The Virat Kohli-led team India is all set to take on the New Zealand side in the first Test in Wellington, starting tomorrow. India’s record in the longest format in the Kiwi conditions has been really poor. The Men in Blue have not won a single Test in testing conditions of New Zealand while the Black Caps have defeated India in seven Tests.
But there is a huge difference between the earlier teams and the current team. The bowling department is much better and stronger this time. With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Ishant Sharma, the Indian side has a fairly good chance to triumph over the Kane Williamson-led side.
If they manage to win the first test, India will achieve a huge milestone. The current Indian side has won seven Tests on the trot and will be eyeing for the eighth win. If they won the game in Wellington, the winning streak of eight Test wins will be the biggest winning-streak for India in the longest format of the game.
India’s winning streak started in August last year against West Indies where the Kohli & co. won the two-match series 2-0. After that, they defeated South Africa 2-0 in the home series and finished their seven-match winning-streak by a thumbing 2-0 victory against Bangladesh.
Longest Winning Streaks in Test Cricket –
16 wins – Australia (1999-2001, 2005-2008)
11 wins – West Indies (1984)
9 wins – Sri Lanka (2001-2002)/South Africa (2002-2003)
8 wins – Australia (1920-21)/England (2004)
7 wins – England/West Indies/Australia/India
After being thumped 3-0 in the ODI series, the Indian contingent will be looking to bounce back in the longest format of the game.
The Kiwis have called in right-arm pacer Matt Henry into the team for the first Test. Henry will replace seamer Neil Wagner as he will be traveling back home for the birth of his child. On the other hand, Ishant Sharma has been cleared to join the team for the first Test.
It will be interesting to see if Kohli goes with four pacers or three. The battle will be between Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as the Kiwi conditions support pacers, so it seems there will be a place for one spinner only.
The first Test will commence from tomorrow in Wellington.
New Zealand squad:
Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Matt Henry, and BJ Watling.
India Test squad:
Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Navdeep Saini, and Ishant Sharma.