Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the first Test between India and New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Batsmen of Kane Williamson’s quality like to play with the field. They open up gaps, disrupt bowlers’ rhythm and create opportunities. These were all facets on show on day two of the first Test between India and New Zealand at Wellington on Saturday. Here’s S Dinakar describing the second day’s play.
TOSS UPDATE: New Zealand has won the toss and decided to bowl first. Meanwhile, it has started to drizzle in Wellington.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult
India (Playing XI): Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Taylor on his 100th cap: “Had a great cap presentation. Good friend and mentor Ian Smith said a few words. Will need some help drinking the 100 wines I received for each Test. Keeps the tradition from Fleming, Vettori and Brendon going (where they received the wines too).”
There is grass on this Basin Reserve surface and the New Zealand pacemen will be relentless in their quest for scalps. A windy morning with overcast conditions in New Zealand at the moment. What do you make of the pitch?
STAT ALERT: Virat Kohli is 11 runs short of overtaking former skipper Sourav Ganguly to become the fifth highest run scorer for India in the longest format.
Kyle Jamieson is likely to make his Test debut, bowling alongside Trent Boult and Tim Southee after left-arm seamer Neil Wagner withdrew from the team on Wednesday.
The Indian skipper is gung-ho about his pace pack where Ishant Sharma appears to have put fitness troubles behind. The Indian captain said, “He looked pretty similar to how he was bowling before the ankle injury and was hitting good areas. Really good to see him bowling with pace. He has the experience too.”
(last five completed matches)
New Zealand LLLDW
There is a covering of grass on the pitch for the forthcoming first Test and the two teams should be close to being bowled out in their first innings by day two.
It’s in the second innings as the surface eases out that the real game begins. There is less deviation off the track for the seamers, the pitch becomes slower and runs flow off the blade.
Then it boils down to strategy and the execution of plans. The strong wind, who bowls with and against it, could be critical to the outcome.
This said, the surface for the India-New Zealand game, a part of the World Test Championship, could be different in character. Full preview here| Ind vs NZ
India (from): Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithivi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R. Ashwin, Mohhamed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Navdeep Saini, Shubhman Gill.
New Zealand (from): Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Tony Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, B.J. Watling (keeper), Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell.
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough, Aleem Dar, TV Umpire: Michael Gough; Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle.
The match begins at 4.00 am IST. It will be telecast live on Star Sports.