The hosts will have to make tough selection calls for the second Test in Mumbai
Unseasonal rains have hampered much of the lead-up to this Test. While India trained at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s indoor facility at the Bandra Kurla Complex, New Zealand opted for some much-needed rest for the two days they’ve been in the city.
One thriller in, you can’t help but think why this India-New Zealand series, a contest between the top two Test sides, is a two-match series. But in these Covid times, short tours are perhaps a blessing for the players as most of them have been on the road for the better part of the last five months. One final bout then for these two sides, whose rivalry is fast becoming an intriguing one.
What should teams do after winning the toss in Mumbai?
India DWLWD (last five Tests, most recent first)
New Zealand DWWDW
In the spotlight
India (probable): 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Axar Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Umesh Yadav
New Zealand may consider playing an extra seamer on a red-soil surface that aids bounce and carry. If so, it could potentially come down to Neil Wagner, the workhorse, replacing offspinner William Somerville.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Will Young, 2 Tom Latham, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Tom Blundell (wk), 7 Rachin Ravindra, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Ajaz Patel
Pitch and conditions
Kohli believes it’s a typical “Wankhede wicket” that will have bounce and carry thanks to a red-soil base. Rain in the build-up could mean it may not be as dry as you’d expect an Indian pitch to be.
Stats and trivia
“We have explained it to the individuals, and they have understood the mindset behind going in with a certain combination. It is not a difficult thing to do when there is collective trust and belief in the group that we are working towards the same vision.”
Virat Kohli on India’s tough selection calls
“I have got a lot of flashbacks – leaving Mumbai for the first time and coming back to Mumbai for the first time, coming to Mumbai for a wedding and stuff like that. For me, it’s going to be a very, very special moment.”
Ajaz Patel is excited to be back to the city of his birth
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo