India had a really tough last few months as they struggled in all three departments of the game. After getting clean sweep in the ODIs, they are now ready to take on New Zealand in the 1st Test from 6th of February.
MS Dhoni XI hasn’t won a single away test since June 2011 and has been defeated 9 times out of last10 test played away from home. These certainly are exhausting figures for a side that boasts of to be the World Champs.
Only MS Dhoni, Murali Vijay, Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan have played before in New Zealand and this adds to the challenge for India as this test series is really going to test the adaptability and technique of the young guns from India.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay will be back in the side for the tests and will be source of strengthening the out-of-form Indian batting line that is having a miserable run of late. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma will be the part of Indian top 6 as well. Both these players didn’t have a good run in ODIs and will have to amend their approach for the tests to contribute to the cause of India.
Mohammad Shami, Ishant sharma and Zaheer Khan can be the foremost choice for MS Dhoni in bowling department. As for spinners, R Aswin hasn’t been in his top form and might get replaced with Ravindra Jadeja who was impressive on the last tour.
As for New Zealand, they have had a most impressive run throughout the ODIs. With the likes of Taylor and Williamson, they have a batting line that can, literally, slaughter the Indian younger bowlers. In the top order, Peter Fulton and Hamsih Rutherford are likely to open and McCullum will follow in middle order along with Williamson and Taylor. Ryder will also be the part of playing XI expectedly.
Core Anderson, the all-rounder known for his big hitting abilities, and BJ Watling, the wicket keeper, will also be the part of top 7 for New Zealand. So, this certainly makes a deadly combo.
On the bowling front, they have the services of Tim Southee who had a brilliant ODI series and besides him it will be Neil Wagner and Trent Boult who’ll constitute the pace trio for New Zealand. It’s also expected that New Zealand may give a break to Ish Sodhi considering the nature of the pitch.
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