The cricket season in India has begun and the Kiwis have already landed here to exchange cricketing bouts with team India. India vs New Zealand test series gets underway from Thursday, 22nd September at the Green Park in Kanpur.
A set of fans would be already celebrating, remembering the fate of Australia and South Africa on their previous India tours. For them, the pattern would look the same with India getting rank turners prepared to get the opposition stuck in their spin web. If you belong to that set of fans, I would advise you to wait. The New Zealand team that faces India is not just any other overseas team that collapses at the first sight of a spinning ball. This New Zealand team is full of fighters and players who are more than capable of giving it back to Team India in their own backyard.
For starters, go back to the T20 world cup held earlier this year in India. New Zealand beat India convincingly on a turning pitch, courtesy of their spinners Santner and Sodhi. Both these bowlers foxed the Indian batsmen with great ease and guile and are a part of the current squad. Apart from a prominent spin department, the Kiwis have left arm swing king Trent Boult, seamers Southee and Bracewell, all rounder Jimmy Neesham to go with a powerhouse of a batting lineup that comprises of one of the best batsman in recent times, Kane Williamson along with Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi.
India is playing with moreover the same squad that toured the West Indies about a month back thanks to a safe exit approach of the chairman of selectors – Sandeep Patil. This was his last team selection before his tenure came to an end and just to neglect any risk of criticism, he chose to play safe without any major inclusions. In form players like Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Gautam Gambhir were ignored in lieu of retaining non performers like Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Stuart Binny and Shardul Thakur were dropped from the squad.
Indians would be hoping for Virat, Rahul, Pujara and Rahane to score big while Ashwin would once again be expected to play the role of a main batsman. The spin department looks strong with Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra to go with Shami, Ishant, Umesh and Bhuvneshwar strengthening tha pace department.
Though Ishant and Southee have been ruled out for the first match due to health and fitness issues respectively, both the teams have enough firepower to back up. India has everything to play for as they become the number 1 test team if they win the series while New Zealand would like to break the final frontier of beating India in India. Two equally balanced and matched teams go up against one another and promise to deliver a thrilling contest.