Will India fight back New Zealand to level the series?
India will win the match!
Team India`s fortune and form in the New Zealand tour has taken a deep dive towards the dark end. They lost the first test and ODI series 0-3 after winning the T20I series 5-0 where Kiwis seemed to forget how to win. India will need to play to their best to level the series and salvage some pride as a No.1 Test team.
New Zealand won yet another test in their home soil with a clinical performance by 10 wickets. They did this without their best bowler Neil Wagner says volumes about their home domination. New Zealand will look to whitewash India in the Test series too and gain 60 more ICC Championship points from this match.
New Zealand team batted around their skipper Williamson`s 89 to post a good total of 348 runs on board. They had crucial contributions from Tom Blundell (30 runs), Ross Taylor (44 runs), Colin De GrandHomme (43 runs), Kyle Jamieson (44 runs), and Trent Boult (38 runs) to take their total beyond India`s reach. They never allowed India to gain the upper hand in the test. Tim Southee was adjudged Man of the match for 9 wickets that included a fifer in second innings. Trent Boult (5 wickets) and Kyle Jamieson (4 wickets) kept bowling in good areas and took 9 wickets in total to bowl out India twice in the test. Neil Wagner`s return will bring a welcome headache for Kiwi's team management.
Kane Williamson – Williamson was the only batsmen who looked very comfortable in the pitch and was a class apart from all other batsmen scoring 89 runs. His batting will be a big factor for New Zealand to post a good total on board.
Trent Boult – Boult took 4 wickets and every wicket was a top-order batsman and his early strikes set Indian team on back-foot. Boult will be a tough bowler to deal with in seaming conditions and expect him to pick up more wickets in this match too.
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (Wk), Colin De GrandHomme, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner/Ajaz Patel
Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, N Wagner, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, KS Williamson, Trent Boult, TA Blundell, BJ Watling, TG Southee, Kyle Jamieson
India`s batting unit failed to put 200 runs on board in both the innings and succumbed to lose by 10 wickets. Mayank Agarwal (34 & 56) and Ajinkya Rahane (46 & 29) were the only batsmen to stay sometime in the middle. Skipper Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara must take the onus to score more runs consistently as senior players. PrithviShaw, Hanuman Vihari, and Rishhab pant must score runs to validate their selection ahead of their counterparts. Ishant Sharma came back brilliantly off his injury to pick up a five-for in the tough conditions on days 2 & 3. Ashwin too bowled well for his 3 wickets in alien conditions for a spinner. but may miss out on Jadeja taking batting skills into consideration. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah looks jaded and took just a lone wicket in the test match.
Virat Kohli – Virat Kohli needs to step up with the bat and lead his team from the front and he is India`s best batsmen in away conditions. Never count out a class batsmen such as Virat and his is due to a century for a long time now.
Ishant Sharma – Sharma performed well and proved why he is lauded as the leader of the pace attack. He registered figures of 5/68 in the match and helped India to bowl out the Kiwis in their first innings.
Mayank Agarwal, Rishab Pant (wk), Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja/Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami
Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, H Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, JJ Bumrah, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||17||0.31 mm.||3.38 k/h||From: SSW||87%|
|03h||21||0 mm.||2.5 k/h||From: S||24%|
|06h||17||0 mm.||6.29 k/h||From: ENE||38%|
|09h||13||0 mm.||5.09 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|12h||11||0 mm.||4.3 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|15h||9||0 mm.||2.81 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|18h||8||0 mm.||2.33 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|21h||15||0 mm.||4.33 k/h||From: NE||0%|
The first four days looks bright and clear and we have 50% chances of rain on the last day.
Christchurch pitch will be spicier on Day 1 and fast bowlers will enjoy bowling on swinging greener conditions. In the last Test here, 20 wickets fell inside the first 100 overs of the match. Pitch will be better to bat on days 2, 3, & 4.
Both Teams will look to put the opposition on the tougher conditions on Day 1 to bat and use the favorable conditions to their advantage.
New Zealand is on a winning streak in their home soil and crushed India by 190 wickets in the first test. India is one of the best visiting team and has known rise from defeats in South Africa, England, and Australia. Both teams have quality players and Kiwis have home conditions to their advantage.
But, we expect the Indian team to come out ferocious and attacking like a wounded tiger in this contest.
India will win the match!