India vs. New Zealand, First Test Preview: Ajinkya Rahane Is The “Second String”

The first Test between India and New Zealand will take place on Thursday at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium, with Ajinkya Rahane’s second-string team facing off against a tenacious New Zealand.


On Thursday at Eden Park, Ajinkya Rahane’s second-string India will test New Zealand’s toughness. Unhappy captain, retired bowler, and a white-ball maverick trying to earn his red-ball stripes.

And Ishant Sharma would be praying that Mohammed Siraj does not permanently dismiss Rahane from the squad.

With the IPL’s white-ball riches in mind, Shreyas Iyer aspires to reestablish the ‘Bombay School of Batsmanship.’

Rahane claimed before of the game, “Shreyas Iyer will make his debut, but I am unable to reveal the lineup.”

It is uncommon for an Indian Test squad to begin without one of their top openers.

An Indian Test team starting without top openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul is unusual. Notably absent from the squad are skipper Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant, a match-winning wicketkeeper-batsman.

This, on the other hand, allows head coach Rahul Dravid to analyse his team’s back-up bench strength ahead of the team’s forthcoming away tour to South Africa, which begins in less than a month.

Only Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Mayank Agarwal have played more than ten Tests. With KL Rahul and Shubman Gill back in the middle order, the club may consider moving Agarwal to the middle order if he performs well.

He will bat to salvage his career after averaging 19 in 11 Test matches this season.

Rahane’s career may be gone if he loses two more home games.

Rahane’s career could be basically over if he loses two more games at home. So even Dravid will have to justify his choice to include the Mumbaikar on the team’s upcoming trip to Johannesburg.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, Rahane’s net session does not inspire much confidence in me. Jayant Yadav’s first ball was a devastating hoick. Prasidh Krishna had to make a legal catch on the field’s edge.

On the other hand, the sight of Shivam Mavi, the net bowler, striking him in the chest with a superb bouncer was terrifying. Captaining a team when one’s own batting form isn’t at its peak is never an easy task.

When it comes to this Test, Rahane’s ability to strike the appropriate balance between being a ruthless leader and the batter his team requires will define his career direction from here on out.

It’s possible that he’ll fail if he plays the survival game against Tim Southee or a bumper-happy Neil Wagner, but as Pujara pointed out, “being a little bit courageous” will relieve him of some of the enormous burden of resuming his cricket career.

Similarly, Ishant’s position as the most experienced player in the current group, having played over 100 games and taken over 300 wickets, is deteriorating by the day.

New ball bowlers prefer Umesh Yadav.

Umesh Yadav is the most favoured option among new ball bowlers. Shreyas, who has a solid red ball record but hasn’t competed in a long format game since 2019, will find it challenging.

Dravid forced Nuwan’s short ball throw-downs on him in order to replicate Neil Wagner’s round-the-wicket approach.

A solid start combined with an ambitious attitude may allow them to vie for a permanent middle-order spot in the future. According to the online hints, the order of hitters appears to be Gill and Mayank, followed by Pujara and Rahane.

Shreyas said Surya’s Test debut will be postponed. Despite Axar Patel’s unclear workload, Dravid gave Jayant Yadav ample time in the nets.

India won’t be able to field a middle-order with Pujara, Rahane, and possibly Hanuma Vihari.

R Ashwin has been nursing his wounds for months after being ignored by Virat Kohli in the past series. He is anxious to return to the field and solidify his place as the world’s best spinner.

While his showdown with a master technical like Williamson would be exciting for Test cricket fans, seasoned players like Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, and Henry Nicholls will have their work cut out for them when they face Ashwin and Jadeja in the series opener.

In Jayant’s absence, the third spinner will most likely be Axar Patel, who had a stellar debut home series against England (27 wickets) in his previous appearance for the whites.

The Black Caps’ pace assault will include Ajaz Patel and Mitchell Santner.

Ajaz Patel and Mitchell Santner will join Southee and Wagner in the Black Caps’ pace attack. Off-spinners William Somerville and Tim Southee.

Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin

Ajaz Patel, Mitchell Santner and Rachin Ravindra are among the New Zealand side’s batsmen. Kane Williamson (captain) leads the team with Tom Latham (wk), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls (wk), Will Young (wk), Glenn Phillips (wk) and Rachin Ravindra (wk).

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