After the limited-overs leg of India's tour of New Zealand, both the teams will now lock horns in a 2-match Test series. The much-anticipated Test series has a lot at stake with 120 World Test Championship points which are up for grabs. Despite having a poor Test record against New Zealand on the Kiwi soil, India looks optimistic as they fancy their chances to take down hosts in what has been a mixed bag outing for them on the tour so far.
On the other hand, Kiwis will hope to carry forward the momentum from the ODI series win and dominate Virat Kohli-led in the two Tests starting February 21.
As we head into the First Test of the series, here’s a look at Dream11 Match Predictions, Preview, Team News, Match Details:
The first Test between New Zealand and India will be played on February 21 at Basin Reserve in Wellington. The match will begin at 11:30 AM local time (04:00 AM IST / 10:30 PM GMT). In India, the match will be broadcasted live on the Star Sports network.
What to Expect – Ground and Pitch conditions?
Known as the windy Wellington, the ground conditions are always conducive to seam bowling. Usually, teams winning the toss wish to bowl first in an attempt to exploit the pitch conditions early on in the Test match. The surface is expected to have a fair amount of grass, hence making the life miserable for the team batting first. The pitches in New Zealand tend to slow down with the passage of play so much so that it is nearly lifeless on day 4 and day 5 of the Test match.
Catch India vs New Zealand Live Cricket Score here
There are no injury concerns reported from either camp ahead of the first Test in Wellington. However, Kiwi pacer Niel Wagner has been ruled out of the 1st Test due to the birth of his child. Matt Henry has been included as his replacement in the Test squad. On the other hand, the Indian team will be upbeat by the return of Ishant Sharma who bowled full throttle after recovering well from his ankle injury. The pacer is likely to start for the visitors.
Predicted Playing XI:
Indian team might look to start the series with the formula that has worked for them on the overseas tours. Virat Kohli is likely to field three seamers with a specialist spinner as the make-up of his bowling attack. Also, Hanuma Vihari is likely to be the sixth batter with a wicket-keeper making the complete XI.
Probable Playing XI: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
The hosts would want to begin on a positive note. Kane Williamson and co. will be delighted upon the return of Trent Boult after recovering from his injury in the right hand. The left-arm pacer is likely to share the new ball duties along with veteran Tim Southee in the first Test.
The BlackCaps will hope that their top-order returns to find form after a horrible three Tests down under. They might even go in with a full-pace attack as hinted by Kane at the pre-match conference.
Probable Playing XI:
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Matt Henry
Dream11 Top Fantasy Picks for New Zealand vs India
The first Test will witness some of the best modern players go against each other. It is obvious to have the likes of Kohli and Williamson in the Dream11 Fantasy team. Even the likes of Chesteshwar Pujara might have a say in the Test series, especially after his rich form in the longest format of the game. Kiwi pace bowlers Trent Boult has always attained success in conditions that offer swing bowling.
Dream11 Match Predictions for New Zealand vs India
While there's not much to chose between the two teams, New Zealand will have their noses in front ahead of the 1st Test. India didn't do well on the last tour and will have a lot to answer when they face the rampant BlackCaps on their home soil.