India will be starting its test campaign against visiting New Zealand starting on Thursday at Kanpur. India will not have some of the big names in their squad. The Indian squad will be led by Ajinkya Rahana as Virat Kohli has been given the rest for the first test. Barring Trent Boult, all of their star players will be present in the New Zealand squad. Indian will have to show some good performance in order to win this test as New Zealand is already in good form and is also confident enough after it won the world test championship against India earlier this year.
India is not completely lagged behind despite not having the big names in the Squad. One of the big advantages of the Indian side is that the Test is happening on the Indian ground where India will be looking to capitalize on that opportunity. Ahead of the first test, we will be looking at three players who will determine the outcome of the first test and we would like you to watch out for them.
1. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin has many achievements to his name when it comes to tests. He is great at putting the batters under pressure. Batters always wish that Ashwin is never in front of them. Given the New Zealand’s batters, Ashwin has been the nemesis for Kane Williamson, throwing the Kane Williamson off the pitch five times in a row. The contest between Ashwin and Williamson is worth watching out for. Their contest will surely keep you entertained.
2. Neil wagner vs Cheteswar pujara
Neil Wagner is what Ashwin is for India. Neil Wagner is also the most feared bowler in the test. It is right to be afraid of his bowling as he comes with a phenomenal test record of taking 229 wickets from 59 games.
The player who has faced Neil Wagner in India and has struggled much is Cheteswar Pujara. He is the one who gets nagged by length attacks of the Wagner. Pujara is not someone who will buckle under pressure and he will surely overcome the challenge of Wagner as he has done before. This challenge of Cheteswar Pujara against the force of Wagner is something worth watching out for in the first Test at Kanpur.
3. Ajinkya Rahane vs Kyle Jamieson
Ajinkya Rahane has not had impressive batting in the last few innings. He has only managed scores of 1, 10, 18, 0, and 14 in the last five test innings. His performance was something that worried the selectors of the Team. Yet Indian selectors reposed faith in his ability and even gave him the responsibility to lead the team in the absence of Virat Kohli in the first Test.
Ajinkya Rahane might have given the worst show in the last five test innings but he also showed signs of his ability when he played some great knocks of four 50+ knocks in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Kyle Jamieson will be playing against Ajinkya Rahane and both of them have had a history when Kyle Jamison dismissed him in the World test championship and Ajinkya Rahane will have to get better of him in the test match.