India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday hinted at India’s likely playing XI for the first Test against New Zealand. The hints suggest that fast bowler Ishant Sharma and young opener Prithvi Shaw will be fielded in the playing XI. Also, Wriddhiman Saha is likely to play ahead of Rishabh Pant.
“He (Ishant) looked pretty normal and pretty similar to what he was bowling before the ankle injury. He is hitting good areas again and he has played (Test cricket) in New Zealand couple of times, so his experience will be useful to us. It was really good to see him bowling with pace and in good areas,” Kohli said during his media interaction.
The skipper also said that they are happy with Shaw’s natural stroke-play which could mean that Shubman Gill will have to warm the benches for now.
“Prithvi is a talented player and he has his own game and we want him to follow his instincts and play the way he does. Look, these guys have no baggage and are not desperate to perform in any manner,” the skipper said.
He is also hoping that Shaw can do what Mayank Agarwal did in 2018-19 when he hit back to back half-centuries in Melbourne and Sydney.
“Prithvi is a talented player and he has his own game and we want him to follow his instincts and play the way he does. Look, these guys have no baggage and are not desperate to perform in any manner. They don’t have any nerves to do well overseas. Like a clear head with which Mayank played in Australia, Prithvi can do the same in New Zealand.”
India won the T20I series but was whitewashed in the ODI series and will now be looking to reclaim some prestige in the soon to begin two-match Test series.