time when India and New Zealand met in a Test match, the World Test Championship Final that is, Williamson scored 49 and 52 in two innings and will be looking to produce even better numbers this time around. The 31-year-old is one of the best Test batters in the world, averaging 53.95 in the format. He is priced on MPL at 10.5 credits.

Mitchell Santner – All-rounder, New Zealand

New Zealand will be expecting good returns from the slow left-arm orthodox bowler on a spin-friendly Kanpur wicket. Another good pick would be Ajaz Patel, but he brings lesser experience with him as compared to Santner. Both are priced at 8.5 credits each.

MPL fantasy XI – IND vs NZ 1st Test

India vs New Zealand 1st Test: where and what time to watch the match live in India 

The India vs New Zealand 1st Test match will be aired live on all Star Sports channels – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, and Star Sports 1 Kannada. The live streaming of the game will be available on Hotstar for users with a subscription. 

Also read: Host countries announced for all ICC events played between 2024 and 2031

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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