Time: November 25, 9:30 AM IST

Venue: Green Park, Kanpur

Pitch Report

There’s no in-detail report about the pitch, but as has been the case over the years, it is likely to assist the spinners. It’s fair and square for teams to have a home advantage.


Probable XI for India: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav/Ishant Sharma

Probable XI for New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner/Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Will Somerville, Ajaz Patel

Fantasy Tips

We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.

India vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Fantasy Cricket Team
India vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Fantasy Cricket Team

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Power Players

In the previous Test at Kanpur, between these teams in 2016, the spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja scalped 16 wickets between them – of which 11 belonged to Ashwin. However, Jadeja was adjudged the Player of the Match for his unbeaten scores of 42 and 50. Needless to say that these two are the most picked captains and vice-captain in fantasy teams when India play Test cricket at home.

In the same game, toiling hard on a turning wicket, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham scored fighting half-centuries. It, nonetheless, will take more than that for the defending champions to put the Indian spinners on the backfoot. To put things into perspective, Williamson averages a mere 35.4 in India compared to his overall average of 53.9.

Smart Picks

Of Cheteshwar Pujara’s 18 hundreds, 10 have come at home, and his average shoots up from 45.4 to 56.3. In these conditions, Pujara also bats at a higher strike rate. In the absence of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, the onus of holding up one end will be on him.

New Zealand may not boast of batters who are skilled against spin bowling, but they sure have a talented pool of bowlers.

Ajaz Patel has taken a total of 21 wickets in the UAE and Sri Lanka at an average of 28, while Neil Wagner and Tim Southee have done fairly well in the subcontinent. Add Kyle Jamieson to the mix: he averages a whopping 14.17, taking 5 five-wicket hauls in 8 games.

Umesh Yadav has taken 62% of his wickets at home – on dusty, weary and teary tracks.

Match Prediction

Despite resting their key players, India look favourites and Williamson himself has agreed to it. For New Zealand to put up a good fight, they will have to bat long and exhaust the Indian bowlers, among whom are Ashwin and Jadeja themselves.

Either India have to perform badly or New Zealand have to work some magic.

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